N.C. State Tops East Carolina, 52-14
Nov. 27, 2004
By KEITH PARSONS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jay Davis threw three touchdown passes and North Carolina State allowed only 145 yards in a dominating 52-14 victory over East Carolina on Saturday, spoiling the final game for Pirates' coach John Thompson.
Thompson resigned last week - effective at the end of the season - after athletic director Terry Holland told him he was going to be fired. In two years, Thompson was 3-20.
The Wolfpack (5-6) blocked a punt for a score, returned an onside kick for another and had an interception return for a TD nullified by an inadvertent whistle. Davis also scored the first rushing touchdown of his career.
But it was N.C. State's top-ranked defense that stole the show. East Carolina (2-9) played most of the game without starting quarterback James Pinkney, who left in the first quarter with a sprained knee. Backup Des Robinson, a senior playing for the fourth time in 2004, clearly wasn't comfortable running the offense.
He was pressured into two interceptions - a few more bounced off the hands of defenders - and even when he had time, he missed open receivers. Robinson finished 7-for-23 for 62 yards, including a completion to himself on a batted pass.
Still, the Pirates stayed close for most of the first half, tying the score at 7 when linebacker Chris Moore sacked Davis, forced a fumble, then recovered it in the end zone. The Wolfpack led only 10-7 late in the first half when Miguel Scott broke through and blocked Ryan Dougherty's punt, and he fell on the ball for a touchdown to make it 17-7.
The third quarter was miserable to East Carolina, which went three-and-out on all four of its series. Meanwhile, Davis found his rhythm, connecting with John Ritcher and Tramain Hall for TDs and diving in from the 3 on fourth down to put N.C. State ahead 38-7.
Davis was 18-of-35 for 227 yards, but also threw his 15th interception. The Wolfpack totaled 392 yards of offense in their most impressive performance of the season, but they won't be going to a bowl for the first time in coach Chuck Amato's five seasons.
About the only drama in the second half came from the Pirates' offensive ineptitude. Early in the fourth quarter, they had only three first downs for the game, which would have been a school record.
They tied that mark on a pass interference penalty, then got four more on a late drive that setup Marvin Townes' 2-yard touchdown run.