2005 Meineke Car Care Bowl Recap
NC State 14, South Florida 0
NC State turned in a storybook ending to a rollercoaster season with a 14-0 victory over South Florida in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C. on New Year's Eve. The defense, led by bowl MVP Stephen Tulloch, carried the Pack through four commanding quarters of football, as the Pack shut out the Bulls in USF's first bowl game appearance in school history. It marked the only shutout in a bowl last year and the first ever by the Wolfpack.
Both offenses sputtered at times throughout the game against solid defensive play. NC State drew first blood in the second quarter, with Marcus Stone finding Brian Clark in the right corner of the South Florida endzone for a nine-yard score. Forcing a punt on USF's next drive, the Pack marched down field again with help on the ground from Toney Baker, in addition to another Stone to Clark connection, moving the ball 41-yards down field. With less than 20 seconds remaining in the first half, Andre Brown reached paydirt on a one-yard jaunt into the endzone for the final score of the day.
On the second Bull's possession of the third quarter, Tulloch delivered a devastating blow to quarterback Carlton Hill, forcing a fumble which Tulloch also recovered. Three plays later, Stone would lose the ball for the Pack on a fumble and return possession to South Florida. On the very next play, DeMario Pressley forced Hill to cough the ball up for a second time, with Tank Tyler securing the ball for NC State.
South Florida made things interesting early in the fourth quarter, clawing their way to the NC State 17-yard line and threatening to score. Quarterback Pat Julmiste tried to find a target in the endzone for a touchdown, but Garland Heath stepped into the passing lane and snatched his fifth interception of the season.
Mario Williams was credited with 1.5 sacks during the game, bringing his career total to 25.5. In just three years with the red and white, Williams leaves the school as the leader in career, game and season sacks and tackles for loss.
With the win, the Wolfpack defeated the odds and silenced its critics by ending the season at 7-5 after a 2-4 start early on in the year. NC State now stands at 4-1 in postseason bowl games under Chuck Amato. Tulloch collected 15 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for loss on the day.
NCSU - Clark 9-yard pass from Stone (Deraney kick), 8:13 in 2nd