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    Pack's Comeback at Duke Falls Short
    Shadrach Thornton rushed for 103 yards.
    Shadrach Thornton rushed for 103 yards.

    Nov. 9, 2013

    Final Stats | Photo Gallery

    DURHAM, N.C. - NC State made a rare trip over to Duke, and fell to the Blue Devils Saturday. After NC State took a 20-17 lead, the Blue Devils closed the game with 21 points in the final 3:31 for the final margin of 38-21.

    Shadrach Thornton rushed for over 100 yards for the second time in the last three games, as he rushed 26 times for 103 yards on the day. Brandon Mitchell and Pete Thomas split time at QB, as Mitchell was 7-of-18 for 148 yards and one touchdown, while Pete Thomas was 3-of-12 for 61 yards.

    The Pack's defense caused four Duke turnovers, including three interceptions. Safety Hakim Jones recorded one interception and forced and recovered a fumble, while Brandon Pittman finished with a game-high 14 tackles.

    The Pack's first possession of the game stalled in Duke territory, then the Blue Devils got on the scoreboard on the ensuing drive with a five-play, 90 yard drive. QB Anthony Boone found Jamison Crowder down the sideline for a 75 yard gain, then Boone ran it in the remaining four yards on the next play for the game's first score four minutes into the game.

    Midway through the second quarter, NC State was stopped on 4th & 1, with the Blue Devils taking over at the Pack 26 yard line. Duke kicked a 36-yard field goal to push the lead to 10-0 for the halftime score.

    The Pack broke though in the second half, scoring on its first three possessions.

    After QB Pete Thomas found Matt Dayes for a 44 yard pass-and-catch, Niklas Sade booted a 29-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 83 yard drive and make the score 10-3 midway through the third quarter.

    On the next possession, Duke was held to a three-and-out, and Rashard Smith returned his second punt for a TD this season, taking it 78 yards to even the game at 10-10. Smith's punt return marked the third straight game against Duke that the Pack has recorded a special teams touchdown (kickoff returns in both 2008 and 2009).

    NC State surged ahead when Sade connected on a 24-yard field goal, after D.J. Green recorded the Pack's third INT of the contest on Duke's next possession.

    The lead was short lived, when Duke's DeVon Edwards took the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a score to put Duke up 17-13 at 3:45 in the third quarter.

    The action continued in the fourth quarter. Mitchell found Quintin Payton down the sideline for an 80-yard TD to give the Pack a 20-17 lead. But the lead changed hands once again, with Duke answering with its own TD after an eight-play, 79 yard drive to give Duke a 24-20 lead with 3:31 left.

    On State's next two possessions, Duke's Edwards recorded a pair of interceptions, and returned both for scores, capping the scoring on the day at 38-20.

    The Pack's defensive line was affected by injuries today, as tackles A.J. Ferguson and Carlos Gray along with end Forrest West all did not suit up. In addition, starting DT Thomas Teal was injured in the third quarter and did not return.

    The Pack will again be in road action next weekend, traveling to Boston College for a 12:30 p.m. contest on RSN.



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