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ACC Game Stories, Nov. 16

Sunday, November 17, 2013 9:14am
Check below for game stories from all the ACC action this weekend. It's listed in alphabetical order, by winning ACC team. Stories from the losing team's perspective then follow. 

 

Boston College Beats N.C. State 38-21, Bowl-Eligible 

BOSTON (AP) - Andre Williams stepped out from the sideline, his helmet off, and took a deep bow when the public address announcer recognized him for breaking Boston College's single-season rushing record.

His day wasn't done yet.

Williams returned for the Eagles' next drive and went over the 300-yard mark, breaking the single-game record that he set last just week. And then, with BC just trying to run out the clock, Williams got loose for a 34-yard touchdown with 51 seconds left to finish with 339 yards and an Atlantic Coast Conference record.

"He stands for what's right in college football," coach Steve Addazio said after the Eagles beat North Carolina State 38-21 to qualify for a bowl game. "He's certainly, without a doubt, one of the more dominant players in college football and is an unselfish guy that realizes what's important. He realizes it's a team game."

Williams ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter, and early in the fourth secured his fourth 200-yard game this season. He broke Mike Cloud's school record on a strange play when he broke four tackles on a 65-yard run but fumbled just before the goal line.

The leading rusher in the nation, Williams hit 300 yards on a 5-yard run in the final minutes to break the single-game record of 295 he set last week against New Mexico State. On his school record-tying 42nd carry of the day, he scored his second TD of the game and his 14th of the season.

"We know he's our Heisman," said quarterback Chase Rettig, who completed 8 of 15 passes for 53 yards and also dove into the end zone to score on a 2-point conversion. "It's fun to watch when you just hand the ball off, you're rolling the other way and he's already down the field."

Boston College invited the fans onto the field to celebrate after the game, and they swarmed around the players. Also making sure to congratulate Williams were several of the N.C. State players he had just run into or over.

"I give him props," Wolfpack linebacker Robert Caldwell said. "He's leading the nation in rushing yards so he's obviously the man when it comes to running."

With the win, the Eagles (6-4, 3-3 ACC) became bowl-eligible for the first time in three years, a quick turnaround in Addazio's first season in Chestnut Hill. With regular-season games remaining against Maryland and Syracuse, both on the road, BC could move up in the bowl selection process with a chance to qualify for the Music City Bowl as the No. 5 pick in the ACC.

"To do it, we need to win these last two games," Rettig said. "That's what's driving us. We can't let the season get away from us."

Backup quarterback Pete Thomas completed 22 of 33 passes for 207 yards for N.C. State (3-7), which lost its sixth straight game and fell to 0-7 in conference play for the first time ever. Jumichael Ramos caught five passes for 109 yards and a 52-yard touchdown that made it 31-21 with 1:53 left to play.

The 339 rushing yards for Williams broke the ACC record John Leach set at Wake Forest in 1993, and it is the most in an FBS game this season.

"I told our defense, 'When you stop the guy, he's not stopped,'" N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. "They're going to keep giving it to him until they bust one, and that's what they do. They just keep going to him and going to him."

BC placekicker Nate Freese also had a record-setting day, converting three field goals and three extra points to become the school's all-time leading scorer with 299 points.

Williams surpassed Cloud's single-season BC record of 1,726 yards when he got loose on a 65-yard run up the middle, breaking four tackles on his way before Wolfpack cornerback Juston Burris knocked the ball loose from behind at the 1-yard-line. The ball bounced into the end zone, where Alex Amidon fell on it for the touchdown; Rettig's 2-point try gave the Eagles a 28-14 lead.

Thomas started in place of Brandon Mitchell, who had been listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury; he had broken his foot in the opener and missed five games before returning on Oct. 26.

Williams ran for 40 yards the second time he touched the ball, and 27 more on the next play to set up Freese's 25-yard field goal. On BC's next possession, he ran eight times for a combined 37 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 10-0 lead.

It was the fourth time this season Williams has surpassed 100 yards in the first half, and his eighth 100-yard game of the season.

Thomas hit Matt Dayes for a 61-yard pass to set up the Wolfpack's only score in the first half, a 9-yard run by Rashard Smith to cut the BC lead to 10-7.

Williams left the game briefly, favoring his right shoulder, with about 6 minutes left in the first half, and Myles Willis made it a 10-point game with back-to-back runs of 24 and 19 yards.

connette, duke upset no. 24 miami, 48-30

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - The path to an ACC championship once again leads through Duke - and not just in basketball, either.

These Blue Devils proved to No. 24 Miami - and maybe everyone else - that they're no longer pushovers.

Brandon Connette rushed for a career-high four touchdowns and threw for a fifth, and Duke upset the Hurricanes 48-30 on Saturday to take control of the league's messy Coastal Division.

"This team is not just a fluke," center Dave Harding said.

Connette, the Blue Devils' change-of-pace quarterback, had touchdown runs of 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards, and threw a 22-yard TD to Shaq Powell.

Duke (8-2, 4-2) - for years, one of the nation's worst programs in a power conference - claimed its sixth straight win, and it ranks as one of the most significant in school history.

"I remember when I first got here, the team hadn't won a game in, like, three years," running back Josh Snead said. Coach David Cutcliffe told him: "'Just believe. Believe in the process.' We got a lot of guys that believe in this process, and we're here today."

Snead rushed for a career-high 138 yards and Powell added a backbreaking 33-yard touchdown run that put the Blue Devils in complete command.

Dallas Crawford rushed for 115 yards and Stephen Morris threw for 379 and two touchdowns but the Hurricanes (7-3, 3-3) lost their third straight since climbing to No. 7. They've allowed at least 41 points in each loss.

"There's enough blame to go around in this game," coach Al Golden said.

In a wild one that featured 1,108 total yards and three lead changes, Duke - the only two-loss team in the Coastal - kept hold of the inside track to a berth opposite No. 2 Florida State in the ACC championship game in three weeks in Charlotte. The Seminoles have already locked up the Atlantic Division title.

Ross Martin gave Duke the lead for good late in the third quarter when he banked in a 48-yard field goal off the upright late to make it 31-30.

Two possessions later - and two plays after Snead burst 56 yards into the Miami red zone - Connette powered in from 4 yards out to put the Blue Devils up 38-30 with 11:37 left.

Powell then effectively iced the win on Duke's next possession when his 33-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 gave the Blue Devils a 45-30 lead with 6:50 left.

After Miami turned the ball over on downs, Martin added a 32-yard field goal with 1:04 left.

Morris finished 30 of 49 with touchdowns of 50 and 5 yards to Herb Waters. Stacy Coley returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Matt Goudis added three field goals.

But the Hurricanes couldn't stop Duke's ground game: The Blue Devils rolled up 358 yards rushing - by far, the most by a Cutcliffe-coached team at either Duke or Mississippi - against a Miami run defense that gives up an average of 152.

"Coach said we were going to call it and haul it," Snead said, "and that's what we did."

Connette, who often spells starter Anthony Boone in short-yardage situations, became the first Duke player to rush for four touchdowns since Justin Boyle did it against Vanderbilt in 2006.

"People look at this game and say, 'Well, Duke didn't throw the ball against Miami, but they ran it,'" Connette said. "No. We ran it so well, we didn't need to throw it."

Boone - who improved to 8-0 as a starter - was 11 of 15 for 104 yards for Duke, which continued its remarkable turnaround from perennial punchline to serious Coastal contender.

The Blue Devils went winless four times from 1996-2007 with two more one-win seasons in that span.

"It doesn't really matter to us who believes in us," Connette said. "We believe in what we're doing and we believe in the process and everything that's going on. As long as we believe in what we're doing, we're going to be a good football team."

They've already locked up their first winning season since 1994 and now they've beaten two Top 25 teams in the same year for the first time since 1971. Duke knocked off then-No. 16 Virginia Tech on Oct. 26.

The Blue Devils allowed the Hurricanes to score 10 quick points in a 54-second span of the first quarter, then fell behind 17-7 on Morris' short TD to Waters late in the first quarter.

But they outscored Miami 41-13 after Deondre Singleton's momentum-changing interception off a deflection early in the second.

Connette accounted for touchdowns on three of the four possessions after that.

"We started well. We just aren't doing a good enough job of answering on defense," Golden said. "When you get into this kind of game, you really need to be perfect on offense. We weren't. They were."

Winston, no. 2 Florida St Defeat Syracuse 59-3

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - On the field, it was business as usual for Jameis Winston and No. 2 Florida State.

The Heisman Trophy candidate showed no effects from a tumultuous week, completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns as the Seminoles rolled Syracuse 59-3 on Saturday.

News broke Wednesday that Winston was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place Dec. 7, 2012. Attention moved away from his Heisman Trophy campaign to the many unanswered questions surrounding an investigation that is nearly a year old.

Any questions about whether the off-field issue would impact Florida State's game were answered immediately. Florida State (10-0, 8-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) led 28-0 in the first quarter. Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) was held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.

Florida State outgained the Orange 523-427.

"It's the same thing every single week," Winston said. "We prepare ourselves the same way every single week. One thing about Florida State, we're a big family. So we stay inside the family.

"We've got the same plan every week. We want to be elite. We want to be great. And just like we had the 1993 championship team come down. We want to be just like those guys. We want to just keep everything rolling the right way."

The Seminoles are second in the BCS standings and are likely three victories away - they play Idaho, Florida and the ACC championship game in the next three weeks - from locking up a spot in the BCS championship game.

It seems only a problem with Winston can get in Florida State's way. If he were to be changed with a felony, school rules would require he not be allowed to play.

With him, and considering the upcoming competition, the Seminoles have been unstoppable.

The Seminoles scored 28 points before the Orange recorded 28 yards of total offense - and Winston was the star. The quarterback completed his first 11 attempts and looked completely comfortable. Winston controlled the game with his arm, but also sprinted nearly 40 yards downfield to throw the final block that sprung Kermit Whitfield on a 74-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

"I thought he played exceptionally well," Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher said about Winston. "His mind was really in the game."

Florida State was up 21-0 when Winston threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene with 40 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Syracuse cornerback Julian Whigham was injured on the play, taken off the field on a stretcher and immediately loaded into an ambulance late in the first quarter. He was taken to the hospital.

Orange coach Scott Shafer said Whigham was OK in the hospital with an abdominal injury and would remain overnight. Syracuse also lost running back Prince-Tyson Gulley to a lower-body injury and receiver Jarrod West left with an upper-body injury.

Winston lobbed a 6-yard touchdown pass to 6-foot-5 receiver Kelvin Benjamin to go up 35-0 with 11:52 left in the second quarter. Winston's game ended at halftime and Florida State holding a 38-0 lead.

Syracuse clearly made the decision to defend the deep ball and worry less about underneath routes. Winston took the easy, open throws and didn't force the ball into tight spots.

Sean Maguire replaced Winston with second-stringer Jacob Coker out for the season after having knee surgery this week. The redshirt freshman was 3-of-5 for 21 yards with a touchdown and an interception.

The Florida State defense continued to dominate and showed why it's the No. 4 scoring defense in the FBS. The unit allowed 68 yards on 30 plays in the first half while the Seminoles' offense had 374 yards on 32 plays. The Orange managed just four first downs in the first half while punting five times.

"This is horrible," Shafer said. "I hate it. We won't sleep for a couple of nights. I know I won't. You hate losing. God, I hate losing but you bounce back and figure out how to teach the kids because that's what we are. We're teachers."

Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt completed 10-of-18 passes for 75 yards. Backup Drew Allen entered the game in the third quarter and completed 5-of-9 passes for 29 yards with an interception.

"They're a great team," Hunt said. "We lost to a better team, basically. It would be more of a bruised ego if we lost to a team that we're better than. But we lost to a better team - you accept it, you move on. We have two more games and we want to go 2-0."

Maryland Upends Hokies In OT, 27-24 

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) - C.J. Brown ran for 122 yards, including a touchdown in overtime, and Maryland beat Virginia Tech 27-24 on Saturday to become bowl eligible and damage the Hokies' hopes of playing for the ACC championship.

The Terrapins (6-4, 2-4) arrived at Lane Stadium for Senior Day having lost four of five, but scored three consecutive touchdowns to open a commanding 21-7 lead, then held on after the Hokies pulled even with 9:32 to play in regulation. In the overtime, the Terps limited Virginia Tech to a field goal, then needed just four plays to cover the 25 yards, with Brown fittingly finishing it.

He finished with 122 yards on 23 carries and threw for 135 yards.

Virginia Tech (7-4, 4-3) came into the game knowing that if it beat the Terps and then Virginia next weekend, and if Duke lost one of its three remaining games, the Hokies would win the Coastal Division.

Trailing 24-21, the Terps made quick work of the overtime.

Brandon Ross ran for 7 yards on first down, and 15 on second down, getting the ball to the Hokies 3. After Ross was stopped for no gain, Brown rolled left and dove for the end zone just inside the pylon.

Officials said the play was under review, even as the Terps mobbed their quarterback in the end zone, but the ruling came back quickly that it was a touchdown, giving the Terps that sixth victory.

The Hokies got the ball first in overtime, and got a huge assist from Maryland in the way of a 15-yard pass interference call against Alvin Hill. That sent them up with first-and-goal at the 9, but three plays lost 5 yards and Eric Kristensen parted the uprights from 31 yards for his first career field goal.

Kristensen, who earlier missed a 34-yard field goal, was a freshman walk-on elevated to the job only this week after regular place-kicker Cody Journell was dismissed from the teams for violating a team rule.

But after a crisp scoring drive early in the game, their offense went stagnant, and while touchdown passes from Logan Thomas pulled them even in the second half, they struggled mightily otherwise.

Despite struggling offensively, Virginia Tech did just enough to pull even.

Thomas capped a 12-yard drive set up by Demitri Knowles' 88-yard kickoff return with a 1-yard pass to D.J. Coles, and he finished a 65-yard drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Willie Byrn with 9:32 remaining.

Neither team got much of anything done on offense the rest of the way.

Maryland went ahead 21-7 with the opening drive of the second half, and did it quickly.

With Virginia Tech no doubt geared to stop Brown from running, he hit Amba Etta-Tawo for 43 yards to get the ball to the Hokies 16, and Nigel King for the touchdown on the next play. The play to King was originally ruled an incomplete pass or drop, but the officials overturned it after review.

Brown's running ability gave the Terps a 14-7 lead. After he hit Etta-Tawo for 17 yards and a 15-yard roughing the passer against James Gayle was tacked on, Brown scrambled for 16 yards. He spiked the ball to stop the clock, ran 7 yards to get the ball to the Hokies 1 and took it in on on the next play.

Maryland drew even in the second quarter when William Likely, who had returned the previous punt 37 yards, fielded a short punt at the 37, cut upfield and went 63 yards for a touchdown. It was the second punt return touchdown against the Hokies this season; Alabama's Christion Jones returned one 72 yards.

The Hokies drove 76 yards for a touchdown with their second possession. Thomas hit D.J. Coles for 12 yards, Trey Edmunds for 11 with a 15-yard face-masking penalty tacked on, and Kalvin Cline for 31 to get the ball to the Terps 12. Two runs by Edmunds and Kristensen's extra point made it 7-0.

North Carolina Edges Pitt 34-27 Behind Switzer 

PITTSBURGH (AP) - His team's momentum gone and time winding down, North Carolina freshman punt returner Ryan Switzer saw the ball drift toward him and had just a single thought running through his mind.

"I wasn't going to fair catch that one," Switzer said.

Good call.

Switzer hauled in the kick from Pittsburgh's Matt Yakolic, darted left down the sideline then completely reversed field on his way to a 61-yard touchdown that lifted the streaking Tar Heels to a 34-27 win over the enigmatic Panthers.

The score was Switzer's second of the game and third in the last two weeks, both school records.

"When I saw him go up the sideline, I was like, 'He's gone,'" North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams said. "I know what he can do. I've been on him all year. I told him, 'When your time comes, just keep performing."

North Carolina (5-5, 4-3 ACC) needed Switzer to come through after blowing a 24-point second-half lead. The Tar Heels appeared to be in full control when Thomas Moore's second field goal made it 27-3 with 12:51 to play in the third quarter.

It disappeared over the next 20 minutes, as Pitt quarterback Tom Savage shook off a relentless North Carolina pass rush to lead a frantic rally. The Panthers tied it at 27 on James Conner's 2-yard plunge with 8:52 to play. Pitt mounted one last drive after Switzer's second score, but Conner was stuffed on fourth-and-1 at the North Carolina 26 with 1:10 to go and the Tar Heels escaped with their fourth straight victory after a 1-5 start.

"We talk about adversity all the time and what you have to do with it," North Carolina coach Larry Fedora said. "They didn't blink and kept believing in each other."

Williams ran for two touchdowns to overcome a shaky day passing and the Tar Heels sacked Savage seven times, including 3˝ by defensive end Kareem Martin.

"He's a senior that understands we are running out of opportunities and he's making the most out of every one of them," Fedora said of Martin.

Savage completed 23 of 38 passes for 313 yards and two touchdowns for the Panthers (5-5, 2-4), both scores and more of the yards coming after he left the game briefly late in the second quarter with a left knee injury.

He returned to start the second half and was promptly sacked and fumbled on his first pass attempt. The Tar Heels recovered and Moore's second field goal seemed to have North Carolina firmly in control.

Instead, the Panthers flirted with one of the greatest comebacks in program history.

"I appreciate that he's a warrior," Pitt coach Paul Chryst said. "I appreciate what he does. I love the way he plays. He's pretty even keeled and obviously competitive."

So, it turns out, are the Tar Heels, who have emerged from the ashes of a brutal first half of the season to move within a game of becoming bowl eligible.

North Carolina came in surging, winning its previous three games by an average of 21 points. The Tar Heels seemed to be well on their way to another one, taking advantage of choppy play by the Panthers, who were hoping to avoid a letdown after rallying to beat Notre Dame last weekend.

Chryst allowed he wasn't sure how his team would respond after the biggest victory of his two-year tenure and was treated to another uneven performance in a season full of them.

The Panthers marched 64 yards on the opening drive for a field goal and was deep in North Carolina territory on its second drive when Savage scrambled to his left and had the ball knocked out of his hand by Martin. Travis Hughes recovered and in an instant Pitt's momentum vanished.

North Carolina ripped off the game's next 27 points.

Williams was erratic when dropping back to throw, completing just 15 of 27 passes for 173 yards. He was dynamic, however, when tucking the ball under his right arm. He ran for 79 yards, including touchdown runs of 16 and 10 yards.

For a long stretch, the Panthers had no answer as North Carolina's rejuvenated defense, which was so abysmal earlier in the season associate head coach Vic Koennig said he was "disenchanted" by his group's play, seemed to put a body on Savage after every snap.

During one five-possession span in the second and third quarters, Savage endured six sacks, avoided another by intentionally grounding the ball by switching the ball to his left (non-throwing) hand and fell in a heap clutching his knee at the end of a lengthy scramble.

Still, he hung around and put the Panthers in position to earn their sixth victory and become bowl eligible for the sixth straight season. That goal will have to wait until next week at the earliest thanks to Switzer.

 

NO. 24 MIAMI DROPS 3RD STRAIGHT, 48-30 TO DUKE

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) - Miami couldn't stop Duke's running game. And once the Blue Devils started scoring, the 24th-ranked Hurricanes' offense couldn't keep up.

"There's enough blame to go around in this game," coach Al Golden said.

The Hurricanes' free-fall continued Saturday when Duke beat them 48-30.

Their third straight loss dropped them down the ACC Coastal Division standings - and probably out of the national rankings, too.

A win would have put Miami in control of the division - and set up a rematch with No. 2 Florida State in the league championship game.

Instead, it's the Blue Devils who have the inside track to Charlotte.

"It's really about executing, and we didn't do that well enough," Golden said. "Duke did."

Dallas Crawford rushed for 115 yards and Stephen Morris threw for 379 and two touchdowns but the Hurricanes (7-3, 3-3) lost their third straight since climbing to No. 7. They've allowed at least 41 points in each loss.

"Obviously, we're giving up too many points," Golden said. "That's changing the way we play the game on offense."

They could stop neither Brandon Connette nor the Blue Devils' ground game.

The Blue Devils rolled up 358 yards rushing - by far, the most by a David Cutcliffe-coached team at either Duke or Mississippi - against a Miami run defense that gives up an average of 152.

"Coach said we were going to call it and haul it," Snead said, "and that's what we did."

Connette rushed for a career-high four touchdowns and threw for a fifth for Duke. The change-of-pace quarterback had touchdown runs of 1, 2, 3 and 4 yards, and threw a 22-yard TD to Shaq Powell.

"This team is not just a fluke," center Dave Harding said.

Duke (8-2, 4-2) - for years, one of the nation's worst programs in a power conference - claimed its sixth straight win, and it ranks as one of the most significant in school history.

"I remember when I first got here, the team hadn't won a game in, like, three years," running back Josh Snead said. Cutcliffe told him: "'Just believe. Believe in the process.' We got a lot of guys that believe in this process, and we're here today."

Snead rushed for a career-high 138 yards and Powell added a backbreaking 33-yard touchdown run that put the Blue Devils in complete command of a wild game that featured 1,108 total yards and three lead changes.

Ross Martin gave Duke the lead for good late in the third quarter when he banked in a 48-yard field goal off the upright late to make it 31-30.

Two possessions later - and two plays after Snead burst 56 yards into the Miami red zone - Connette powered in from 4 yards out to put the Blue Devils up 38-30 with 11:37 left.

Powell then effectively iced the win on Duke's next possession when his 33-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 gave the Blue Devils a 45-30 lead with 6:50 left.

After Miami turned the ball over on downs, Martin added a 32-yard field goal with 1:04 left.

Morris finished 30 of 49 with touchdowns of 50 and 5 yards to Herb Waters. Stacy Coley returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Matt Goudis added three field goals.

Connette, who often spells starter Anthony Boone in short-yardage situations, became the first Duke player to rush for four touchdowns since Justin Boyle did it against Vanderbilt in 2006.

"People look at this game and say, 'Well, Duke didn't throw the ball against Miami, but they ran it,'" Connette said. "No. We ran it so well, we didn't need to throw it."

The Blue Devils allowed the Hurricanes to score 10 quick points in a 54-second span of the first quarter, then fell behind 17-7 on Morris' short TD to Waters late in the first quarter.

But they outscored Miami 41-13 after Deondre Singleton's momentum-changing interception off a deflection early in the second.

Connette accounted for touchdowns on three of the four possessions after that.

"We started well. We just aren't doing a good enough job of answering on defense," Golden said. "When you get into this kind of game, you really need to be perfect on offense. We weren't. They were."

N.C. STATE'S BAD RUN CONTINUES IN 38-21 LOSS TO BC

BOSTON (AP) - North Carolina State's worst-ever Atlantic Coast Conference season can't end soon enough.

Andre Williams ran for 339 yards to break Boston College's single-season and single-game rushing records, leading the Eagles to a 38-21 victory over the Wolfpack on Saturday and helping them qualify for a bowl game for the first time in three seasons.

For North Carolina State, any hopes for a bowl were vanished with Williams breaking big runs on them all afternoon.

"I give him props," linebacker Robert Caldwell said. "He's leading the nation in rushing yards so he's obviously the man when it comes to running."

Backup quarterback Pete Thomas completed 22 of 33 passes for 207 yards for N.C. State (3-7), which lost its sixth straight game and fell to 0-7 in conference play for the first time ever. Jumichael Ramos caught five passes for 109 yards and a 52-yard touchdown that made it 31-21 with 1:53 left to play.

"Obviously we are very disappointed with the way we played," Thomas said. "We didn't execute and I'm disappointed for the seniors that we didn't get into a bowl game."

How bad was it for the Wolfpack: Williams was only 21 yards shy of NC State's entire offensive output.

The Wolfpack have two games left. They host East Carolina next week before facing Maryland in the season finale on Nov. 30.

"It's really tough, especially being a senior," Caldwell said. "We are going to come back these next two weeks and go to practice, put in the work and we are going to try really hard. We have two weeks left, two games to play, and we are going to give it our all."

Williams ran for more than 100 yards in the first quarter, and early in the fourth secured his fourth 200-yard game this season. He broke Mike Cloud's school record on a strange play in the fourth when he got loose on a 65-yard run but fumbled just before the goal line.

Williams hit 300 yards on a 5-yard run in the final minutes to break the single-game record of 295 he set last week against New Mexico State. On his school record-tying 42nd carry of the day, he scored on a 34-yard touchdown run.

With the win, the Eagles (6-4, 3-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) became bowl-eligible in Steve Addazio's first season as head coach.

The Wolfpack tried an unsuccessful onside kick, and BC gave the ball to Williams on every play as it tried to run out the clock. He broke through the middle and scored with 51 seconds left to give the Eagles a 38-21 lead.

The 339 rushing yards for Williams, who entered the day as the nation's leading rusher, is an ACC record and the most in an FBS game this season. BC placekicker Nate Freese also had a record-setting day, converting three field goals and three extra points to become the school's all-time leading scorer with 299 points.

Chase Rettig completed 8 of 15 passes for 53 yards, and he also dove into the end zone to score on a 2-point conversion.

Williams surpassed Cloud's single-season BC record of 1,726 yards when he got loose on a 65-yard run up the middle, breaking four tackles on his way before Wolfpack cornerback Juston Burris knocked the ball loose from behind at the 1-yard-line. The ball bounced into the end zone, where Alex Amidon fell on it for the touchdown; Rettig's 2-point try gave the Eagles a 28-14 lead.

Thomas started in place of Brandon Mitchell, who had been listed as questionable with an undisclosed injury; he had broken his foot in the opener and missed five games before returning on Oct. 26.

Williams ran for 40 yards the second time he touched the ball, and 27 more on the next play to set up Freese's 25-yard field goal. On BC's next possession, he ran eight times for a combined 37 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown that gave the Eagles a 10-0 lead.

It was the fourth time this season Williams has surpassed 100 yards in the first half, and his eighth 100-yard game of the season.

Thomas hit Matt Dayes for a 61-yard pass to set up the Wolfpack's only score in the first half, a 9-yard run by Rashard Smith to cut the BC lead to 10-7.

Williams left the game briefly, favoring his right shoulder, with about 6 minutes left in the first half, and Myles Willis made it a 10-point game with back-to-back runs of 24 and 19 yards.

 

PANTHERS FALL LATE IN 34-27 LOSS TO TAR HEELS

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Turns out North Carolina punt returner Ryan Switzer and Pittsburgh's enigmatic season have something in common.

Each are tough to get a handle on.

The Panthers spent 15 minutes erasing a 24-point deficit against the Tar Heels on Saturday and 15 seconds watching Switzer make the rally immaterial. The freshman's zig-zagging 61-yard return for a score with 4:46 remaining lifted North Carolina to a 34-27 victory on Saturday and continued a confounding pattern that Pitt coach Paul Chryst has been unable to solve in two seasons on the job.

A week after an emotional upset of Notre Dame, Pitt (5-5, 2-4 ACC) couldn't find a way to build on it and now needs to win one of its final two games to become bowl eligible for a sixth straight season.

"I don't know necessarily if complacency was an issue," Chryst said. "I don't think we didn't care about it. They made more plays and we didn't."

Quarterback Tom Savage shook off seven sacks and a brief injury scare to throw for 313 yards and two scores but running back James Conner was drilled on fourth-and-1 at the North Carolina 26 with 1:10 to go as a bid for one of the more improbable comebacks in program history fell short.

"I thought I saw something, but the two middle linebackers were pressed up the middle," said Conner, who ran for 102 yards and a fourth-quarter touchdown that tied the game at 27. "I knew it was going to be tough, and I knew if I was going to get it that it wouldn't be by much. But the refs said I didn't get past it. So, that was the end of it."

One or two more hands on Switzer would have helped. The freshman raced 65 yards untouched down the sideline for a score late in the first half to help the Tar Heels take a 24-3 lead at the break.

The second score proved more difficult. Switzer fielded the punt at the North Carolina 39 and headed to his right. He appeared to be hemmed in at the Pitt 35 but cut all the way back across the field, running through two arm tackles in the process.

"It hurts," Pitt defensive back Jason Hendricks said. "We had the momentum on our side and thought we were going to make a comeback. The returner made plays, and they did a good job blocking us."

And the Panthers did a poor job of blocking the Tar Heels. Savage spent more of the game's first 35 minutes taking a hit on nearly every snap.

During one five-possession span in the second and third quarters, Savage endured six sacks, avoided another by intentionally grounding the ball by switching the ball to his left (non-throwing) hand and injured his left knee at the end of a lengthy scramble.

"I appreciate that he's a warrior," Pitt coach Paul Chryst said. "I appreciate what he does. I love the way he plays. He's pretty even keeled and obviously competitive."

Turns out, so are the Tar Heels.

North Carolina quarterback Marquise Williams racked up 252 total yards, including a pair of touchdown runs as the Tar Heels (5-5, 4-3) won their fourth straight after a 1-5 start.

"We talk about adversity all the time and what you have to do with it," coach Larry Fedora said. "They didn't blink and kept believing in each other."

Maybe, but Pitt seemed to be the believers early.

The Panthers marched 64 yards on the opening drive for a field goal and was deep in North Carolina territory on its second drive when Savage scrambled to his left and had the ball knocked out of his hand by North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin. Travis Hughes recovered and in an instant Pitt's momentum vanished.

North Carolina ripped off the game's next 27 points. Williams dashed in from 16 yards out - completely freezing Panthers defensive back Anthony Gonzalez - to give the Tar Heels the lead. After a Thomas Moore field goal, Williams ran through a pair of arm tackles during a 10-yard sprint around the left end to make it 17-3.

The Panthers had no answer for long stretches as North Carolina's rejuvenated defense, which was so abysmal earlier in the season associate head coach Vic Koennig said he was "disenchanted" by his group's play, attacked Savage relentlessly.

Still, Savage hung around and put the Panthers in position to take the game to overtime, a bid that ended when Conner found no space to move on fourth down.

 

SYRACUSE OVERWHELMED NY NO. 2 FLORIDA STATE 59-3

The Orange gave up 28 points before it managed 28 yards of offense in a 59-3 loss to No. 2 Florida State.

"This is horrible," Shafer said. "I hate it. We won't sleep for a couple of nights. I know I won't. You hate losing. God, I hate losing but you bounce back and figure out how to teach the kids because that's what we are. We're teachers."

Syracuse (5-5, 3-3) went to Tallahassee, Fla. with the No. 2 rush offense in the ACC, but found little room against the Seminoles (10-0, 8-0). The Orange managed 143 yards rushing on 50 attempts for an average of 2.9 yards per carry. Florida State ran for 225 yards and averaged 11.8 yards per carry.

Top rusher Jerome Smith was held to a yard on five attempts. Devante McFarlane posted a team-high 81 yards rushing.

"That's one of the best football teams I've seen in my 23 years coaching," Shafer said. "I'd like to see them go out there and represent the ACC and win the whole damn thing because they are a damn good football team.

"But I was disappointed because I saw us make mistakes from a physical point of view."

The Florida State defense dominated and showed why it's the No. 4 scoring defense in the FBS. The unit allowed 68 yards on 30 plays in the first half while the Seminoles' offense had 374 yards on 32 plays. The Orange fell behind 38-0 at halftime.

Syracuse managed four first downs in the first half while punting five times. Florida State now has a school record six games scoring 50-plus points.

"This is horrible," Shafer said. "I hate it. We won't sleep for a couple of nights. I know I won't. You hate losing. God, I hate losing but you bounce back and figure out how to teach the kids because that's what we are. We're teachers."

Syracuse quarterback Terrel Hunt completed 10-of-18 passes for 75 yards. Backup Drew Allen entered the game in the third quarter and completed 5-of-9 passes for 29 yards with an interception.

"They're a great team," Hunt said. "We lost to a better team, basically. It would be more of a bruised ego if we lost to a team that we're better than. But we lost to a better team - you accept it, you move on. We have two more games and we want to go 2-0."

Syracuse cornerback Julian Whigham was injured on the play, taken off the field on a stretcher and immediately loaded into an ambulance late in the first quarter. He was taken to the hospital.

Orange coach Scott Shafer said Whigham was OK in the hospital with an abdominal injury and would remain overnight. Syracuse also lost running back Prince-Tyson Gulley to a lower-body injury and receiver Jarrod West left with an upper-body injury.

"Really, we just continue to fight," Hunt said. "Other than that, we just want to flush this one down the toilet. Go in the film room, get things fixed and let it go."

On the opposite sideline, it was business as usual for Jameis Winston and Florida State.

The Heisman Trophy candidate showed no effects from a tumultuous week, completing 19-of-21 passes for 277 yards and two touchdowns.

News broke Wednesday that Winston was under investigation for an alleged sexual assault that took place Dec. 7, 2012. Attention moved away from his Heisman Trophy campaign to the many unanswered questions surrounding an investigation that is nearly a year old.

Any questions about whether the off-field issue would impact Florida State's game were answered immediately. Florida State led 28-0 in the first quarter. Syracuse was held scoreless until late in the fourth quarter.

Florida State outgained the Orange 523-427.

"It's the same thing every single week," Winston said. "We prepare ourselves the same way every single week. One thing about Florida State, we're a big family. So we stay inside the family.

"We've got the same plan every week. We want to be elite. We want to be great. And just like we had the 1993 championship team come down. We want to be just like those guys. We want to just keep everything rolling the right way."

The Seminoles are second in the BCS standings and are likely three victories away - they play Idaho, Florida and the ACC championship game in the next three weeks - from locking up a spot in the BCS championship game.

Syracuse hosts Pitt next week, trying to get the victory it needs to become bowl eligible.

TACKLING TROUBLES HOKIES IN 27-24 OT LOSS TO TERPS

On Saturday, in the Hokies' biggest game of the season, it struggled, too, and Virginia Tech's 27-24 overtime loss to Maryland came as much because of missed tackles as any offensive performance issues.

"Their quarterback was good," linebacker Jack Tyler said of the Terps' C.J. Brown. "He was elusive. He could break tackles. We just didn't tackle very well. That'll get you beat in just about any game."

Brown ran for 122 yards, including a 3-yard touchdown in overtime to win it. The play brought the Terrapins spilling into the end zone to celebrate, even as the officials said it was under review.

The play stood.

"Obviously, it was pretty awful to watch," Tyler said of the celebration.

"We got together as a group after the overtime started and basically said there's no way we're going to lose this game," he said. But Maryland needed only four offensive plays to prove him wrong.

The Hokies (7-4, 4-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) came into the game needing only to win, and then beat Virginia, and hope Duke would lose one of its three remaining games. That would have put Virginia Tech into the conference championship against No. 2 Florida State with a long-shot chance at earning a BCS bowl berth.

The Terrapins (6-4, 2-4) arrived at Lane Stadium for Senior Day having lost four of five, but scored three consecutive touchdowns to open a commanding 21-7 lead, then held on after the Hokies pulled even with 9:32 to play in regulation. In the overtime, the Terps limited Virginia Tech to a field goal.

Trailing 24-21, the Terps made quick work of the Hokies.

Brandon Ross ran for 7 yards on first down, and 15 on second down, getting the ball to the Hokies 3. After Ross was stopped for no gain, Brown rolled left and dove for the end zone just inside the pylon.

The Hokies got the ball first in overtime, and got a huge assist from Maryland in the way of a 15-yard pass interference call against Alvin Hill. That sent them up with first-and-goal at the 9, but three plays lost 5 yards and Eric Kristensen parted the uprights from 31 yards for his first career field goal.

Kristensen, who earlier missed a 34-yard field goal, was a freshman walk-on elevated to the job only this week after regular place-kicker Cody Journell was dismissed from the teams for violating a team rule.

The Hokies came out sharp, but after a crisp early scoring drive, their offense went stagnant.

Despite struggling offensively, Virginia Tech did just enough to pull even.

Thomas capped a 12-yard drive set up by Demitri Knowles' 88-yard kickoff return with a 1-yard pass to D.J. Coles, and he finished a 65-yard drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Willie Byrn with 9:32 remaining.

Thomas was 19 for 31 for 210 yards. The Terrapins also had seven sacks for minus-48 yards.

After the Hokies pulled even, neither team got much of anything done on offense the rest of the way.

Maryland went ahead 21-7 with the opening drive of the second half, and did it quickly.

With Virginia Tech no doubt geared to stop Brown from running, he hit Amba Etta-Tawo for 43 yards to get the ball to the Hokies 16, and Nigel King for the touchdown on the next play. The play to King was originally ruled an incomplete pass or drop, but the officials overturned it after review.

Brown's running ability gave the Terps a 14-7 lead. After he hit Etta-Tawo for 17 yards and a 15-yard roughing the passer against James Gayle was tacked on, Brown scrambled for 16 yards. He spiked the ball to stop the clock, ran 7 yards to get the ball to the Hokies 1 and took it in on the next play.

Maryland drew even in the second quarter when William Likely, who had returned the previous punt 37 yards, fielded a short punt at the 37, cut upfield and went 63 yards for a touchdown. It was the second punt return touchdown against the Hokies this season; Alabama's Christion Jones returned one 72 yards.

The Hokies drove 76 yards for a touchdown with their second possession. Thomas hit D.J. Coles for 12 yards, Trey Edmunds for 11 with a 15-yard face-masking penalty tacked on, and Kalvin Cline for 31 to get the ball to the Terps 12. Two runs by Edmunds and Kristensen's extra point made it 7-0.