No. 24 Virginia 42, No. 18 N. Carolina St. 10
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Matt Blundin continued his season of perfection on Saturday, hitting Larry Holmes with two first-half scoring passes as No. 24 Virginia pounded No. 18 North Carolina State 42-10 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The Cavaliers (7-2-1 overall, 4-2-1 ACC) beat the Wolfpack (7-2, 3-2) for the sixth straight time and knocked them out of the ACC title chase. Virginia is 6-0-1 in its last seven games.
Blundin, who entered the game with 184 pass attempts without an interception, completed eight of 10 passes for 192 yards and no interceptions in the opening half. Virginia led 35-3 at intermission with 320 offensive yards.
Blundin, who has completed 60 percent of his passes, finished 13 of 17 for 230 yards. The 6-foot-7 quarterback is 14 attempts short of Jack Trudeau’s NCAA mark of 215 consecutive attempts without an interception, set at Illinois in 1985.
While Blundin was picking apart the nationally ranked Wolfpack defense and the rushing game was churning out big gains in the opening half, the Cavaliers defense turned back two early Wolfpack scoring opportunities after turnovers.
Virginia tailback Terry Kirby fumbled on the second play from scrimmage at his own 38, but the Wolfpack was stopped on downs and forced to punt.
Virginia struck quickly on its next series, as it did on four of its five scoring drives in the first half. Four Cavaliers touchdowns came on drives of less than two minutes.
Blundin’s 91-yard completion to Tyrone Davis set up Kirby’s 1-yard plunge with 10:54 left in the first period. The pass play was the fourth-longest in Virginia history.
Keith Lyle’s interception two plays later helped set up Nikki Fisher’s 11- yard scoring run before a soaked Wolfpack crowd and representatives of seven bowl games.
The next two series turned the tide even more toward Virginia. N.C. State ate up more than nine minutes on a 19-play drive, but could only come away with a 36-yard field goal by Damon Hartman.
The ensuing kickoff was skied in the air short to the up coverage men. Linebacker Brian Gerczak and another Cavalier collided and Gerczak fumbled at the Virginia 29. Virginia stiffened and, after three plays lost 2 yards, Hartman missed a 48-yard field goal into a 20 mph wind.
After the Cavaliers took over, Blundin, who completed his first six passes, hit Holmes on a 15-yard completion to start the drive, then ended it with a 33-yard scoring strike to the sophomore, who danced his way over the middle and through a confused Wolfpack secondary.
After three Wolfpack incompletions on the next series, Virginia went to the ground for most of its yardage on the fourth scoring drive. Gary Steele capped the march with a 1-yard plunge with 6:13 left before halftime.
After the Wolfpack was stopped on a fourth-and-one deep in its own territory on the next series, Blundin hooked up with Holmes again on a 20-yard scoring play to close the first-half scoring barrage. It was Blundin’s 16th TD pass of the season.