No. 23 N. Carolina St. 28, No. 16 Mississippi St. 24
ATLANTA (AP) _ Terry Harvey passed for one touchdown and set up another just over three minutes later with a 62-yard completion as No. 23 North Carolina State rallied to beat Mississippi State 28-24 in the Peach Bowl Sunday night.
Harvey connected with Dallas Dickerson on a 3-yard scoring pass with 1:12 left in the third quarter and then ran for a 2-point conversion that tied the game at 21.
After State failed to get a first down, Harvey took the Wolfpack (9-3) 80 yards in four plays, with Carlos King getting the final 11 yards with 13:06 to play. The key play in the drive was Harvey’s 62-yard pass to Jimmy Grissett to the Mississippi State 13.
Grissett made the catch at the Bulldogs 45 between defenders, who collided, allowing Grissett to race away before being knocked out of bounds by Clay Mack.
Mississippi State (8-4) reached the Wolfpack 28 in the closing minutes, but couldn’t overcome a 15-yard penalty for an offensive face mask violation.
The Bulldogs, a one-touchdown favorite, had numerous opportunities to take control, but had to settle for five field goals by Tim Rogers, covering 37, 21, 29, 36 and 30 yards.
Mississippi State broke a 13-13 halftime tie early in the third quarter when Andre Bennett blocked Chad Robson’s punt from the Wolfpack 39. The ball ended up in the end zone where Robson fought off Bulldogs defenders for the recovery that gave the Mississippians a safety.
Keffer McGee’s 50-yard return with the free kick to the 15 was wasted, with Mississippi State settling for a field goal. Four plays later, Larry Williams sacked Harvey, forced and recovered a fumble at the NC State 21. Once again, the Bulldogs had to settle for a field goal and a 21-13 lead with 8:36 left in the period.
Harvey then engineered the scoring drives of 69 and 80 yards that lifted the Wolfpack to victory. Harvey had a 13-yard run on a third-and-nine play at the Mississippi State 18 three plays before finding Dickerson in the left side of the end zone for the touchdown.
The Bulldogs cut the lead to 28-24 with 4:47 left on Rogers’ fifth field goal that came after Robert Isaac had downed Andy Russ’ punt on the NC State 1 and gained possession after a Pack punt at the 33.
Mississippi State scored on its first three possessions and the Wolfpack on the first two.
Tremayne Stephens had runs of 12 and 17 yards and Terry Harvey completed a pass of 19 yards to Mike Guffie in North Carolina State’s 80-yard opening drive that ended on Stephens’ 1-yard run with 9:21 left in the period.
The Wolfpack took a 10-6 lead on Steve Videtich’s 45-yard field goal less than two minutes into the second quarter, capping a 43-yard drive in which Stephens had one run for 20 yards.
Videtich lifted the Pack into a 13-13 halftime tie on a 36-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining, capping a 50-yard drive that included one fourth down conversion for a yard and a 17-yard run by Carlos King.
Derrick Taite completed four passes for 43 yards as the Bulldogs drove 45 yards with the opening kickoff, taking a 3-0 lead on Rogers’ first field goal. Kevin Bouie sparked the second field goal drive with 50 yards on seven carries, one a 16-yard scamper, plus an 11-yard reception from Taite.
The Bulldogs’ only touchdown drive covered 78 yards in 12 plays, overcoming a 5-yard sack with a tacked-on 10-yard holding penalty that created a first-and-25 situation at the Mississippi State 19.
Facing third-and-13 at the 31, Darrin Clark hit McGee on a short pass and McGee completed a 44-yard play to the Wolfpack 25. Five plays later, Michael Davis scored on an 11-yard run.