N.C. State 33, Marshall 16
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ North Carolina State escaped its third scare in five years against Marshall, rallying behind quarterback Terry Harvey in the second half for a 33-16 season-opening victory Thursday night.
Harvey, who pitched minor league baseball this summer, started slowly and appeared rusty early after taking two weeks off in preseason because of a sore arm. But the senior was 7-of-10 for 94 yards and one rushing touchdown in the pivotal 12-point third quarter for the Wolfpack, which has won eight straight openers.
Marshall, an NCAA Division I-AA team and defending Southern Conference champion, led 7-0 and 10-7 in the first half. Harvey hit Mike Guffie with a 19-yard scoring pass 17 seconds before halftime after being faced with an almost insurmountable third-and-40 following two holding calls.
Harvey later hit Guffie, who had career highs of six catches for 107 yards, for a 20-yard score midway through the final quarter to put the game out of reach.
Harvey finished 15 of 24 for 181 yards, which moved him into fourth place on the Wolfpack career passing charts with 4,007 yards. He passed for two scores and ran for one.
The Thundering Herd, ranked No. 2 in I-AA, also led the Wolfpack before losing 15-14 in 1991 and 24-17 in 1993.
Marshall hurt itself with nine penalties for 92 yards in the first half and some key mistakes in the third quarter, when N.C. State took control.
With N.C. State leading 14-10, Harvey completed passes of 10, 14, 16 and 18 yards in the opening third-quarter drive that resulted in a 20-yard field goal.
It appeared the Wolfpack had recovered a lateral in the end zone by Marshall quarterback Larry Harris less than two minutes later, but officials ruled N.C. State never had possession and gave the ball back to Marshall.
On the ensuing play, the ball was hiked over the head of freshman punter Chris Hanson, who walked out of the end zone for a safety.
After a change of possession, Harvey completed a short pass to Guffie, who turned it into a nifty 23-yard gain. Two plays later, Harvey recovered Rod Brown’s fumble in the end zone and the Wolfpack led 26-10 late in the third period.
Marshall opened the game with a 24-yard gain on a reverse and marched 65 yards in 10 plays for a 7-0 lead. Chris Parker capped the 5 1/2-minute drive with a 3-yard run. His 51st career rushing TD was a Southern Conference record.
N.C. State, trailing 10-7, got decent field position after a 22-yard punt by Marshall late in the half. But after driving to the Thundering Herd 30, two holding calls left N.C. State facing third-and-40 from its 40.
Harvey hit Guffie with a 25-yard completion and an interference penalty on his next pass to Greg Addis gave the Wolfpack a first down at the 19. Harvey then hit Guffie in the right corner of the end zone over double coverage to give N.C. State the go-ahead score with 17 seconds left before halftime.