Coastal Carolina, Gardner-Webb Win Football Openers
COASTAL CAROLINA 30, FURMAN 23
Coastal Carolina's Aramis Hillary plunged into the endzone with 1:32 remaining in the game to provide the Chanticleers with the decisive score in its 30-23 victory over Furman on Saturday, September 3 at Brooks Stadium. The win was Coastal's first victory in a season opener at home since the program's inaugural win over Newberry in 2003. Additionally, the victory was also Coastal's first win in a season opener since defeating Elon 17-10 on September 3, 2005.
Coastal struggled out of the gate, going three-and-out on its first possession and had a short punt, giving Furman the ball on the Chanticleer 44. The Paladins would work their way to the red zone, but back-to-back incomplete passes forced a 36-yard field goal by Ray Early. Senior safety Marcus Lott jumped from the middle of the pile and blocked the kick for his first career block and the 18th blocked kick in Coastal's ninth year of football.
The Chants used that momentum to put together a 15-play, 79-yard methodical drive as just two plays -- a 10-yard rush and a 13-yard rush -- being over 10-yards. Hillary had that 13-yard rush on play 14 of the drive to the Furman four and he capped the drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Grant Clayton added the extra point for a 7-0 Chanticleer lead.
Furman's Sederrik Cunningham returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Coastal 39. Paladin quarterback Chris Forcier had runs of five, six and 11 yards, while Jerodis Williams had runs of six, eight and five yards - the last going for a touchdown. The extra point sailed wide left to leave the score at 7-6.
Coastal took advantage of an acrobatic, 28-yard catch by Dushawn Davis from Jamie Childers to work its way into field goal range. Clayton connected from 24 yards as the second quarter began for a 10-6 CCU lead.
After a Furman punt, Childers used his legs to gain two first downs and Coastal got help from a late hit to get to the Furman 20. Two plays later, Childers hit Chris Presley for a 19-yard TD. The PAT was missed and Coastal led 16-6.
The teams traded punts and Furman had the ball with 39 seconds left from near midfield. Forcier had a 10-yard run and completed passes to Colin Anderson (eight yards), Cunningham (eight yards) and Anderson (six yards) setting up a 37-yard Chas Short field goal with two seconds left, making the score 16-9 at the break.
To start the second half, Furman took the opening kickoff and reached the red zone. However, back-to-back penalties pushed the Paladins out of field goal range, forcing a punt. The Chants were unable to move ball and punted the ball back to Furman. The Paladins looked to have scored on a 43-yard run by Forcier, but a penalty backed Furman up near midfield facing first-and-20. Undaunted, Forcier had completions of 10 and 12 yards then ran the ball for a 17-yard gain. Forcier found Tyler Maples for a 24-yard gain and Ryan Culbreath for 14 yards to the one-inch line. Williams plunged into the endzone for a one-yard score. The extra point knotted the game at 16 each.
The Chants answered with a 34-yard kick return by Niccolo Mastromatteo. A pass interference call moved the Chants to the Furman 46 then Hillary hit Matt Hazel for a 39-yard completion down the left sideline. Two plays later, Aaron Jones scored from four yards out. Clayton's extra point put the Chants back on top 23-16.
On the ensuing drive, Forcier left the game after one play due to a cramp. On the next play, Furman ran a toss sweep to Williams, who exited out of a pile of players for a 68-yard touchdown -- the longest rush of his career -- to tie the game at 23.
After a CCU punt, the Chants created the first turnover of the game. After a completion, Coastal forced and recovered a fumble. Coastal got inside the five and attempted a field goal on fourth-and-two. The kick missed left and gave the Paladins the ball on their own 20.
Coastal forced a punt and had Jeremy Height and Travis Small make hard runs to move the ball to the Furman three. Hillary then capped the drive with a three-yard rushing TD with 1:32 left in the game. Clayton split the uprights on the PAT to put the Chants up seven, 30-23.
Furman would receive one final possession with 1:32 to play in the game. On the first play of the series junior Jamel Davis dropped the Paladin quarterback for an eight yard loss. Coastal would force Furman into a turnover on downs after three straight incompletions to secure the victory.
The Chanticleers return to the gridiron on Saturday, Sept. 10 as hosts to the Catawba Indians at Brooks Stadium. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.
GARDNER-WEBB 34, BREVARD 17
Kenny Little ran for a career-high 131 yards and three touchdowns and Juanne Blount added 102 yards on the ground as Gardner-Webb piled up 437 offensive yards to beat Brevard 34-17 Saturday night.
The Runnin' Bulldogs (1-0) had two backs post 100-yard games in the same contest for the first time since October 12, 2002 against Elon -- when quarterback Jeremy Martin and running back Chris Foster accomplished the feat.
Head coach Ron Dickerson, Jr., picked up his first career head coaching win in the process.
Gardner-Webb scored 17 unanswered points to pull away, getting a 34-yard scoring pass from Chandler Browning to James Perry III with 6:30 to play before halftime to give the 'Dogs a 17-10 lead, and Trever Austin booted his second field goal of the game -- a 33-yarder -- just before halftime for a 20-10 lead at the break.
After a scoreless third quarter, Little capped a 14-play, 80-yard drive with a one-yard scoring plunge for a 27-10 lead with 13:13 to play in the game. Brevard (0-1) responded with a 75-yard scoring drive on five plays to cut the lead to 27-17, as Derek Church scored from 10 yards out with 10:56 left.
Little put the Bulldogs in the end zone again with 6:24 to play for the final margin, scoring from three yards out.
Gardner-Webb finished with 220 yards on the ground and 217 through the air, averaging a solid 5.9 yards per play. The 'Dogs had 249 of their 437 yards in the second half, controlling the clock with a punishing ground game that featured Little and Blount.
GWU held a 25-10 edge in first downs and nearly a seven-minute edge in time of possession. The 'Dogs were also a solid 7-of-15 on third down.
The balance was just what Dickerson and his staff were in search of.
Brevard led 7-3 after the first quarter, getting a six-yard run from Church to cap a 66-yard drive out of the gate. Austin answered with a 30-yard field goal to get GWU on the board, and the 'Dogs began to get rolling offensively from there.
Browning completed 14-of-26 passes for a career 217 yards and a score, and Perry finished with six catches for 107 yards -- including his slippery run after catch to score in the second quarter. Little added 48 yards receiving -- finishing with 179 all-purpose yards.
GWU had a 62-yard touchdown play on a screen from Browning to Ricky Rhodes called back due to a hold in the third quarter, but later scored on the same drive. Rhodes also had a 79-yard punt return chopped down to a 59-yarder due to a personal foul behind the play during the return and returned three kickoffs for 75 yards. The Richmond, Ky., speedster finished with 193 all-purpose yards on the evening.
Brevard finished with 245 yards on the ground Saturday, with quarterback Aaron Reese leading the way with 11 yards on 15 carries. Church added 97 yards and a pair of scores from his fullback spot. Reese was just 2-for-6 for 18 yards through the air, and Gardner-Webb's defense was able to limit the Tornados to just a 2-for-10 effort on third down.
Devin Johnson led the GWU defense with a career-high 15 stops. Lyndrez Leslie and Jordan Woods each had six hits, including two tackles for loss each. Tyler Hough-Jenkins came off the bench to record a pair of tackles behind the line and a quarterback pressure for the 'Dogs.
Michael Gist and C.J. Wilson each had 13 hits to pace Brevard's defense.
Gardner-Webb will hit the road next week for a game at Ohio University. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm in Athens, Ohio.
UTEP 31, STONY BROOK 24 (OT)
Six Football Championship Subdivision schools (FCS) beat Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools in 2010. Stony Brook nearly accomplished the feat in its second-ever game. Helped by a solid ground game and some timely defense, the Seawolves led for most of the game, but UTEP rallied in the fourth quarter, eventually coming away with a 31-24 win in overtime over Stony Brook.
Junior Miguel Maysonet and senior Brock Jackolski combined for 199 rushing yards as Stony Brook gained 232 yards on the ground. The defense, led by senior Donald Porter's two interceptions, recovered two fumbles, including one for a touchdown.
UTEP came back from a 14-point deficit, tying the game at 24 with 4:04 left in regulation. It had the first possession in overtime as quarterback Nick Lamaison found Donavon Kemp for the touchdown on the first play. On Stony Brook's first possession, senior quarterback Michael Coulter was looking for Jackolski, but Travaun Nixon intercepted the ball at the four to end the game.
Stony Brook got its offense started on the second possession of the game. After a 24-yard, play-action pass from Coulter to junior Chris Fenelon, Jackolski found space, scampering 34 yards off left guard for the touchdown and a 7-0 Seawolves lead. Stony Brook out-gained UTEP in total yards, 183-55, in the first quarter and by more than 200 yards at halftime.
UTEP got on the board with a 44-yard field goal from Dakota Warren with 13:02 to go in the second quarter. The Seawolves offense went back to work in the middle of the second quarter. After Porter picked off Lamaison, Maysonet had a 24-yard rush followed by a 32-yard pass play from Coulter to junior Brett Arce, giving SBU a first and goal from the six. The Seawolves advanced to the one, and settled for a 19-yard field goal from junior Wesley Skiffington and a 10-3 halftime lead.
UTEP scored on the opening possession of the second half, tying the score at 10, going 63 yards in 11 plays.
Senior Matt Brevi keyed the next drive for Stony Brook with two big receptions on third down. On first and 10 from the UTEP 17, Coulter found junior Jordan Gush for a 14-yard gain. Two plays later, junior Kyle Essington faked the give and went in for the 2-yard touchdown. The drive was 83 yards in 14 plays, taking up more than six minutes of action.
On UTEP's next drive, Lamaison fumbled the ball after a hurry by junior Jonathan Coats. Coats recovered the fumble and ran 14 yards for the score, giving Stony Brook a 24-10 lead, its biggest of the game.
UTEP answered with a touchdown on its next drive, helped by a 48-yard reception by Kemp. UTEP then drove the ball down the field all the way to the 2, but the Miners were not able to gain any ground on the next three downs, and on fourth down, Porter intercepted Lamaison in the end zone for his second pick of the game with 11:49 to go in regulation.
UTEP again had the ball deep in Stony Brook territory, but the Seawolves came up with another big play. On second and two from the 20, Lamaison found Vernon Frazier for a 19-yard gain, but sophomore Vincent Polo jarred the ball loose and junior Dominick Reyes recovered the ball in the end zone, forcing a touchback.
With short field position, UTEP scored on its next possession. Lamaison found Eric Tomlinson for a 21-yard score to make it 24-24 with 4:04 left in regulation.
Warren missed a 61-yard field goal wide left as time expired in regulation.
Stony Brook returns to action on September 10 when it takes on Buffalo. The game will be televised on Time Warner Cable Sports and ESPN3.com.
DELAWARE STATE 24, VMI 21
Justin Wilson had 110 yards receiving, including the third quarter touchdown that gave the Delaware State Hornets the lead for good, helping the visiting DSU squad to a 24-21 win over the VMI Keydets Saturday afternoon at VMI's Foster Stadium in Lexington. The game was the season opener for both teams.
With the game tied at 14 midway through the third period, DSU quarterback Nick Elko found Wilson on a deep route near the left hash mark. The redshirt junior made the catch at the 15 yard line and outran the VMI defense to the goal line, putting the visitors up 21-14. A Mitchell Ward field goal pushed that lead to 10, and the Hornets survived Chaz Jones' third touchdown run of the game to win by three.
The loss ended a streak of six straight season-opening wins for VMI, a run that dated back to 2005, and it was the Keydets' first home loss in a season opener since 2000. Jones had three rushing touchdowns for the Keydets, the second time in his career he accomplished that feat, after also doing so last season at Charleston Southern. VMI quarterback Eric Kordenbrock went 22 for 43, tying the fifth-most pass attempts in school history, while Chris Harper and A.J. Gross led the way defensively, making nine tackles apiece.
Travis Tarpley had 174 all-purpose yards for DSU, while Wilson caught six passes to account for his 110 yards through the air. Hornets' quarterback Nick Elko was 17 for 32 for 232 yards and three scores.
Delaware State won the coin toss and chose to receive on the warm, clear day, but Demetri Phillips forced a fumble on the return. Miguel Marshall pounced on the loose ball at the Hornets' 11, and three plays later, Jones scored from a yard out to give VMI the early edge. A Jeff Sexton PAT made it VMI 7, DSU 0 less than a minute into the season.
After the Keydet defense forced a punt, the VMI offense took over at its own 14. The first play was a Kordenbrock pass that was batted in the air and intercepted by Brandon Harvey, leading moments later to an Elko touchdown strike that put the visitors on the board. A missed PAT allowed VMI to maintain its advantage, 7-6 at the 12:03 mark of the first quarter.
That play would cap the first quarter scoring, as the teams combined to punt the ball six times the remainder of the period, including a 65-yard boot by DSU's Marko Kano.
The home team put together another scoring drive at 10:14 of the second quarter, as it took over at the DSU 47. Jones accounted for the first 33 yards on the drive, and then capped the effort when he plunged into the endzone from two yards out. He was hit at the one by Harvey, fumbled the ball, but then fell on his own miscue for the touchdown and a 14-6 VMI lead.
The Hornets came right back, as Elko found Wilson for a 28-yard strike, setting up the same tandem for a seven-yard TD just two plays later. Tarpley then caught the ensuing two-point try, and the five-play, 56-yard drive tied the game with 4:27 left in the half. Neither team could mount a serious threat over the rest of the half, and contest went to the intermission deadlocked at 14.
Jones ran for 61 yards in the first half, while Kordenbrock went 10 for 18 to lead the VMI offense. Byron Allen had four stops over the first 30 minutes for the Keydet defense. The halftime story, however, was the weather, as shortly before halftime, the skies began to darken due to an approaching thunderstorm. Just before the start of the third quarter, the teams were pulled off the field and the stadium was cleared due to lightning, leading to a 68-minute weather delay.
Once the third quarter did get underway, it started with a very unorthodox play, as Kordenbrock was intercepted by Matt Spicer of Delaware State on the opening play. Spicer then fumbled the ball while being hit by Tracy Hairston, and D'Angelo Smith recovered to give the Keydets the ball once again.
VMI could not take advantage of the opportunity, and after an exchange of punts, mounted another try. Kordenbrock drove his team 51 yards in 10 plays, setting up a 4th down from the DSU 12. Sexton came on to try a field goal, but misfired wide left and the game remained tied, 14-14.
The Hornets took advantage, as Elko found Wilson for a quick first down. One play later, Jaashawn Jones marched 20 yards down the far sideline, setting up Wilson's decisive touchdown catch that gave Delaware State the lead for good, 21-14. The final drive of the quarter belonged to the visitors as well, as a spurt sparked by a Elko-to-Tarpley 37-yard connection moved DSU into position for a field goal. Ward converted the 24-yard try 2:09 into the fourth quarter, putting the Hornets up 24-14.
VMI marched back down the field once again, stringing together an 11-play, 71-yard drive that included five Kordenbrock completions, none bigger than a 40-yard strike to Trent White on 3rd down and 14. Jones ended the effort with a four-yard TD run, and Sexton's PAT made it 24-21, VMI, with 7:38 remaining.
The Keydets then kicked the ball off, and DSU ran the clock down with an eight-play drive, covering just 28 yards but burning 4:47 before they were forced to punt. The final VMI drive started at its own 20 with 2:51 remaining, but three incompletions and a pass for no gain led to a turnover on downs, and the Hornets ran out the clock to earn the 24-21 win.
The two teams were very evenly matched statistically, as DSU had 346 total yards to VMI's 340. The Hornets threw for 232 yards, while VMI accounted for 227 yards through the air, and the teams were within one yard on the ground as well, with DSU holding a 114-113 edge. In addition, the Keydets committed three turnovers to the Hornets' two. In addition, VMI held just a 14-second lead in time of possession, 30:07 to 29:53.
VMI will be back in action next Saturday, hosting perennial FCS powerhouse William & Mary. Opening kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.
#8/8 WOFFORD 35, PRESBYTERIAN 28
The Presbyterian College football team scored 21 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters to tie No. 8 Wofford, but a Terriers touchdown in the final minute gave the visitors a win in both teams' season opener at Bailey Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
PC falls to 0-1 on the year and will host North Greenville on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 1:30 p.m. Wofford starts the season at 1-0.
After rallying from a 28-14 deficit in the fourth quarter to sit seven points back, the Blue Hose tied up the game on a Lance Byrd four-yard touchdown run with 5:32 remaining to cap a 21-point run.
The teams each traded a possession before Wofford took over on its own 44 with 2:21 left. The Terriers took advantage of two long runs to set up a 26-yard scoring pass from Mitch Allen to Jeff Ashley that put Wofford ahead with 51 seconds on the clock. PC began an answering drive with a 17-yard completion to Patrick McKoy, but an interception sealed the result.
PC outgained Wofford through the air, 209 yards to 182, and picked up a total of 326 yards.
Byrd led the PC ground attack with 62 yards and a touchdown, while Seth Moreland added 51 yards and a score as well. Under center, Ryan Singer went nine-for-18 with a touchdown and 121 yards while Brandon Miley completed 10 of 18 passes for 88 yards. Each quarterback threw one interception.
Michael Ruff grabbed six passes for 50 yards and McKoy led the PC receiving corps in yardage, with 66.
Defensively, Justin Bethel led the team with eight solo tackles and an interception while also assisting on three tackles. Brian Davis collected PC's lone sack and recorded two tackles for a loss, part of PC's eight on the day.
LJ Perry also picked up two tackles for a loss. Donelle Williams recovered a fumble and made six solo tackles.
The Blue Hose grabbed the first lead of the game on their third possession. A Mark Williams punt return put PC in Wofford territory, where three rushes from Ruff and Byrd brought PC 28 yards from paydirt. From there, Moreland only needed one play to scamper down the right side to put the Blue Hose ahead, 7-0.
Wofford struck early in the second quarter, using the option to string rushes together en route to an Eric Breitenstein score. Breitenstein ran for 107 yards and Donovan Johnson also recorded 100, part of Wofford's 380 total rushing yards.
The Terriers turned an interception on the next series into a touchdown via a Mitch Allen seven-yard rush to take the lead, 14-7. Wofford would take the lead into halftime before scoring on the first possession of the third quarter. A handoff to Lavadrick Farrar looked like a run, but Farrar pulled back and threw a pass over the top to Jeff Ashley for a 44-yard touchdown to lead 21-7.
Bethel snuffed out a Wofford drive shortly after the score with his first interception of the season and ran for a 34-yard return, but the Blue Hose could not capitalize.
Wofford scored once more in the quarter, a 50-yard completion to Andrew Young to go ahead, 28-7.
Down by 21, the Blue Hose began to mount their comeback with a touchdown pass in the final minute of the third quarter. The 14-play, 47-yard drive saw Singer connect with four different receivers and Moreland and Byrd contributed rushes before a floating Singer pass to the right corner of the end zone found Joey Gilkey from four yards out to cut the Wofford lead in half going into the final quarter.
The PC defense forced a three-and-out to start the fourth and Singer began a 49-yard drive. The quarterback took a late hit on a roughing the passer penalty to set up a Demarcus Rouse goal-line dive to pull PC within seven with 10:15 left in the game, 28-21.
Wofford began a march down the field but PC cut the drive short as Donelle Williams jumped on a backfield fumble to give the Blue Hose possession on the Terriers' 47-yard line.
PC took full advantage of the opportunity, setting up Byrd's tying score to complete the comeback.
The Blue Hose return to action at Bailey Memorial Stadium on Saturday against North Greenville. The game is slated for a 1:30 p.m. start.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE 43, #18/22 LIBERTY 21
No. 22/18 Liberty committed seven turnovers, including two during the final five minutes of the game, which broke open a close contest with N.C. State. The last two giveaways led to the Wolfpack's final 13 points in a 43-21 win over Liberty, Saturday evening, inside of Carter-Finley Stadium.
The loss is only the second season-opening setback for the Flames during the six-year tenure of head coach Danny Rocco. The first was a 33-20 loss to the BIG EAST's West Virginia to open up the 2009 campaign.
Nearly 15 minutes of football went by before either team could put a dent in the scoreboard, as N.C. State took its first lead of the evening on a 32-yard field goal by Niklas Sade.
The two teams traded a pair of possessions before the Wolfpack mounted an 11-play, 64-yard scoring drive that gave Sade, a true freshman, his first collegiate field goal.
The drive nearly started 20 yards back, as a punt by Mike Larsson was almost downed at the N.C. State one-yard line. However, the ball just trickled into the end zone to give N.C. State possession at its own 20-yard line.
Five-straight rushing plays led to four completions in a row by N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon. A fifth-consecutive try was unsuccessful when Glennon was flushed from the pocket and had to hurry an attempt to Jay Smith to set up the field goal.
A pair of miscues early in the second quarter led to some excitement and the first Liberty lead of the evening.
A high snap to Mike Brown led to a loose ball, as the ball was stripped from Liberty's senior quarterback by Darryl Cato-Bishop and picked up by Audie Cole at the N.C. State 38-yard line.
However, Liberty quickly returned the favor and sacked Glennon on the next play. The tackle by Walt Aikens jarred the ball loose and Francis Bah picked up the free ball and returned it 32 yards to give Liberty a 7-3 edge with 13:30 left in the opening half.
The score remained the same for the next 10 minutes until an 82-yard punt return by T.J. Graham gave N.C. State a 9-7 lead with 3:38 remaining until halftime.
Liberty was forced to punt on a fourth-and-12 play at its own 35-yard line. Larsson's punt skipped over Graham's head and the senior only gained five yards before being tackled.
However, the Wolfpack were called for holding on the play and the Flames elected to retry the punt to attempt to pin N.C. State inside its 20-yard line.
Graham then took advantage of the extra opportunity, as the senior fielded the ball and quickly got to the outside. After getting one last key block around midfield, the senior found the end zone for his second career punt return and the 11th-longest in N.C. State history.
A penalty was called on the point after attempt and Sade did not find the extra chance to his liking, as the freshman missed to the right to keep the score 9-7.
Another Liberty turnover allowed the Wolfpack to extend their lead to 16-7 going into the locker room at halftime.
Following a 39-yard kickoff return by Kevin Fogg, Liberty started with possession at the N.C. State 47-yard line. After a two-yard rushing gain by Sirchauncey Holloway, Brown's attempted pass over the middle was intercepted by D.J. Green to give the home team the ball back.
Following two lengthy passing plays by Glennon, Liberty nearly made a goal line stand. But a second effort by James Washington gave the junior halfback a one-yard touchdown score, capping off a quick 10-play, 57-yard drive to extend N.C. State's margin to nine with 32 seconds left before the halftime break.
Brown finished the opening half 14-of-23 for 128 yards, with two interceptions, while Glennon completed 11-of-21 passing attempts for 97 yards for N.C. State.
Brown was Liberty's leading first-half rusher, finishing the first 30 minutes with 10 of Liberty's 15 rushing attempts for 11 yards. N.C. State evenly distributed its 18 hand-offs, with Washington leading the way with seven carries for 25 yards.
Hayes (five receptions for 38 yards) and Ervin Garner (three receptions for 44 yards) paced all receivers during the first half; with N.C. State's receiving leader being Tobais Palmer (two receptions for 27 yards).
The third turnover of the game by Brown led to N.C. State's first touchdown of the second half. Trying to reach the first-down marker on a second-and-seven play, Brown was stopped one yard short by Earl Wolff. While the safety was bringing Brown to the ground, he stripped the ball loose.
Brian Slay recovered the miscue and returned it 52 yards for a score. The fourth-longest fumble return in Wolfpack history pushed N.C. State's lead to 23-7 at the 8:51 mark of the third quarter.
Following a 24-yard return by Korrey Davis, Brown got to the outside for a 21-yard burst. N.C. State was whistled for a late hit out of bounds, giving the Flames the ball at the 27-yard line.
The Walter Payton candidate connection of Brown and Chris Summers then found each other for the first time in 2011. Brown lofted a ball into the end zone 27 yards downfield, giving Summers his 20th career touchdown. Following a short pass from Brown to Pat Kelly in the back left corner of the end zone, the two-point conversion pulled the Flames within eight, 23-15, 25 seconds later.
Big plays continue to lead to scoring efforts, this time benefiting the homestanding Wolfpack. After a 44-yard kickoff return by Graham that started N.C. State at Liberty's 33-yard line, Curtis Underwood scored two plays later on a 33-yard run to give the Wolfpack a 15-point edge, 30-15, just 10 seconds after Liberty's score.
The Flames pieced together an eight-play, 40-yard scoring drive to pull back within 12 points, 30-18, following a 50-yard field goal by two-time All-America kicker Matt Bevins. The 50-yard boot was the fourth 50-plus yard field goal of the senior's career.
After Liberty forced a three-and-out series, the Flames continued to chip away at N.C. State's advantage. Another eight-play drive stalled at the 21-yard line when Aldreakis Allen was stopped on an attempted run on a third-and-three play.
Liberty was forced to settle for Bevins' second field goal of the second half, a 38-yarder, trimming the lead to nine, 30-21, just 39 seconds into the final quarter. The three-pointer was his school-record 56th of his career.
Six minutes later, Rocco challenged a call and got the initial ruling on the field overturned, giving the Flames the ball back after a fumble by Underwood at the N.C. State 32-yard line.
However, Brown fumbled on the very next play when he was struck by Jeff Rieskamp and the loose football was scooped up by Slay with 7:40 left to play.
During the remaining minutes of the contest, N.C. State scored twice, once on a Glennon pass to Mario Carter and the second on a 19-yard rushing touchdown by Washington. Washington's second score of the night was set up by an interception, when David Amerson picked off Brown for the third and final time of the night.
Liberty outgained the Wolfpack on the night, 406 to 318 yards, with 295 yards coming via the Flames' passing game.
Brown finished the evening 22-of-39 for 279 yards, but had his third three-interception game of his career. Glennon finished his first game as N.C. State's starting quarterback 18-of-31 for 156 yards. Both hurlers had one touchdown pass.
Brown was Liberty's top rusher, finishing the night with 20 rushing attempts for 77 yards, followed by five carries from Allen (13 yards) and three rushing attempts by B.J. Hayes (15 yards). Underwood led the Wolfpack with 14 carries for 114 yards.
Kelly finished as Liberty's top receiver for the second game in a row. After setting a program and Big South record with 235 receiving yards in Liberty's 2010 season finale against Stony Brook, the junior caught six passes for 80 yards against N.C. State. Hayes also pulled in six passes for 47 yards, while Summers finished with five receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown.
Liberty's top tackler in the game was defensive lineman Paco Varol, who finished with seven stops, including five solo tackles, two tackles for a loss, a sack and a forced fumble in his first career start.
Another first-time starter, linebacker Nick Sigmon, completed his first collegiate game with six tackles, including five solo stops.
The Flames will open up the 2011 portion of the home schedule next weekend at Williams Stadium against Robert Morris. Kickoff for the contest is slated for Saturday at 7 p.m.
UCF 62, CHARLESTON SOUTHERN 0
Charleston Southern's youth and inexperience was no match for the reigning Conference USA Champions, as the Knights of Central Florida (1-0) overpowered the Buccaneers (0-1) from the start and took the 62-0 on Saturday evening at Bright House Network Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
With a large number of players making their collegiate debuts, CSU finished the night with 119 yards of total offense to UCF's 560. Malcolm Dixon finished the night 6-of-15 for 50 yards with one interception while Richard Mounce was 3-for-3 for 20 yards. Nathan Perera led all CSU receivers with 24 yards on two catches, though Mike Davis was targeted most often with four catches for 12 yards. Tray Dorsey picked up 25 yards on seven rushing attempts, while Teddy Allen added in 19. Andy Brown punted seven times for a total of 272 yards, and was 0-for-1 on field goals.
Demaris Freeman led the Buccaneer defense with eight tackles, while Chris Kuzdale and Gabe Middlebrook each had seven. Middlebrook also had a tackle for a seven yard loss, while Delvon King picked up the Bucs lone sack of the night for a loss of five yards. Daniel Dieudonne had six tackles and a fumble recovery, and O'Brian Campbell and Matt Hardy combined for tackle for a loss of five yards.
For UCF, Jeff Godrey was 6-for-10 for 100 yards and ran for another 53 yards on seven attempts while Blake Bortles went 8-for-10 for 144 yards. Ronnie Weaver rushed for 107 yards on eight carries, while Josh Reese led all receivers with 97 yards on four catches.
Lyle Dankenbring led the UCF defense with five tackles, with Jonathan Davis picking up the Knight's only sack of the night for a loss of five yards and another TFL for a total of 10 yards. Josh Linam (five tackles), Ray Shipman (four tackles), Terrance Plummer (five tackles) and Toby Jackson (four tackles) each recorded a TFL, and Josh Robinson grabbed the only interception of the game for a 32-yard touchdown.
The Knights overpowered the Bucs from the start, picking up touchdowns on their first two possessions. Five straight rushes from Weaver set up a seven-yard rushing touchdown for Godfrey to put UCF up 7-0 two and a half minutes into the first quarter. The Bucs' inexperience showed on their first possession, as Dixon threw two incompletions in just his fourth career start to force a punt by CSU. The Knights were able to capitalize once again with a two-yard run by Latavius Murray to give them a 14-0 lead with 7:51 to go in the first quarter.
CSU couldn't pick up the first down on their next drive, and were once again forced to punt the ball way. However, a UCF fumble on the punt was recovered by Dieudonne at the UCF 44-yard line. CSU picked up the first down on a 19-yard Dixon pass to Perera and later went for it on fourth-and-three. Unfortunately, the Knights kept them out of the end zone and took over on downs on their own 20-yard line.
Led by Godfrey, the Knights marched 80 yards down the field to add another TD on a one-yard run by Godfrey, stretching the UCF advantage to 21-0 with 10:56 to go in the half. At first, it looked as though CSU's Charles James picked up his first interception of the season to give the Bucs the ball at the one-yard line; however, the play was overturned after further review allowing the Knights to convert on the drive. The Bucs had no answer to the Knights' offensive prowess, going three-and-out on their next possession.
A 45-yard pass from Godrey to Adam Nissley set up a six-yard run by Weaver to give the Knights their fourth touchdown of the night pushing the lead to 28-0. A fumble on the ensuing kick return gave the ball right back to the Knights at the CSU 10-yard line. A holding penalty pushed Central Florida back to the 14-yard line, but the Knights were still able to capitalize on the short field with a 14-yard run by Godrey to put UCF up 35-0 with 5:11 remaining in the first half.
B.J. Hackworth picked up four yards on back-to-back rushes for the Bucs, who failed to pick up the first down. A 51-yard punt by Brown gave CSU some breathing room, as the Knights failed to make it out of their own territory. UCF punted the ball away, putting the Bucs at their own 28-yard line before they ran out of time at the half and entered the locker room down 35-0.
The Bucs started the third quarter with a 20-yard kick return by Estevon Cintron. Dixon rushed twice for six yards but failed to pick up the first down and the Knights got the ball back on their own 32-yard line. Weaver had back-to-back rushes for a total of 30 yards, followed by a 32-yard run from Quincy McDuffie. McDuffie's run set up a 2-yard run for a touchdown by Murray to put UCF ahead 42-0 after Shawn Moffit's PAT with 10:32 to go.
Dixon's first career interception came at the hands of Josh Robinson with 9:08 in the third and was taken back 32 yards for the score. Moffit's kick gave the Knights the 49-0 lead. The Bucs started their next drive on their own 32-yard line, picking up a first down on a two-yard run by Dorsey. A 21-yard pass from Dixon to Greg Cuthbertson gave CSU their second first down of the drive, but the Bucs couldn't make it any farther. Brandan Davis was able to save a 41-yard punt by Brown from going into the end zone, giving UCF the ball at their own one-yard line.
With Bortles in at quarterback, the Knights made it 75 yards to the CSU 24-yard line. Three straight incompletions forced a 42-yard field goal attempt from Moffit which went wide left to prevent UCF from adding to the lead.
The Bucs went three-and-out on their next possession and punted the ball back to the Knights, who took over at the CSU 43-yard line. A 42-yard catch by Josh Reese set up a one-yard touchdown run from Kerlon Williams, giving UCF the 56-0 advantage just 45 seconds into the fourth quarter.
Allen had rushed for 22 yards on five attempts on CSU's next drive. New quarterback Richard Mounce then completed a 12-yard pass to Cintron to pick up the first down at the UCF 32-yard line. Dorsey picked up 23 yards for the Bucs, who would make it to the Knights' 11-yard line on a one yard catch by Kevin Glears. However, a missed field goal by Brown kept the Bucs off the board and gave the ball back to the Knights at their own 28-yard line with 5:44 to go.
Bortles combined with J.J. Worton for 41-yard before a facemask penalty on CSU pushed the Knights to the CSU 20-yard line. Williams picked up two first downs for UCF before his three-yard run put them in the end zone for the Knights' final touchdown of the night. A failed PAT assured the final score would stay at 62-0 in favor of UCF.
Charleston Southern will return to the Sunshine State next week when the Bucs take on the ACC's Florida State University on Sept. 10 in Tallahassee. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. with the game being shown on ESPN3.com.