North Carolina State Wins a Numbers Game : Peach Bowl: Mississippi State settles for field goals, the Wolfpack counters with touchdowns in 28-24 victory.
It came down to simple mathematics for No. 23 North Carolina State in the Peach Bowl Sunday night.
“They got field goals and we got touchdowns,” Wolfpack Coach Mike O’Cain said after his team defeated No. 16 Mississippi State, 28-24, holding the Bulldogs (8-4) to only one touchdown and five field goals on six drives that reached the North Carolina State 21 or better.
“I can’t say enough about our defense in that situation,” O’Cain said. “It was an outstanding performance.”
Terry Harvey passed for one touchdown and set up another about three minutes later with a 62-yard completion to give the Wolfpack their comeback victory.
Harvey connected with Dallas Dickerson on a three-yard scoring pass with 1:12 left in the third quarter and then ran for a two-point conversion that tied the game at 21.
After Mississippi 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.
“It was not one of my better games,” said Harvey, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 139 yards.
Said Mississippi State’s star receiver, Eric Moulds: “They took us out of our game with their quickness.” He had only one catch for five yards, facing double coverage most of the night.
“Kicking five field goals is OK, but when you’re behind and you’ve got to score points, you have to do a little better,” Bulldog Coach Jackie Sherrill said.
Mississippi State reached the Wolfpack 28 in the closing minutes, but couldn’t overcome a 15-yard penalty for an offensive face-mask violation.
The favored Bulldogs had numerous opportunities to take control, but had to settle for the five field goals by Tim Rogers, covering 37, 21, 29, 36 and 30 yards.
The Bulldogs’ only touchdown drive covered 78 yards in 12 plays, overcoming a five-yard sack with a tacked-on 10-yard holding penalty that created a first-and-25 situation at the Mississippi State 19.
Michael Davis scored on an 11-yard run.