N. Carolina St. Is the New Kid on the Block : College football: Wolfpack special teams block three Texas punts in 23-20 upset of No. 17 Longhorns.

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From Associated Press

North Carolina State continued its tear of early season upsets Saturday night, converting three blocked punts into 16 points to pull out a 23-20 victory over No. 17 Texas in the Black Coaches Assn. Classic.

Terrence Holt blocked two punts that were converted into touchdowns for North Carolina State, which stunned Syracuse in 1997 and Florida State in 1998.

“I’ve never been associated with a game in which we’ve won in this fashion, with so many blocked punts,” North Carolina State Coach Mike O’Cain said.


With the Wolfpack trailing, 20-15, with 3:32 left, Holt sprinted in from the right side to get a piece of Ryan Long’s punt at the Texas 48. Eric Leak, who blocked a punt in the first half that led to a safety, picked up the loose ball and ran it in for the go-ahead touchdown.

Quarterback Jamie Barnette found Chris Coleman in the corner of the end zone for a two-point conversion and 23-20 lead.

North Carolina State’s offense struggled all game. Barnette, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s total offense leader in 1998, was constantly harassed by Texas defenders and finished nine of 26 for 65 yards with one interception. The Wolfpack gained only 171 yards.

Texas drove to midfield looking for a possible tying field goal, but came up short when quarterback Major Applewhite was stuffed on fourth-and-inches.

“The only stats that mean anything are the kicking game and turnovers. It’s a devastating loss for our kids,” Texas Coach Mack Brown said. “You can’t have three blocked punts for 16 points and win a ball game.”

Applewhite passed for 316 yards and a touchdown.