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October 5, 2006

Amato gets huge win over former mentor

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RALEIGH, N.C. -Daniel Evans threw three touchdown passes - including the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter - to lead North Carolina State to a 24-20 victory over No. 17 Florida State on Thursday night.

Evans connected with John Dunlap on a 12-yard score with 10:36 left for the Wolfpack (3-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which got another poised performance from the redshirt sophomore quarterback in just his second career start.

Andre Brown added 113 yards rushing, marking the second straight year Brown cracked the 100-yard mark against the Seminoles (3-2, 1-2).

Brown ran for 179 yards last year in a 20-15 road win, marking the Wolfpack's third win in six tries against the Seminoles under coach Chuck Amato - an 18-year assistant at Florida State to Bobby Bowden before taking over here in 2000. In fact, the Wolfpack came in as the only ACC team with four wins against Florida State since the Seminoles joined the league 14 years ago.

Now N.C. State has another big win to celebrate against Amato's former boss - and Evans was a big reason why.

Evans completed 13 of 22 passes for 190 yards to lead N.C. State to back-to-back wins against ranked opponents. In fact, his scoring pass to Dunlap was eerily similar to the TD toss he threw to Dunlap with 8.5 seconds left in a 17-15 win against Boston College two weeks ago.

With the Wolfpack facing a second down, Evans lobbed a perfectly thrown pass toward the right corner of the end zone. Dunlap jumped over defender Patrick Robinson and came down with the football and a 24-20 lead.

The lead ultimately held up, but not by much. The Seminoles put together one last drive that started at their own 5-yard line with 5:39 left, but the drive stalled at N.C. State's 39 when DaJuan Morgan intercepted a pass by Drew Weatherford with about 2 1/2 minutes left. The Seminoles had burned their last timeout early in the fourth, allowing Evans and the Wolfpack to kill the clock to end it.

Meanwhile, the Seminoles find themselves slipping further down the ACC's Atlantic Division standings after blowing a 10-point third-quarter lead.

The Seminoles seemed to have control of momentum midway through the third quarter after a goal-line stand that included stopping Toney Baker inside the 1 when he leapt for the end zone on fourth down. The Seminoles then put together a 99-yard drive, ending when Weatherford connected with Brandon Warren on a 12-yard pass for a 20-10 lead with 3:02 left in the third quarter.

But the Wolfpack closed the gap to 20-17 when Evans found Geron James for a 10-yard touchdown with 16 seconds left in the third. Then, after the Seminoles went three-and-out, Evans directed the eight-play, 58-yard drive that ended with his TD toss to Dunlap.

Weatherford threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns for the Seminoles.

One of the biggest cheers of the night was reserved for several members of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, who appeared on the field with the storied 114-year-old trophy after the first quarter. The Hurricanes share the RBC Center, located across the street from Carter-Finley Stadium, with the N.C. State men's basketball team.

For more coverage of the NC State Wolfpack, check out TheWolfpacker.com; for more coverage of the Florida State Seminoles check out Warchant.com.



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