|Bank of America Stadium|
NC State (6-5) vs. South Florida (6-5)
Saturday, December 31, 2005
11:00 am Bank of America Stadium
South Florida Links
NC State Game Notes
BROWN BREAKS OUT
A huge key to the Wolfpack's second-half turnaround was the explosion of true freshman tailback Andre Brown onto the scene. The bruising 6-0, 232 pound rookie did not play in the season opener, then played sparingly in the five games - seeing action in just 28 snaps and gaining just 42 yards.
On Oct. 29 against Southern Miss, Brown was the fourth tailback to see action. The rest, as they say, is history. On his first carry, early in the second quarter, he exploded for a 41-yard run. He would end up with 248 yards rushing for the day - the second-highest single-game total in school history and the best ever by a Wolfpack freshman. He was named ACC Rookie of the Week and was named the starting tailback for the game against ninth-ranked Florida State in Tallahassee.
His performance against the Seminoles was just as impressive. On his first carry, he ran for a 65-yard touchdown. He ended up with 179 yards and was named the Walter Camp IA National Offensive Player of the Week, the ACC Rookie of the Week and the ACC Offensive Back of the Week.
Brown enters the bowl games ranked ninth in the ACC and leading the Pack with 616 yards rushing.
THE STONE AGE
Redshirt sophomore Marcus Stone became just the fourth new starting quarterback for NC State in 111 games (since the 1996 season) when he got the nod against Southern Miss. He has now started the last five outings, posting a 4-1 record. Jamie Barnette started 42 straight games for NC State beginning on Oct. 12, 1996 and continuing through the 1999 season. Philip Rivers came in and started an NCAA record 51 contests in his career (2000-2003). Jay Davis started every game of the 2004 campaign and the first six of 2005.
WILLIAMS IS THE BIGGEST LOSER
No player in NC State history has ever been a bigger loser than junior defensive end Mario Williams. The two-time first-team All-ACC performer set the NC State single-season and career records for tackles for loss and sacks this season. He was also named an SI.com firstteam All-American.
Williams had 23.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage in 2005, a school record that ranked as the second-best mark in the ACC and the sixth-best mark nationally. His 13 sacks also set a school record, was the best mark in the ACC and the second-best mark in the nation.
Being loser is nothing new to the Richlands, N.C., native - he's been one his whole career. He also holds the Wolfpack career record for tackles for loss with 51.5, while his 24 career sacks is tied with Tyler Lawrence for the best mark ever by a Wolfpack player.
Williams set two NC State single-game records in the win over Southern Miss when he had six tackles for loss and four sacks.
THE KILLER B'S
Heading into the 2005 season, much ado was made about the Wolfpack's talented group of tailbacks. By the end of the regular season, three of those players, Darrell Blackman, Toney Baker and Andre Brown, had all started contests for the Wolfpack and each had led the team in rushing in at least two games.
Brown, a true freshman, ended up as the Pack's leading ground-gainer during the regular season with 616 yards. Ninety-three percent (574) of those yards came in the last five games of the season, four of which he started. Baker, another true freshman, led the team in rushing six times and finished the season with 453 yards. He started two games at tailback.
Blackman, a sophomore, rushed for 178 yards (but also had 144 yards on receptions, 122 on punt returns and 582 on kickoff returns). He started five games at tailback.
In all, the Killer B's accounted for 95% of the team's rushing yards (1,247 of 1,320), 15% of the receiving yards (327 of 2,155), 54% of the punt return yardage (122 of 226) and and 93% of the team's kickoff return yards (805 of 864).
In other words, 55% (2,501 of 4,565) of the team's all-purpose yardage came from Brown, Baker and Blackman.
JOHNNY MAC MAY BE BACK
The Wolfpack defense suffered a huge blow the week after the Wake Forest game, when junior defensive end John McCargo found out he had a stress fracture in his foot and would need to undergo surgery.
Through six games, "Johnny Mac" was leading all defensive linemen in tackles (35), tackles for loss (10) and had tallied seven quarterback pressures. His speed off the line of scrimmage was definitely a disruption to opponent offenses.
McCargo's recovery has gone well and he hopes to be cleared by the doctors and able to join the team for prebowl workouts.
BROTHER TO BROTHER
The entire Wolfpack team was ecstatic about becoming bowl eligible, but one particular player was even more excited when he found out who NC State's opponent in the Meineke Car Care Bowl would be.
Redshirt freshman roverback DaJuan Morgan's brother, Darren Haliburton, is a junior wide receiver for the Bulls of South Florida. Darren originally went to Rutgers, but stayed just two weeks before transferring to USF.
GETTING IT DOWN PAT
Junior placekicker/punter John Deraney has handled all of the team's kicking duties each of the past two years, and has done a solid job on punts (40.9 average), kickoffs (25 of 51 were touchbacks) and field goals (he's made 28 in the past two years).
But despite his fine performance in those categories, the area where Deraney has achieved perfection is on PATs. He has made all 61 of his extra point attempts at NC State, a streak that sets a school record. That PAT tally also ranks ninth in school history. Deraney has not missed a point-after since his junior season of high school.
He's not sure how many he made at the end of that campaign, but he hit all 21 as a senior at Fayette County High School and how has hit 61 straight for the Wolfpack.
Junior linebacker Stephen Tulloch finished the regular season ranked as the second-leading tackler in the ACC, averaging 12.2 stops per game. His 134 stops were 35 more than any other Wolfpack player and rank 14h nationally. He ranks fourth in the ACC in tackles for loss with 15.5.
Tulloch, who was named a first-team All-ACC performer, was the Pack's leading tackler in seven of 11 games this season. He ranks eighth in school history with 34.5 career tackles for loss, while his tally behind the line of scrimmage this season ranks eighth in the single-season list.
Tulloch also leads the team in plays this season with 741 snaps from scrimmage. When you add in Tulloch's 150 special teams snaps, he has been in on 891 total plays - 81 per game!
South Florida Game Notes
School Colors: Green & Gold
Conference: Big East
Head Coach: Jim Leavitt
Record at GT: 67-42 (10 years)
2004 Bowl: None
2005 AP Ranking: None
2005 Current Record: 6-5 (4-3)
Meet The Coach: Jim Leavitt, the only coach in the 10-year history of USF football, recently agreed to a contract extension through 2012, with an average salary of $1 million per year. A terrific recruiter who has built the South Florida program, Leavitt flirted with the Kansas State opening before deciding to sign the extension.
Key Player: Andre Hall, RB -- Talented running back has led USF's rushing attack, rushing for 1,256 yards and 13 touchdowns in his senior season.
Notable: South Florida will be playing the first bowl game in the program's history on December 31st in the Meineke Car Care Bowl. It is a huge accomplishment for a program that played its first game only nine years ago.
USF Gets Ready For NC State and Its First-Ever Bowl Game
For the first time in the program's history - and in its 100th game all-time - the University of South Florida football team will take part in a Bowl game ... The Bulls will face North Carolina State from the Atlantic Coast Conference in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 31 at 11 a.m. ... The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. ... USF, who looks for its first win since defeating Cincinnati, 31-16, on Nov. 19, has been off since its 28-13 loss to No. 12/12 West Virginia on Dec. 3 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
The Meineke Car Care Bowl
• On Friday, May 3, 2002, the NCAA Bowl Certification Committee formally granted approval to Raycom Sports for a new bowl game to be played in Charlotte ... On Tuesday, May 7, 2002, Continental Tire was announced as the title sponsor of the bowl, to be played every December between team's from the BIG EAST Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference.
• The inaugural Continental Tire Bowl was the largest non-BCS crowd of the bowl season and the second-most attended inaugural bowl game in NCAA history ... Virginia defeated West Virginia University 48-22 in a matchup of the No. 2 team from the ACC against the No. 2 team from the BIG EAST ... The game was completely sold out within one week of announcing the teams, and is believed to be the fastest sellout of a first year bowl game in the history of the sport.
• The second-annual Continental Tire Bowl took hold of Charlotte as over 52,000 fans descended on the city ... Virginia successfully defended its Continental Tire Bowl crown with a 23-16 victory over the Panthers ... With a 2.23 rating on ESPN2, the Bowl earned the distinction of becoming the most viewed program in ESPN2 history with over 2 million viewers.
• In 2004, the third annual Continental Tire Bowl saw Boston College defeat North Carolina, 37- 24 ... The game was a sellout, with 73,238 tickets snatched up for the game, including over 65,000 by North Carolina fans ... This marked the first Carolinas-based university to participate in the game ... At the same time, the game offered a preview of an expanded Atlantic Coast Conference, as BC joined the conference in 2005 ... In a Visitor Impact Study by Visit Charlotte, the 2004 game resulted in a total economic impact of $22,967,188 on Mecklenburg County.
DeJa Vu All Over Again
• With the postponement of USF's Oct. 22 game with West Virginia, it marks the second-straight year that USF had a game postponed due to a hurricane ... This year the Bulls eventually faced the Mountaineers on Dec. 3 dropping the decision, 28-13 at Raymond James Stadium.
• Last year the Bulls' Sept. 6 Labor Day tilt against Pittsburgh was rescheduled to Dec. 4 due to Hurricane Frances ... The Panthers would come into Raymond James Stadium and hand USF a decisive 43-14 loss and lock up an invitation to the Fiesta Bowl.
Dropping A 30 Spot
• USF's Nov. 19 game against Cincinnati marked the Bulls fourth-straight home game scoring 30 points or more ... USF, who averaged 31.4 points per game at Raymond James Stadium this season, tallied 37 against Florida A&M (37-3) on Sept. 10, 31 against UCF (31-14) on Sept. 17, 45 against No. 9/8 Louisville (45-14) on Sept. 22, 31 against Cincinnati (31-16) on Nov. 19, and the fewest points at home, 15, against No. 12/12 West Virginia on Dec. 3
• In USF's six wins this season, the Bulls have tallied 30 or more points in five of the six outings.
USF Making Its Point
Despite the loss against Connecticut - and scoring just 10 points - USF has been pretty impressive offensively in BIG EAST Conference games this year ... The Bulls finished their conference schedule averaging 37 points per game in their four league wins over Louisville, Rutgers, Syracuse, and Cincinnati ... In addition, USF's average margin of victory in BIG EAST games has been 21.7 points per game in it four league wins.
Hit up the Premium Chat: Not attending the game? Chat Live in the PackPride.com Premium Chat Room via the "Join Live Chat" Link. This service is available for premium subscribers and follow the game play-by-play with other Wolfpack fans!
Thanks to NC State and Maryland athletics for much of the information in this preview.