NC State upsets No. 20 BC on Dunlap's TD with 8 seconds left

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Daniel Evans scanned the field and saw the

end zone seemingly sitting half a world away. There were no

timeouts. And there was a ranked opponent ready to defend its small


It seemed like a time for desperation. Instead -- for one game,

anyway -- it was a reason for North Carolina State's frustrated fans

to believe again.

Diminishing Returns

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NC State's late comeback on Saturday that ended in a 34-yard touchdown catch by John Dunlap and a 17-15 upset of No. 20 Boston College may have saved coach Chuck Amato's job -- for a little while, at least. But if the Wolfpack are to really turn things around as a program, they will have to reverse the offensive slide that has taken effect over the last few seasons. Here is how NC State stacks up offensively, going back to 2003.














* -- NC State had 320 yards of offense Saturday night.
** -- Philip Rivers' senior season

Evans threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to John Dunlap with 8.5

seconds left to cap a stunning comeback and lead the Wolfpack past

No. 20 Boston College 17-15 on Saturday night, making for a

memorable debut for the first-time starter.

Evans -- a redshirt sophomore -- threw for 179 yards for the

Wolfpack (2-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) and directed a

72-yard TD drive in the final minute to stun the Eagles (3-1, 1-1).

"That game was storybook," Wolfpack coach Chuck Amato said.

And how.

Boston College seemed to have the game in hand after getting the

ball on N.C. State's 35 following an interception with 3:08 left.

But the Wolfpack defense held, stopping Brian Toal on a fourth-down

run to get the ball back at its own 28 with 46 seconds to play.

That left it to Evans, who was elevated past Marcus Stone after

last week's lopsided loss at Southern Mississippi. And the

youngster showed plenty of composure in leading N.C. State to its

first win against a Division I-A opponent.

"The game's never really over, especially with the way our

defense played all day," Evans said.

His first pass on the drive fell incomplete, but he connected

with Anthony Hill for an 18-yard gain and a first down near

midfield. Then, after spiking the ball to stop the clock, Evans

found Dunlap on the left sideline for a 20-yard gain to the 34 with

16.8 seconds left.

Evans went back to Dunlap on the next play in what looked as if

it might be a fruitless desperation try, lofting a pass to the back

right corner of the end zone. But Dunlap jumped to beat DeJuan

Tribble to the ball, bobbled it, then pulled it in just before Paul

Anderson arrived to make the hit.

"[Assistant] Coach [Marc] Trestman said, 'Just get a first

down,'" Evans said. "So all I was really trying to do was get

first down after first down."

The play sent the fans into a frenzy while stunning the Eagles.

After a review upheld the catch, the Wolfpack kicked the extra

point for the 17-15 lead.

Once Tribble returned the kickoff to the BC 37 for the final

play, the Wolfpack sideline spilled onto the field in exuberant

celebration. Evans, meanwhile, calmly walked to join his teammates

before stopping to receive a hug from Stone.

It was the Wolfpack's first home win against a ranked opponent

since beating Florida State late in the 2002 season.

The win meant plenty for N.C. State after two straight losses.

The Wolfpack first lost at home to Akron 20-17 on a touchdown on

the game's final play, then were handed a humbling 37-17 loss at

Southern Miss last week that prompted Amato to rethink his

quarterback situation.

The losses also further irked a fan base frustrated with the

Wolfpack's up-and-down ways. And even though Amato has led his alma

mater to five bowl games in his first six seasons, the coach felt

compelled to defiantly defend the program's direction earlier this


On this night, the Wolfpack backed up the coach by fighting the

ranked Eagles the whole way. Andre Brown ran for 97 yards,

including a 26-yard touchdown run that put the Wolfpack ahead 10-9

entering the fourth quarter.

And the defense held BC to 321 total yards, making the Eagles

work the whole way before stopping them to get the ball back for

Evans' final drive.

"They just never stopped fighting," Amato said. "You should

have heard them in the huddle on that fourth-down play, before they

went on the field. It was, 'They aren't getting it.'"

Matt Ryan threw for 149 yards and a touchdown for the Eagles,

who retook the lead on Toal's 2-yard run with 12:55 to play. But

Ryan overthrew Kevin Challenger near the goal line on the 2-point

try, keeping the lead at 15-10. Ryan also threw an interception in

the end zone to end a third-quarter drive.

The mistakes came back to haunt them on Evans' last drive, which

handed the Eagles the sting of a close loss after they had won

consecutive double-overtime games against Clemson and Brigham


"It's a tough way to lose," Boston College coach Tom O'Brien

said. "We've been on the edge all season with last-minute plays.

This time, we were on the short end."

L.V. Whitworth added 109 yards rushing for Boston College.