Indiana Daily Student

New year, same results for football

Wolfpack rallies to beat Hoosiers, 41-38

During the offseason, the football team talked about how things were going to change in 2000.\n Coach Cam Cameron and his players talked about winning, not losing close games in the fourth quarter. They talked about how the defense would be one of the most improved groups in college football. They talked about how the Hoosiers would get off to a fast start this season.\nJudging by IU's performance in its 41-38 loss Saturday to North Carolina State the Hoosiers will have to wait another week to change things. \nIU (0-1) outplayed NC State for three quarters only to have a 15-point lead stolen in the fourth quarter, stunning the 30,151 in attendance at Memorial Stadium. \n"It's unexplainable," said junior quarterback Antwaan Randle El, who held his head down with his hand covering his face in the post game news conference. "I don't know, it's unexplainable. We blew that game."\nAn emotional Cameron told the horde of media members present at the news conference that he thought IU was robbed of a victory against the Wolfpack.\n"We played well enough to win the football game on the scoreboard, period," he said. "You can slice it any way you want, the football game was flat taken from Indiana University ' not from just our football team, it was taken from every single one of us. I have never seen anything like that in my life." \nMany of Cameron's post game frustration was directed toward the Atlantic Coast Conference officiating crew headed by Thomas Zimorski. Cameron said there were "six to eight questionable calls" impacting the outcome of the game. \nOne of those calls came on a fourth and eight play with less than two minutes remaining. NC State freshman quarterback Philip Rivers' pass bounced off junior tailback Ray Robinson's hand and fell incomplete. At that moment it appeared the Hoosiers were about to take over on the Wolfpack's 24 yard line.\nBut the Hoosiers were flagged for defensive holding, continuing the Wolfpack's drive. Five plays later, Rivers completed a 47-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Koren Robinson, who streaked by the entire IU secondary, giving the Wolfpack a one-point lead with 54 seconds remaining. NC State went for a two-point conversion as Rivers completed a pass to sophomore tightend Willie Wright, increasing the lead to three.\nJunior Derin Graham's 54-yard kick return to NC State's 44 put the Hoosiers into position for one final drive. IU then advanced the ball 24 yards on the following four plays, allowing senior kicker Andy Payne a chance at a 37-yard field goal attempt with seven seconds remaining. But Payne's kick was low and blocked by a leaping Terrence Holt.\n"The kick was low," Cameron said. "Andy usually gets the ball up in the air, but it didn't happen on that one."\nFor the second consecutive week, the Wolfpack defeated an opponent in the closing moments. NC State defeated Arkansas State, 38-31, in double-overtime last weekend in Raleigh.\n"I looked them all in the eye and said 'don't anybody quit,'" NC State coach Chuck Amato said. "It's a 60 minute game and it's going to take someone 64 minutes to beat us. I told them not to worry about the clock. All we could do is keep fighting and do our best." \nRivers completed 31 of 52 passes for 401 yards. Rivers also tossed five touchdown passes, which tied a school record set by Terry Harvey. Rivers completed passes to six different players led by Wright who caught nine passes, including two for touchdowns. \n"He's a true freshman and came out with a lot of composure," IU senior defensive tackle Paul Mandina said of Rivers. "And he could have given up more than once and he didn't."\nWhen Mandina was asked about Rivers' performance, Randle El shook his head in amazement after discovering the NC State quarterback was a true freshman.\nIU's offense was effective in the loss, outgaining the Wolfpack's 476 to 474 yards. Randle El led the Hoosiers in both passing and rushing with 240 and 81 yards, respectively. Gaddis led IU with 108 receiving yards on four receptions.\nEarly in the game, it looked like the Hoosiers were going to have their way with the Wolfpack. IU opened a 21-3 lead early in the second quarter on Randle El's 70-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Versie Gaddis. \nThe Hoosiers carried a 28-13 lead into halftime when junior tailback Levron Williams scored on a 36-yard option play with three seconds remaining in the half. Williams avoided four NC State tacklers on his way to the end zone.

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