Quarterback Tol Avery, booed last week, passed for one touchdown and ran for another today to lead North Carolina State to a 30-24 Atlantic Coast Conference victory over winless Virginia.
The Wolfpack (4-1) led, 30-10, entering the fourth quarter, then withstood a rally by the Cavaliers (0-4).
Freshman tailback Vince Evans had touchdown runs of 16 and 17 yards for the Wolfpack, 2-1 in the ACC.
Avery took much of the blame last week following a 34-9 loss to Maryland and repeatedly was booed by Wolfpack fans. But those boos turned to cheers today as he completed nine of 12 passes for 197 yards.
After Virginia, 0-2 in the ACC, took a 3-0 lead with 7:14 to go in the first quarter on Wayne Morrison's 29-yard field goal, Avery put the Wolfpack ahead on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Mike Quick with 1:10 left in that period. Todd Auten's extra-point attempt went wide and the score was 6-3.
State took a 9-3 lead on Auten's 26-yard field goal with 8:26 to play in the half.
Two and a half minutes later, with the ball on the Cavalier four, Avery faked a handoff, rolled right and scored easily. The Wolfpack led, 16-3, at the half.
Virginia closed to 16-10 on its first possession of the second half on a four-yard touchdown pass from Gordie Whitehead to Kevin Riccio. But then Evans, playing because of an injury to freshman sensation Joe McIntosh, went to work. He ran 16 yards for a touchdown with 8:31 to go in the third quarter and followed that with a 17-yard scoring run one second before the end of the period.
In the fourth quarter, Virginia linebacker Rickey Callinder blocked a punt and fell on the ball in the end zone for a touchdown.
Then Avery, back to pass, fumbled and Cavalier cornerback Darryl Reaves fell on the ball at the State 27. Five plays later, with 8:54 to go, Whitehead again passed to Riccio for a touchdown, of six yards. Morrison's extra point pulled Virginia to 30-24.
Virginia regained the ball following a State punt and had moved into State territory when Derek Jenkins fumbled and Dann Lute recovered at the 39, ending the Cavaliers' last threat.