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CNN/SI Front '98-'99 Bowl Front More College Football news Schedule Scoreboard Picks Bowl Grid Stat Matchups Past Champs Extinct Bowls Message Boards Fan Poll
 

The Breakdown

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Posted: Saturday December 19, 1998 10:29 AM

N.C. State
(7-4 record; Mike O'Cain, 6th year)
Miami
(8-3 record; Butch Davis, 4th year)
School's Bowl Record: 8-8-1

Coach's Bowl Record: 1-1

Last Bowl Appearance: January 1, 1995 (Beat Mississippi State 28-24 in Peach Bowl)

Record in Micron PC Bowl: First appearance
School's Bowl Record: 12-12

Coach's Bowl Record: 1-0

Last Bowl Appearance: December 27, 1996 (Beat Virginia 31-21 in Carquest Bowl).

Record in Micron PC (formerly Carquest) Bowl: 1-0 (Beat Virginia 31-21 in 1996)
Offensive Stud
Torry Holt, WR, Sr. (88 catches, 1,604 yards, 11 TDs): ACC player of the year is probably the best receiver in the country, and also a dangerous punt-return threat (13.6 average, 2 TDs). Edgerrin James, RB, Jr. (242 carries, 1,416 yards, 17 TDs): Arguably the best back in 'Canes history before UCLA game; now there's no doubt.
Defensive Stud
Jason Perry, FS, Sr. (51 tackles, 4 INTs): All-America high hurdler and first-year starter led team in tackles. Dan Morgan, LB, So. (150 tackles, 10 TFLs): Led team in tackles last season as a true freshman, tops again this year.
Player to Watch
Ray Robinson, RB, Fr. (154 carries, 822 yards, 10 TDs): True freshman emerged as team's top running threat; named ACC rookie of the year. Derrick Ham, DE, Sr. (45 tackles, 12 sacks, 14 TFLs): Finally became full-time starter and showed great ability to get after the quarterback; entered season with five career sacks.
Key Stats
No. 10 nationally in passing (309.2 ypg). Only beat one team with a winning record (West Virginia) until Miracle in Miami.
Surprise Stat
No. 105 nationally in kickoff returns (17.4 average). No. 22 nationally in rushing (202.9 ypg).
1998 Turning Point
September 19 -- In between dominating BCS teams Florida State and Syracuse, the Wolfpack somehow found a way to lose at Baylor, 33-30, setting the tone for its up-and-down season. November 28 -- Hurricanes destroyed by Syracuse 66-13, costing them Big East title and BCS berth.
Key to Victory
Get the ball to Holt. Hope that the Miami team that beat UCLA was a one-week wonder. QB Scott Covington and James have to produce like they did against UCLA.
Outlook
The Wolfpack beat Syracuse 38-17; Syracuse beat Miami 66-13. We know, the transitive property only works in math, but ... Was UCLA showing the real 'Canes or a fluke? One thing's for sure: Wolfpack has a better defense than Bruins (but doesn't everybody?).

 
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