RALEIGH – Nyheim Hines rushed for a career-best 196 yards and two long touchdowns, and North Carolina State beat North Carolina 33-21 on Saturday night.
Jaylen Samuels added a game-sealing 10-yard score, and Ryan Finley ran for two short scores and was 20 of 30 for 204 yards. The Wolfpack (8-4, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) bounced back from a brutally dramatic loss at Wake Forest and closed the regular season by winning two of three.
In each of N.C. State’s last three victories, dating to a win at Pittsburgh in mid-October, Hines has come through with at least one long scoring play and he helped decide a largely disjointed, sometimes chippy renewal of the neighborhood rivalry in which the teams were flagged a combined 23 times for 235 yards.
In this one, Hines burst through the right side and raced 54 yards into the end zone to put the Wolfpack up 19-14 with 40 seconds left in the third quarter. Then he ran 48 yards for another TD on N.C. State’s next possession, and the Wolfpack converted the two-point try to make it 27-13.
Nathan Elliott’s third touchdown pass, a 1-yard toss to Jordan Cunningham, pulled the Tar Heels within six with 8:16 remaining. N.C. State chewed up nearly seven minutes on the drive that ended with Samuels’ score with 1:33 to play.
Elliott finished 21 of 45 for 277 yards for the Tar Heels (3-9, 1-7), whose two-game winning streak ended. He also threw TDs covering 51 yards to Anthony Ratliff-Williams and 24 yards to Michael Carter, with that one putting UNC up 14-6 early in the second quarter.
North Carolina: This wasn’t a season to remember by any means for the Tar Heels, whose roster was besieged by injuries but who did play their best in the final month — with victories over Pittsburgh and Western Carolina sandwiched by moral-victory losses to No. 2-for-now Miami and to the Wolfpack. Elliott, Ratliff-Williams and Carter once again showed why they’ll be the foundation of the offense going forward.
N.C. State: It looked shaky for about 2½ quarters, but credit the Wolfpack for not letting Wake Forest beat them twice. It helped immensely that they had Hines, who was injured while fielding a punt in the second half of that loss in Winston-Salem but easily surpassed his previous career best of 115 yards set against Syracuse in September and broke the 1,000-yard mark for the season. He also helped the Wolfpack outrush UNC 292-83.
North Carolina: Will have to wait until spring practice starts in a few months.
N.C. State: Will sit tight until learning its bowl destination next Sunday.
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