Photo courtesy of N.C. State Athletics
NCAA FOOTBALL BOWLS PAGE
(Sports Network) - Mike Glennon threw three touchdown passes and N.C. State fended off Louisville, 31-24, to win the 2011 Belk Bowl.
Glennon passed for 264 yards with an interception on 21-of-33 throws for the Wolfpack (8-5), who won four of their last five to finish the season.
T.J. Graham caught seven passes for 116 yards and two scores for the victors.
Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater threw for 274 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted three times, one of which David Amerson returned for a score.
The Cardinals (7-6), winners in five of their last six regular season games to earn a share of the Big East title, trailed 31-10 before Bridgewater threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Nate Nord with two minutes remaining in the third.
The Cardinals recovered a surprise onsides kick, but quickly punted and turned the ball over on downs the next time they had the ball.
But Bridgewater connected with Josh Bellamy for a two-yard score with 3:55 remaining in regulation, and although the Wolfpack recovered the onsides kick, they turned the ball over when James Washington was stuffed behind the line of scrimmage on 4th-and-2 with 1:35 remaining.
Armed with two timeouts, the Cardinals reached the N.C. State 45-yard line before sacks on first and third down pushed them back to their own 42. Bridgewater's heave on fourth down was picked off by Amerson to seal the outcome.
Bridgewater threw an interception on the game's first possession, and N.C. State countered with a 14-play, 69-yard drive that Graham capped with a six-yard touchdown grab with 5:39 remaining in the opening quarter.
Chris Philpott missed a 52-yard field goal on the next possession, but a blocked punt allowed Louisville to tie the game on Bridgewater's eight-yard run to the right pylon.
Philpott gave the Cardinals their only lead with a 32-yard field goal midway through the second.
Glennon then covered 80 yards with five straight completions, the last a 35- yard touchdown pass to Tobias Palmer, who made a nice adjustment on a ball thrown behind him.
Just before the half, Graham caught a pass over the middle and broke several tackles en route to a 68-yard score.
Niklas Sade's 34-yard field goal finished off a seven-minute drive to start the second half, and three plays later, Amerson picked off Bridgewater and returned the interception 65 yards for another TD.