West Virginia running back Noel Devine, left, gets past North Carolina State corner back David Amerson during the first half of tonight's Champs Sports Bowl game in Orlando tonight.
By Colin Dunlap Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
ORLANDO, Fla. -- North Carolina State, which capitalized on five West Virginia second-half turnovers, earned a 23-7 victory against the Mountaineers tonight in the Champs Sports Bowl at the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
North Carolina State (9-4) scored first, when the Wolfpack mounted an 86-yard drive late in the first half that ended when halfback Mustafa Greene pulled in a pass from quarterback Russell Wilson and fought his way into the end zone to go ahead, 7-0.
Midway through the second quarter, West Virginia (9-4) had a chance to narrow its disadvantage, but kicker Tyler Bitancurt missed a 43-yard field goal, pushing it wide to the right.
But the Mountaineers tied it at 7-7 with 2:10 remaining before the half, when Steadman Bailey pulled in a pass from quarterback Geno Smith --- they were teammates at Miramar High School here in Florida --- for a 32-yard touchdown. On the play, Bailey jostled with a defender down the sideline and made a tremendous catch near his waist on a ball that was a bit underthrown, coming down just over the goal line. Also on the play, Smith was hit hard by the North Carolina State pass rush, but still was able to get rid of the football.
A 45-yard field goal from N.C. State's Josh Czajkowski with under a minute left before the half put the Wolfpack up 10-7 at the intermission.
Another Czajkowski field goal -- this one from 38 yards -- with 6:05 remaining in the third quarter, put North Carolina State ahead, 13-7 and he booted another, from 40 yards later in the third, to make it 16-7.