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Hurricanes’ second half surge blows away Wolfpack

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In Saturday’s game between Miami and North Carolina State, points came at a premium in the first half. The Hurricanes’ offense, Mark Walton in particular took charge in the second half, rolling to a 27-13 win over the Wolfpack in Raleigh.

Neither team could get anything going in the first half as they went into the locker room tied at 3-3. It did not take long for the Hurricanes to take control.

It took the Hurricanes only three plays to go 75 yards to start the third quarter to take the lead. Walton accounted for 49 of those yards.

“The first half, it didn’t go so well for our running game,” said Walton. “The second half we came and we ran the ball well.”

After Malek Young intercepted a Ryan Finley pass in the end zone, Miami went 80 yards in seven plays to take a two-touchdown lead. Walton scored the touchdown from one yard out.

Walton rushed for 120 yards on only 19 carries and scored three touchdowns. Brad Kaaya threw for 286 yards without a touchdown, but threw no interceptions. Ahmmon Richards had 117 receiving yards on nine catches.

“Sometimes you’ve got to chip away — you’ve got to chip away and eventually something will break,” said Hurricanes’ Coach Mark Richt. “And you’ve got to stay patient running the ball.”

The Hurricanes did not commit a turnover. In addition to the interception, the Wolfpack fumbled a punt and had a fourth-quarter touchdown called back by penalty.

Even the Miami special teams made strong contributions. Punter Justin Vogel kicked five times and the day, four of which were downed inside the 20.

With the victory, the Hurricanes improved to 7-4 and 4-3 in the ACC. After losing four straight, they have now won their last three games.

Next Saturday they host the Duke Blue Devils in the regular season finale.

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Bob Sparks is President of Ramos and Sparks Group, a Tallahassee-based business and political consulting firm. During his career, he has directed media relations and managed events for professional baseball, served as chief spokesperson for the Republican Party of Florida as well as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Attorney General of Florida. After serving as Executive Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Charlie Crist, he returned to the private sector working with clients including the Republican National Committee and political candidates in Japan. He lives in Tallahassee with his wife, Sue and can be reached at Bob@ramos-sparks.com.

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