Bowl eligibility will have to wait for N.C. State.
Miami kept the Wolfpack from picking up its sixth win of the season on Saturday. Mark Walton ran for a trio of touchdowns in the second half of a 27-13 road win for the Hurricanes.
N.C. State (5-6) is down to its last shot to qualify for a bowl with Friday’s trip to North Carolina.
“We’ve got a short week in front of us, and we go play our rival in six days,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. “So we’re going to have to put it to bed and get better quick.”
Miami (7-4) quarterback Brad Kaaya carved up N.C. State’s defense for 286 yards while Walton ran 19 times for 120 yards.
Walton’s 30-yard touchdown run on Miami’s first drive of the second half gave the Canes the lead for good.
Miami cornerback Malek Young intercepted N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley in the end zone to thwart one third-quarter drive, and the Wolfpack fumbled a punt inside its own 20 to set up the Canes for three more points.
N.C. State running back Matt Dayes did run for 76 yards to break the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,015). The senior is the first Wolfpack rusher to get to that milestone since T.A. McLendon in 2002.
“It’s a bittersweet moment,” said Dayes, the eighth player in school history to run for 1,000 yards. “I’m glad I got 1,000 for this O-line and my coach, but we didn’t come out with a win.”
Dayes had a 3-yard touchdown in the third quarter but had a 16-yard touchdown run called back by a clipping penalty in the fourth quarter. An false start penalty on the same drive cost the Wolfpack a chance for more points.
“We focus on these things all the time in practice,” Dayes said. “We just have to come out and do it in the game.”
That same drive ended with a 25-yard field goal by Connor Haskins to cut Miami’s lead to a touchdown (20-13). The Canes got the ball back with 5:17 left and had a drive extended by a pass interference penalty on N.C State.
Walton added salt to the wounds with a 24-yard touchdown run with 2:06 left.
Now N.C. State has one chance left to get to six wins and get back to a bowl.
“We didn’t want it to come down to it, but it ended up coming down to it,” junior defensive end Bradley Chubb said. “We’ve got one more game. Everybody knows what we’re playing for and everybody is going to push towards that this week.”
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio