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The Cavaliers jumped on N.C. State early, scoring on their first offensive series and leading 14-0 after one quarter. That turned out to be a bad omen for a slow-starting N.C. State team that fell behind by multiple scores in the first quarters of each of its previous three losses.

“They definitely used their off week to a good advantage, went after us and we didn’t respond,” N.C. State coach Tom O’Brien said. “That’s on me, and I’ve got to get it corrected and make sure this football team does what it has to do to win football games.”

Sims led the Cavaliers methodically downfield on their first drive and capped it by scoring on a rollout from 1 yard less than 5 minutes in. It came two plays after he dropped a sure-thing touchdown pass from tailback Perry Jones in the end zone on a trick play, then crumpled to the grass in embarrassment.

“It was important for us to score to show that we could move the ball,” London said.

Two series later, it was Rocco’s turn to lead a scoring drive. He found a wide-open Jennings at the left pylon to give Virginia its first two-score lead since Sept. 29 against Louisiana Tech.