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Rivals No. 23 NC State, Maryland meet in Mayo Bowl

Nov 12, 2022; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA;  North Carolina State Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren watches a replay on the scoreboard during the second half against the Boston College Eagles  at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Eagles won 21-20. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Someone will get doused with a vat of mayonnaise on Dec. 30 when No. 23 NC State meets Maryland in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.

The bowl’s official Twitter account revealed that both programs’ coaches, Dave Doeren of NC State (8-4) and Mike Locksley of Maryland (7-5), have agreed to a “mayo bath” if their side wins.

South Carolina coach Shane Beamer set the standard last season when he allowed the condiment to be dumped on him instead of Gatorade after his Gamecocks beat North Carolina 38-21.

NC State’s starting quarterback didn’t stick around to see if Doeren would get messy. After a disappointing season ended with a season-ending injury, Devin Leary entered the transfer portal earlier this month and committed to Kentucky.

Backup MJ Morris suffered a lower-body injury on Nov. 12 in a 21-20 loss to Boston College. Doeren declined to give an update on Morris’ health. Ben Finley would be next in line at quarterback if Morris can’t return.

“They’re both practicing right now,” Doeren said. “Excited to have them on the field. They went through practice yesterday and the day before and, you know, I look forward to helping these guys get better.”

Finley completed 27 of 40 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns in the regular-season finale, when NC State upset then-No. 17 North Carolina 30-27 in double overtime.

Wide receiver Devin Carter opted out of the bowl game to prepare for the 2023 NFL Draft. Jordan Houston (530 yards, no touchdowns) heads a running game that ranked 12th of 14 ACC teams with just 121 yards per game.

Maryland ended a three-game slide at the end of the regular season by demolishing Rutgers 37-0. Taulia Tagovailoa threw for 342 yards in that game and threw for his 50th career passing touchdown as a Terrapin to break the program record.

Tagovailoa won’t have three of his best wide receivers available in Charlotte. Rakim Jarrett, Jacob Copeland and Dontay Demus all opted out. Maryland also had at least 10 players enter the transfer portal after the end of the regular season, including tight end CJ Dippre.

“We’re still confident in the guys that we have,” Locksley told reporters. “Some of these guys (have) been working hard all season to prepare for this moment, so it will be exciting to see.”

A pair of redshirt freshmen have powered Maryland’s rushing attack: Roman Hemby (924 yards, 5.6 per carry, 10 touchdowns) and Antwain Littleton II (370 yards, 5.1 per carry, six touchdowns).

In last year’s Pinstripe Bowl, their first bowl appearance under Locksley, the Terrapins trucked Virginia Tech 54-10 with Tagovailoa going 20-for-24 for 265 yards and two touchdowns. NC State was scheduled to face UCLA in the 2021 Holiday Bowl before a spread of COVID-19 cases forced UCLA to pull out mere hours before kickoff.

NC State and Maryland spent years squaring off as ACC rivals. The all-time series is knotted 33-33-4. Maryland won the last meeting 41-21 in 2013.

–Field Level Media