No upset for NC State this time against No. 3 FSU
North Carolina State came to Doak Campbell Stadium confident it
could pull another upset against Florida State.
This time, the Wolfpack never had a chance.
Jameis Winston threw three touchdown passes and No. 3 Florida
State scored 35 points in the first quarter on the way to a 49-17
victory against North Carolina State on Saturday in Bobby Bowden’s
return to Doak Campbell Stadium.
The Wolfpack upset the third-ranked Seminoles in Raleigh, N.C.,
last year and had won the last four meetings when Florida State was
ranked. But they committed three first-quarter turnovers on top of
going three-and-out twice in the first 15 minutes.
”Obviously, really disappointed in the start of the game,”
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. ”We put our defense in the
opposite position that we wanted to with the turnovers and they did
a good job maximizing those opportunities with the short fields and
that was the opposite of what we wanted to do.
”They are a good football team; we made it easier than we
needed to early on.”
Doeren was so impressed he told Florida State cornerback
Lamarcus Joyner to, ”go win the whole … thing” as they left the
Winston completed 16-of-26 passes for 292 yards with one
interception and left the game after the opening series of the
second half. The effort was the latest dazzling performance put on
by the Heisman Trophy candidate.
N.C. State (3-4, 0-4) had quarterback Brandon Mitchell back for
the first time since breaking his foot in the season opener. He
completed 17-of-33 passes for 128 yards with two interceptions.
”I didn’t perform well,” Mitchell said. ”I have to do better
taking care of the ball and taking what they give me.
”Coming into this game, we knew we’d have to score to play with
their offense, and make plays. They have a great team over there
and they showed it today.”
There was little positive to take from the day except the
Wolfpack outscored the Seminoles 17-7 in the second half. Florida
State, however, took out its starters in the third quarter.
Shardach Thorton ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns and led
the team with five receptions for 32 yards.
”I just went out there and gave it my all,” Thorton said. ”I
really feel like I should have made plays earlier. Against a team
like this, you have to seize the opportunities you get.”
Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, the NCAA all-time
leader in college football victories, was honored before the game
in his first return since he retired after the 2009 season. Bowden
planted the spear at midfield before the game – a job usually done
by Florida State’s Seminole mascot. The school honored the
83-year-old Hall of Fame coach who won two national titles and
retired after the 2009 season with a pregame ceremony that included
nearly 400 former players.
Then the current Seminoles went out and put on display that
Bowden’s best teams would have been proud of, setting up a huge
game with unbeaten Miami next week in Tallahassee.
”A lot of people said it was a revenge game but we simply just
wanted to show N.C. State that they didn’t have a chance last year,
either,” Winston said. ”I mean they’re a great team, but we
obviously knew that last year’s game hurt us and it hurt us deep
because it stopped our team from potentially getting a national
championship so I’m glad that the guys remembered that and bounced
Rashad Greene topped 100 yards receiving for the third
consecutive game with eight receptions for 137 yards and a
touchdown for the Seminoles (7-0, 5-0).
Mitchell threw an interception to Terrence Brooks on the second
snap of the game and the Seminoles scored four plays later. This
was the beginning of a long day for the Wolfpack, who previously
won the last four meetings when the Seminoles were ranked. The 35
first-quarter points tied a Florida State record for the most
points in a single quarter.
”It’s a step that we’re taking,” Florida State coach Jimbo
Fisher said. ”It’s a program step, not a team step, but a program
step and understanding how to play in those moments and bounce back
and not get too high and respond back.”
The Seminoles set a school record for seven consecutive games
scoring 40-plus points when Freeman scored on a 4-yard run with
3:06 left in the second quarter.