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

field.

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

back strong.”

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.