FSU Survives Shootout Beats NC State 56-41


Another sellout crowd at Carter-Finley. The atmosphere was electric.

For the first time a NC State football team played host to a #1 ranked team. A sea of red clad fans welcomed the visiting Florida State Seminoles from Tallahassee, Florida. In the end, NC State may have lost the game, but they gained something almost as valuable as a win. Respect. Jimbo Fisher’s unit may be 4-0, but they will leave RDU tonight knowing they were in a dogfight and were fortunate to escape.

From the very first play of the game when redshirt junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett looped a high pass over the defender to tight end David Grinnage for a 21 yard gain, the offense was clicking. The very next play confirmed that feeling when Brissett hit true freshman Bo Hines down the middle for a 54 yard touchdown. Only one minute into the game the Pack led 7-0.

Florida State led by man-child (in more ways than one) Jameis Winston tied the score at 7-7 with a 32 yard strike of his own to wide receiver Jesus Wilson.

Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Not to be outdone NC State responded this time with a methodical fast paced 13 play 75 yard drive of precision passing and good execution.  Shadrach Thornton scored on a 3 yard touchdown run to give the Wolfpack a 14-7 lead.

Full of energy and unfazed by the lofty exploits of their opponent, the Wolfpack defense disrupted the Seminole offense and applied pressure up front as the Pack’s Monty Nelson recovered a fumble after Winston was sacked and stripped by T.Y. McGill.   The FSU defense stiffend holding the Wolfpack to a Niklas Sade 36 yard field goal.  NC State 17 – FSU 7

After a 3 and out courtesy of the Wolfpack defense, Brissett and company went back to work. Four plays later and a second Brissett touchdown pass this time to Johnathan Alston, the Wolfpack was up 24-7.  The first quarter was marked by no-huddle offense, good execution and excellent play-calling keeping the Seminole defense off guard.

Just when Florida State needed it most and with their backs squarely against the wall, Winston orchestrated an 82 yard 10 play drive to pull within 10 points at 14-24.

On the ensuing drive the Seminole defense played like we expected bottling the Pack up inside their own five yard line and nearly getting a safety on a 3 and out series. After a good FSU punt return the 2013 Heisman trophy winner hit Christian Green in the right corner of the end zone for a 22 yard TD pass to bring the Seminoles to within 3 points at 24-21.

The worm had turned really quickly. NC State now had to prove it could withstand some adversity and blunt Florida State momentum.

Halftime: NC State 24 – FSU 21                            

  • NC State had 301 yards of total first half offense to FSU’s 226 yards in the first half
  • Note: 1st time in FSU history 24 first quarter points allowed

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The second half began with fireworks just like the first. NC state was penalized with a roughing the passer call on Winston. However, on the next play linebacker Jerod Fernandez intercepted Winston at the NC State 41 yard line. In comes Brissett and the show began. Using his legs and several gravity defying acrobatic plays Jacoby Brisstett willed the Wolfpack offense down the field scoring on a 10 yard pass to running back Matt Dayes. Brissett had just thrown his 3rd touchdown pass of the evening.   NC State 31- FSU 21

Good fortunes for the Pack continue when FSU appeared to gain momentum after a defensive 3 and out in the 3rd quarter.   However, FSU fumbled the punt return and the Wolfpack recovered deep in Seminole territory. Three plays later Shadrach Thornton scored on a 10 yard run to push the lead back to 10 points. NC State led 38-FSU 28 with 6:37 remaining in the 3rd quarter.

Again Florida State answered the bell with a 5 play 71 yard touchdown drive.  NC State 38- FSU 35

Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Then disaster struck. Brissett attempting to set up a screen pass was hit and fumbled with 3:51 in the 3rd quarter. FSU recovered at the Wolfpack 6 yard line. FSU took their first lead of the games on a Winston TD pass with 3:24 remaining in the 3 quarter.  FSU 42- NC State 38

If you told me the Wolfpack would be down 4 points in the 4th quarter to the #1 ranked defending national champion, I’d say “hell yeah we’ll take that any day.” The Pack still had a chance. Several chances to be exact. However, a late Brissett fumble ended what chance the Pack had at the Florida State 22 yard line. Sade would go on to add another field goal and the Seminoles two more scores to win 56-41.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that the Screen Actors Guild should be mighty proud. I didn’t know Tallahassee had so many fine actors in the region. I know I am not the only one suspicious of the multitude of player injuries that Florida State suffered throughout the game.  Enough said.

FINAL:   FSU 56 – NC State 41