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Florida State storms back against NC State 34-17

Florida State improves to 8-2 (6-2) with the victory over the Wolfpack.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

After falling into a double digit deficit early, the Florida State Seminoles were able to fight back and defeat the NC State Wolfpack 34-17.

Coming into the game, it would be essential that the offensive live could withhold the powerful defensive line of NC State. The Wolfpack won round one early, forcing an Everett Golson fumble inside the 10-yard line, however were held to a field goal after a great effort by the FSU defense. After a punt return set up FSU deep in NC State territory, Dalvin Cook capped a drive in which he broke the all-time FSU rushing record with a touchdown. Before the quarter could end, NC State scored again, putting them up 10-7 after one.

After Everett Golson threw his first interception of the game, NC State drove 30 yards in just under 25 seconds to tack on another seven points. Golson was picked-off again, effectively ending his day as Sean Maguire would take over after Golson's third turnover of the afternoon. Maguire took over the struggling offense, and immediately put points on the scoreboard after Dalvin Cook had a dazzling 30-yard touchdown run. Cook was visibly injured, and had to come out of the game two separate times, however he did not miss more than five plays. A Roberto Aguayo field goal would send the teams tied coming into the half. With Maguire at the helm, FSU was starting to gain some offensive momentum on an very good NC State defense.

After stopping the NC State offense once again to begin the second half, Florida State cashed in on their next drive with three points, and the lead for the first time since 6:20 left in the first quarter. After former walk-on Javien Elliot forced a fumble, Sean Maguire threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Kermit Whitfield. With 7:57 left in the third, that put the 'Noles at 311 yards for the game---the Wolfpack came into today averaging 296 yards per game, ninth in the nation.

With a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter, it was up to the defense to keep the 'Noles in front. After doing their job, and forcing NC State's seventh punt of the game, FSU got the ball back once again. Sean Maguire connected with Whitfield yet again, this time on a 45-yard yard touchdown pass down the sideline. It seemed his connection with Whitfield today was similar to Maguire's with Rudolph against Syracuse in which Rudolph had 191 receiving yards and a touchdown. Florida State's defense held the Wolfpack scoreless after the first quarter, the biggest factor in the win by the Seminoles.

Once Sean Maguire entered the game, The Seminole's offense started to come together scoring in five of the eight drives Maguire was at the helm for. In total, the junior quarterback finished 18-28 with 231 yards and two touchdowns, throwing one interception. Dalvin Cook put together a pretty solid showing against a tough NC State defense, rushing for 138 yards and two touchdowns despite the lingering injuries all game long. Kermit Whitfield led all receivers with 117 yards and two touchdowns .

Defensively, Javien Elliot and Derwin James were the highlights. Elliot, the former walk-on, had eight tackles with two of them for losses, as well as a fumble that resulted in seven FSU points. James, who now has more tackles, tackles for loss, forced fumbles, and pass break ups than Jalen Ramsey his freshman year, added a team leading ten tackles to his stats. In total, the FSU defense had eight tackles for loss, six pass breakups in addition to holding NC State to just 297 total yards, despite their 402 yard average.

Third down's were finally on FSU's side offensively, however on defense they still allowed NC State to convert seven of 18 times. In addition, the 'Noles committed five turnovers, with 10 of 17 of the Wolfepack's points coming off those turnovers.

Florida State will take on Chattanooga next Saturday at Doak Campbell Stadium with a scheduled 3:30 PM EST kickoff.