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Top FSU receiver Auden Tate leaves NCSU game with shoulder injury

Ouch. Literally.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Florida State Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

To begin its home-opener against North Carolina State, the big story for Florida State was obviously how it would get started while breaking in true freshman quarterback James Blackman, who made his first career start. As the game progressed, however, another storyline presented itself as well: how would the Seminoles finish without their most productive wide receiver?

Auden Tate had most definitely emerged as Blackman’s favorite target through less than three quarters of play against NCSU. He had 9 catches for 138 and the Seminoles’ lone touchdown, when Blackman found him with a beautiful 51-yard deep ball. However, Tate appeared to have come down awkwardly on his shoulder, and he was walked to the locker room shortly thereafter. Later, it was confirmed as a shoulder injury and announced that he would not return.

The in-game implications are readily apparent: minus his most-prized comfort blanket, Blackman must quickly find other targets to trust as this game plays out. Tate’s backup is listed as George Campbell.