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N.C. State, Hockman get revenge over Florida State

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Seminoles are now 2-6 for the first time since 1976. Noles stand 1-6 in the ACC.

ehyman@newsobserver.com

For the third time in four years, North Carolina State topped Florida State Saturday night behind a sterling performance from senior quarterback Bailey Hockman.

A former Florida State signee in 2017 who transferred to N.C. State two years ago, Hockman and the Wolfpack (5-3, 5-3 ACC) had all the answers for the Noles in a 38-22 win. The senior Hockman paced N.C. State with 265 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air, completing over 70 percent of his passes and adding a rushing score as well.

While NCSU was relying on a former FSU signal-caller, the Seminoles went with a fourth different quarterback in just 8 games this season when true freshman Chubba Purdy made his first career start. Florida State’s offense struggled early with just 212 total yards through the first 50 minutes, converting on 3 of 14 third downs for the game.

An FSU football team is 2-6 on the season for the first time since 1976, a lifetime ago for Florida State’s program in Bobby Bowden’s first season.

Hockman and the Wolfpack jumped out on FSU early with a textbook 13-play, 5-minute drive their first possession to take a 7-0 lead. Hockman tossed the opening 21-yard score, and began the game a perfect 8 for 8 passing.

Both head coaches Mike Norvell and Dave Doeren rolled the dice on fourth down conversions later in the first quarter. N.C. State was stuffed up the middle inside the red zone, and on the ensuing possession FSU gambled unsuccessfully with a fourth down try on their own 31.

Operating with a short field, Hockman passed for his second touchdown, connecting with junior receiver Thayer Thomas. The slot man sliced up the Seminole defense underneath all night long with 11 catches for 135 yards.

Florida State came right back with their only scoring drive of the first half. Wideout Ontaria Wilson was the recipient of a few Purdy throws, and running back Jashaun Corbin continued to run out of the wildcat to set up a 48-yard field goal kicker Parker Grothaus.

Stalling on offense with just three points, fellow freshman quarterback Tate Rodemaker entered the game in relief of Purdy for FSU, passing for 19 yards on 3 of 5 attempts with an interception. NCSU made it 21-3 heading into halftime off a 4-yard designed quarterback sweep from Hockman.

The Wolfpack forced a three-and-out from Florida State and punched in another touchdown to go up 25 early in the third. Norvell went for broke on the next drive, converting on back-to-back fourth downs and driving the length of the field for six. Corbin plunged up the middle on another wildcat look for a 28-yard score on the latter fourth down.

FSU finally looked to gain some momentum, forcing a three-and-out defensively, but a muffed punt from defensive back Travis Jay stunted the short-lived optimism. Hockman continued his hot night with a fourth touchdown, throwing a 24-yard strike to Thayer again. Noles turned it over on downs at the Wolfpack 40-yard line to end the third quarter.

Purdy threw the first touchdown of his Florida State career, a bullet to Wilson in stride from 69 yards out. Wilson finished the game with 7 catches for 117 yards. N.C. State grabbed a field goal, and then Purdy scrambled around on the final drive to end with 55 yards rushing and 181 yards passing, hitting his second touchdown to wideout Warren Thompson.