FSU offensive player of the game: Keyshawn Helton. Helton led the Seminoles with four catches and 49 receiving yards. He also hauled in McKenzie Milton’s only touchdown pass on an acrobatic catch. He had a couple other big receptions, including a tough catch over the middle of the field while getting crushed by a defender for a first down.
FSU defensive player of the game: Amari Gainer. Gainer was all over the field for the Seminoles. He tied for the team lead with seven total tackles. The linebacker also had a tackle for loss.
FSU offensive play of the game: Milton magic leads to TD connection with Helton. The Seminoles were scoreless in the first half. FSU recovered an onside kick, their first recovery since 2009, to begin the second half and spark FSU’s offense. The first drive of the second half resulted in FSU’s first points. On second-and-goal, Maurice Smith bounced a snap to Milton, but Milton picked up the rolling ball before running in circles for about six seconds. The QB then heaved a pass towards the corner of the end-zone. Helton was able to run under the ball and make the TD catch while dragging his toes in bounds.
FSU defensive play of the game: Keir Thomas’ back-to-back sacks. NC State began the fourth quarter with the ball in their hands and a chance to extend the lead to two possessions. Keir Thomas wasn’t going to let that happen. Zonovan Knight moved the Wolfpack to midfield with an 18-yard run. Thomas took over after that. The South Carolina transfer sacked Leary on first down. After an incompletion, he sacked Leary again to force a punt. It was the first time in his FSU career that he’d compiled two sacks in one game.
Turning point of the game: Norvell’s gamble doesn’t pay off, poor tackling costs FSU again. With over eight minutes remaining and on his own 43, Norvell decided to go for it on fourth-and-four. Pressure forced a quick incompletion as the ‘Noles turned it over on downs.
Back-to-back incompletions brought up third-and-10 for the Wolfpack. On third down, Devin Leary swung a pass out to Ricky Person, who had only Jarrian Jones to beat. Jones whiffed on the tackle, allowing Person to tightrope the sideline and find his way into the end-zone for a 43-yard touchdown.
Key stat: 2-16 on third downs. Florida State couldn’t make timely plays all evening. The Seminoles were 2-16 on third downs. The ‘Noles had an average of 7.4 yards to go on fourth down.
FSU: 271 yards / 71 plays
NC State: 400 yards / 69 plays
Up next: Florida State vs. Miami, Time and Channel TBA, November 13th, Doak Campbell Stadium