Entering the first week of October, the 4-1 Florida State Seminoles are headed to Raleigh, NC, to take on the 4-1 North Carolina State Wolfpack. The game will kick off at 8:00 p.m. EST and will be broadcast on the ACC Network. No.14 NC State dropped out of the Top 10 following its loss to the Clemson Tigers.
The Seminoles and Wolfpack have met on the gridiron 41 times, and while FSU holds a 26-15 series lead over NC State, the Wolfpack currently has a two-game win streak in the series and has won 4 of the past 5 matchups.
Since 2001, the matchup has been far more competitive, with the Seminoles holding a slight 11-10 series lead. There are numerous wild games and moments on both sides, and we’ll highlight a few below.
The 1992 season saw FSU travel to Raleigh for its first ACC conference game against NC State. While the Seminoles struggled to score in the first quarter, they eventually found their groove behind two touchdown strikes from Charlie Ward to Shannon Baker, the Touchdown Maker. However, the true star was Corey Sawyer, who collected three interceptions for the Seminoles, a then-record for FSU.
The following season, the Seminoles had national championship dreams that were seemingly crushed after their loss at Notre Dame. Fate would intervene in the form of the Boston College Eagles, who would upset the Irish prior to FSU’s matchup against NC State. With the knowledge that their title hopes were again on the table, FSU absolutely demolished the Wolfpack 62-3 in Tallahassee behind Charlie Ward’s 5 touchdown performance.
The 1995 matchup saw FSU host NC State in the first home game of the season in a newly-expanded Doak Campbell Stadium. Behind Danny Kanell’s five touchdown passes on a then-record 87.5% completion rate, the Seminoles also set a then-school record for points in a 77-17 victory.
The 1998 matchup between the ‘Noles and Wolfpack was a significant wakeup call for Bobby Bowden and his staff. Florida State entered Carter-Finley Stadium as the #2 ranked team in the nation but left humbled after a 24-7 loss which the Wolfpack’s coach called “miraculous”. Peter Warrick scored a 74-yard touchdown on FSU’s first play from scrimmage but it literally went downhill from there for the Seminoles, as QB Chris Weinke threw an ACC-record six interceptions. Torry Holt, who scored FIVE touchdowns in the prior year’s matchup, continued to torment FSU with a 68-yard punt return TD and a 63-yard receiving TD. It was only the second ACC loss for the Seminoles and the first time they’d been shut out for three straight quarters since 1988 against Miami.
A significant shift happened when longtime FSU assistant coach ChucK Amato was hired as NC State’s head coach in 2000. Amato would capitalize on his intricate knowledge of FSU’s program (as well as FSU’s failure to evolve), beating the Seminoles four times in seven tries between 2000 and 2006.
Within that span, however, is one of the greatest games in ACC history. The 2003 tilt between FSU and NC State had just about everything you could want in a football game, unless you adore defensive struggles. However I try to describe the double-overtime thriller will pale in comparison to the highlights, so just sit back and enjoy:
(and a personal favorite of mine here, courtesy of Lorenzo Booker):
Another offensive shootout happened between the two schools in 2009, in a true case of “whoever has the ball last wins the game”. It took the entire FSU offense to out-duel Russell Wilson, who threw 5 touchdowns, but a late rushing TD from Bert Reed sealed it for the Seminoles.
In 2016, the Seminoles needed some late-game heroics to hold off the Wolfpack. Rallying from a 20-10 deficit in the 3rd quarter, the Seminoles caught a huge break with a little over 3 minutes remaining when a Wolfpack defender dropped a sure-fire interception in the end zone. On the very next play, QB Deondre Francois connected with Travis Rudolph for what would prove to be the winning touchdown.
1952: N.C. State 13, Florida State 7
1953: Florida State 23, N.C. State 13
1954: Florida State 13, N.C. State 7
1955: Florida State 7, N.C. State 0
1956: Florida State 14, N.C. State 0
1957: N.C. State 7, Florida State 0
1963: Florida State 14, N.C, State 0
1964: Florida State 28, N.C. State 6
1965: N.C. State 3, Florida State 0
1967: N.C. State 20, Florida State 10
1968: Florida State 48, N.C. State 7
1969: Florida State 33, N.C. State 22
1992: Florida State 34, N.C. State 13
1993: Florida State 62, N.C. State 3
1994: Florida State 34, N.C. State 3
1995: Florida State 77, N.C. State 17
1996: Florida State 51, N.C. State 17
1997: Florida State 48, N.C. State 35
1998: N.C. State 24, Florida State 7
1999: Florida State 42, N.C. State 11
2000: Florida State 58, N.C. State 14
2001: N.C. State 34, Florida State 28
2002: N.C. State 17, Florida State 7
2003: Florida State 50, N.C. State 44 (2 OT)
2004: Florida State 17, N.C. State 10
2005: N.C. State 20, Florida State 15
2006: N.C. State 24, Florida State 20
2007: Florida State 27, N.C. State 10
2008: Florida State 26, N.C. State 17
2009: Florida State 45, N.C. State 42
2010: N.C. State 28, Florida State 24
2011: Florida State 34, N.C. State 0
2012: N.C. State 17, Florida State 16
2013: Florida State 49, N.C. State 17
2014: Florida State 56, N.C. State 41
2015: Florida State 34, N.C. State 17
2016: Florida State 24, N.C. State 20
2017: N.C. State 27, Florida State 21
2018: N.C. State 47, Florida State 28
2019: Florida State 31, N.C. State 13
2020: N.C. State 38, Florida State 22
2021: N.C. State 28, Florida State 14