Florida State Seminoles football (4-2, 2-2 ACC) had a chance to win on the road vs. NC State for the first time since 2016, taking a 17-3 lead into halftime but getting shutout in the second half to lose 19-17 to the No. 14 Wolfpack.
FSU melted down over the final stretch of the game, letting self-inflicted mistakes from missed tackles to confusing punting penalties create an opening for NC State to storm back into the game despite losing starting quarterback Devin Leary.
To try and breakdown some parts of the loss, the Tomahawk Nation took on four questions surrounding the game.
Poor tackling or poor receiving — what is more to blame for the loss?
Perry: The receiving, because even though the defense faltering in the second half obviously played into the Wolfpack being able to storm back, the offense was unable to dominate in the first half and unable to get anything going in the second.
Juan Montalvo: Had receivers played a C+ game, FSU wins this game. That unit gets an F.
Evan Johnson: To be fair the receivers were up and down, at best, but mostly down. The offensive line was a mess but worse was the playcalling. Out of the half you could count on FSU running the ball on first down and then getting behind the sticks. They only threw it once on first down and it was a bad Jordan Travis pass for an interception.
NoleThruandThru: Mycah Pittman made an absolutely outstanding touchdown catch, so I can understand why a QB might look to him in crunch time. But bruh. You have a 6’7” option if you’re gonna throw that route. But I digress. WRs had inexcusable drops all night.
What is the most concerning part of the loss?
Perry: The fact that once again, the Florida State offense failed to put up points in a half. Last week, it was in the first against Wake and this time, a scoreless second half proved to be the difference in a tight game. The Seminoles had been gunning on offense in the early weeks of the season but haven’t been able to put it together consistently the last two weeks. There’s a chance to reestablish in the bye week, but before then, FSU has to get through Clemson.
Juan Montalvo: Fart poop face Flanagan was the referee for another abysmally called ACC game. The worst referee in this conference gets marquee matchups. Florida State focus? This team didn’t respond to trouble positively. They’ve done so much of the year. Their resilience has been a strong point and it just wasn’t there tonight. It’s a disappointing departure from their character.
Evan Johnson: The offense was entirely incompetent and ineffective in the second half. We might as well have Jimbo back for this game. Maybe recruit some players that aren’t going to fold so easily on offense.
NoleThruandThru: As far as being out-coached, Mike Norvell got his doors blown off in the second half. Inexplicable play-calling. I don’t know 1/100th of what Norvell does about ball, but to see that big of a discrepancy in the coaching battle scares me a lot. He has a lot of questions to answer.
What do you need to see to change next week vs. Clemson?
Perry: The receivers dominating and allowing this offense to truly open up. The key part to getting this engine running is making the defense terrified of all possible angles of attack, but the last two weeks have seen the Demon Deacons and Wolfpack hone in on a specific part of the Seminoles’ offense and managed to contain the other. FSU did well on the ground tonight, but didn’t take advantage of the touchdown production factory that they’ve had in their receivers this season.
Evan Johnson: Moving forward from there I’d like to see more fight from the offense, especially the line and receivers. They were a major issue in this game.
Juan Montalvo: Not a thing. Maybe health, though that isn’t something you can “change”.
NoleThruandThru: Norvell and Jordan Travis absolutely must get on the same page. Zone reads, decision-making, everything. It’s costing FSU significantly.
What was the one bright spot from the game?
Perry: FSU covered?
Evan Johnson: They played well for a half. I think the defense was good for the entire game. I’m very happy with the defensive line for what they did throughout but I feel like they got tired late.
Juan Montalvo: No trip to NC State for another two years.
NoleThruandThru: Mycah Pittman’s touchdown catch was a thing of beauty. His body control, strength, and timing were all excellent. It’s just a damn shame it was all for naught in the end.