NC State stuns no. 3 Florida State

By Jonathan Stout

After being held scoreless during the first half, N.C. State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) rallied back, scoring 17 unanswered points in the second half to defeat No. 3 Florida State (5-1, 3-1 ACC) Saturday night at Carter-Finley Stadium.

Graduate student quarterback found redshirt sophomore receiver Brian Underwood for a 2-yard touchdown, giving the Pack a one point lead with 16 seconds left on the team’s final drive.

The last time State took on the Seminoles at Carter-Finley Stadium, in 2010, Florida State was ranked No. 16 and fell to the Wolfpack in similar dramatic fashion under the lights, 28-24.

“Tonight was tremendous. Our fans were great,” head coach Tom O’Brien said. “They helped us from the start. This crowd really helps fill our gas tank in a game like this.”

Saturday’s victory marks the highest ranked opponent defeated by State since 1998. Florida State, ranked No. 2 at the time, and fell to the Wolfpack 24-7.

Following last week’s loss to Miami, the team called a players-only meeting where senior leaders spoke up behind closed doors. According to O’Brien, Director of Athletics Debbie Yow also spoke with the team.

“It’s all about the next game, it’s all about executing,” captain and senior linebacker Sterling Lucas said. “Nobody else is going to believe in us—we have to believe in ourselves. We have to come together and get the job done.”

The offense started with three straight three-and-outs, followed by a fourth drive ending with Glennon throwing his lone interception. Sophomore punter Will Baumann compiled more yards in the first half, 212 yards, than the entire Wolfpack offense.

With the offense being held to an abysmal 68 yards in the first half and the team being shut out, the Wolfpack refused to quit, scoring on it’s first drive of the third quarter.

Glennon led the Pack down the field and set up a 27-yard field goal by sophomore placekicker Niklas Sade to cut the Seminole lead to 16-3.

Following another punt by Baumann on the ensuing drive, the defense played tough, hanging with one of the top offenses in the country. On third and ten, freshman defensive back intercepted Florida State redshirt senior quarterback EJ Manuel, returning the ball to the State 41-yard line.

“It was a big pick but my teammates set me up, my coaches set me up,” Burris said. “They told me right where to be so I’ve got to give all the credit to them.”

The interception was Burris’ first of the season and of his career.

State capitalized from the FSU turnover as the team drove down the field in seven plays en route to the endzone. Glennon connected with freshman running back Shadrach Thornton for a 24-yard touchdown, giving the team and Wolfpack faithful hope.

The defense continued to stay with the high flying FSU offense, holding them and forcing them to punt the ball away on three consecutive drives.

On the third punt attempt, freshman defensive end Mike Rose broke through the Seminole line and got his hand on the ball, blocking the punt and sending it out of bounds at the Florida State 43-yard line, setting the offense up in great field possession to take the lead.

According to Rose, he took the spot of sophomore Logan Winkles, who was injured earlier in the game.

Glennon and the offense took over with 2:27 remaining on the clock.

On the drive the Wolfpack was faced with a fourth down situation three times — and they converted all three. Glennon, the appointed offensive captain, looked like a field general as he drove his troops down the field. Time after time he found an open receiver on fourth down, extending the drive.

“It doesn’t get any better than this, to beat [a] team that good, of that caliber, at our home turf,” Glennon said.

On the twelfth play of the drive, Glennon found Underwood cutting across the end zone, from two yards out, for the score. Sade’s extra point gave the Wolfpack its first lead of the night.

Underwood set a new school record with the score, recording a touchdown in six consecutive games.

Florida State was given 16 seconds to drive down the field for the winning score but the Wolfpack defense held its ground one last time and defeated their ACC rivals, 17-16.

The Wolfpack will be back in action Oct. 20 as they take on the Maryland Terrapins in College Park, Md.

“Something about this place at night is just electrifying,” senior offensive lineman Camden Wentz said. “I argue that it’s the most electrifying place to be at night in the ACC. That crowd tonight was unbelievable.”

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