November 4, 2016 - by

First and 10: No. 19 FSU at NC State

RALEIGH, N.C. – Florida State visits the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday in what the Seminoles hope is the first of four strong performances to close the regular season. Here are the names, numbers and notes you need to know before the Seminoles take on the Wolfpack.

 

No. 19 Florida State (5-3, 2-3 ACC) at North Carolina State (4-4, 1-3 ACC)

When/Where: Saturday, 7 p.m./Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583) in Raleigh, N.C.

TV/Radio: ESPNU/Seminole IMG Radio Network; FSU Broadcast Live Stream

Florida State injury report:

Out For Game
TE      Jalen Wilkerson (concussion)
WR     Jesus Wilson (foot)

Out Indefinitely
DE      Keith Bryant (foot)
DB      Derwin James (knee)
RB      Johnathan Vickers (concussion)

Out For Season
DB      Nate Andrews (right pectoral)
WR     George Campbell (core muscle)
DE      Adam Torres (leg)
OL      Landon Dickerson (knee)



NC State Wolfpack

Coach: Dave Doeren (22-24 in four seats at NC State, 45-28 overall)

Last game: NC State continued its October free-fall, dropping its third straight game in a 21-14 loss at home to Boston College. Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley threw for two touchdowns and two interceptions, but State managed just 1.3 rushing yards per carry.

Last game vs. Florida State: Sean Maguire came off the bench to rally the Seminoles from a 10-point deficit and beat NC State, 34-17, in Tallahassee on Nov. 14, 2015. Maguire tossed two touchdown passes, both of them to receiver Kermit Whitfield, and Dalvin Cook ran for two touchdowns.

FSU vs. NC State since 1992:

1992: No. 3 Florida State 33, No. 16 NC STATE 11

1993: No. 2 FLORIDA STATE 62, NC State 3

1994: No. 8 Florida State 34, No. 25 NC STATE 3

1995: No. 1 FLORIDA STATE 77, NC State 17

1996: No. 3 Florida State 51, NC STATE 17

1997: No. 3 FLORIDA STATE 48, NC State 35

1998: NC STATE 24, No. 2 Florida State 7

1999: No. 1 FLORIDA STATE 42, No. 20 NC State 11

2000: No. 6 Florida State 58, No. 21 NC STATE 14

2001: NC State 34, No. 14 FLORIDA STATE 28

2002: NC STATE 17, No. 14 Florida State 7

2003: No. 13 FLORIDA STATE 50, NC State 44 (2OT)

2004: No. 11 Florida State 17, NC STATE 10

2005: NC STATE 20, No. 9 Florida State 15

2006: NC State 24, No. 17 FLORIDA STATE 20

2007: FLORIDA STATE 27, NC State 10

2008: Florida State 27, NC STATE 17

2009: FLORIDA STATE 45, NC State 42

2010: NC STATE 28, No. 16 Florida State 24

2011: FLORIDA STATE 34, NC State 0

2012: NC STATE 17, No. 3 Florida State 16

2013: No. 3 FLORIDA STATE 49, NC State 17

2014: No. 1 Florida State 56, NC STATE 41

2015: No. 16 FLORIDA STATE 34, NC State 17

2016: No. 19 Florida State at NC STATE, Saturday, 7 p.m.

 

  • The Seminoles visit North Carolina State looking to bounce back after dropping a close contest against Clemson last week. NC State offers a good cautionary tale for what can happen if a team doesn’t move on from a difficult defeat: The Wolfpack were a 33-yard field goal away from beating Clemson in Death Valley last month. Instead, the kick missed, NC State lost in overtime and hasn’t won since. The Pack enters Saturday’s contest on a three-game losing streak that includes a home loss to Boston College last week.
  • With a month left in the season, the Seminoles this week insisted that their focus is now on picking up four wins to close the campaign and then finishing strong in their bowl game. No one in FSU’s locker room expected to have three losses before the calendar turned to November, but the Seminole still have some attainable goals: A win over Florida would make FSU “state champs” over rivals UF and Miami for a fourth straight year. And running the table would allow the Seminoles to finish with at least 10 victories for the sixth time in seven seasons under Jimbo Fisher. Finally, the home stretch of the season means the end is near for a vaunted senior class that includes DeMarcus Walker, Marquez White, Jesus Wilson and Kermit Whitfield, among others. That group has accomplished a lot over the last four seasons, and sending the seniors out in appropriate fashion should also be a top priority.

     

  • The Seminoles will have at least one new face on the offensive line this week. Fisher announced Thursday that freshman Landon Dickerson, FSU’s starting right guard since Week 2, suffered a torn ACL earlier this week and will miss the rest of the season. Fisher expects Wilson Bell to fill in for Dickerson, and the good news for FSU is that Bell has plenty of experience. A fourth-year junior, Bell started every game at right guard a year ago and began this season as the starter before Dickerson took over.

     

  • Florida State’s Dalvin Cook has a shot at history. The junior running back comes into the game needing just 192 yards to become Florida State’s all-time leading rusher, which would break a record held by Warrick Dunn for 20 years (3,959 yards, set from 1993 to 1996). While 192 yards is no small task, it’s certainly within Cook’s capabilities – he’s eclipsed that mark four times during his career.

 


One offensive and defensive player from each team who could swing the game

NC State: Jaylen Samuels is officially listed as a tight end, but that’s a bit misleading. The junior can line up almost anywhere for the Wolfpack, and throughout his career has played receiver, running back, H-back and even taken a few snaps at quarterback. Samuels, who has scored seven touchdowns this year, is NC State’s leading receiver with 34 catches for 325 yards, and he’s also added another 102 rushing yards on just 19 carries.

Junior Bradley Chubb comes from a family of football standouts (brother Brandon played linebacker at Wake Forest and brother Nick is a running back at Georgia), and the talented defensive end is no exception. Chubb ranks fifth in the ACC with 11.5 tackles for loss and his six sacks are sixth-most in the league.

Florida State: Nyqwan Murray introduced himself to the nation last week with a six-catch, 96-yard performance that came about after an injury to Wilson. With Wilson ruled out for Saturday’s game, Murray could once again be in line for a big day. Teammates say that, in the wake of Wilson’s injury, Murray has adopted a more mature attitude and upped his efforts in practice.

With NC State’s Samuels likely to be moving around in search of a matchup advantage, Florida State’s linebackers will have the tall task of keeping track of him and slowing him down. That job could fall to freshman Dontavious Jackson, whose role in the defense has steadily increased since the start of the season. Jackson earned his first career start against North Carolina, and he served as one of FSU’s base linebackers during last week’s game against Clemson.

First and 10: No. 19 FSU at NC State


Total offense: FSU: 480.0 YPG (29th nationally); NCSU: 400.4 YPG (73rd)

Scoring offense:  FSU: 34.8 PPG (34th); NCSU: 26.8 PPG (79th)

Passing offense: FSU: 273.4 YPG (32nd); NCSU: 255.1 YPG (46th)

Rushing offense: FSU: 206.6 YPG (39th); NCSU: 145.25 (99th)

Total defense: FSU: 403.9 YPG (65th); NCSU: 354.1 YPG (28th)

Scoring defense: FSU: 29.9 PPG (79th); NCSU: 23.4 PPG (38th)

Passing defense: FSU: 251.5 YPG (90th); NCSU: 241.3 YPG (83rd)

Rushing defense: FSU: 152.38 YPG (51st); NCSU: 112.88 YPG (17th)

Number of note: Not only is Cook within range of FSU’s all-time rushing record, he could threaten the ACC’s career mark as well. NC State’s Ted Brown is the leader, with 4,602 yards from 1975-78. Cook has 3,768 and, assuming five games (four regular season plus a bowl game) remaining, he would need to average 166.8 yards per game to reach the mark.

“You should get better as the year goes on. Unfortunately for us, we had so many big games early, you don’t see that because you’re worrying about the result. As you practice, you get better and we have done that. That’s what you really want to do because you want to be peaking at the end of the year.” – Jimbo Fisher on the team’s improvement over the course of the year

 

“It’s just Carter-Finley can rock, and any time this place is packed and loud and you’re playing a great team, our fans, our players get into that, and it creates a tough environment for the opponents to stay focused. We need that from our fans and our students. There’s no doubt. In the past it’s definitely had an effect.” – NC State coach Dave Doeren on NC State’s home-field advantage

 

“We’ve got four games left. We’re winning these four games.” – cornerback Marquez White on FSU’s attitude heading into the final month of the season

 

“He’s a player that you’re going to see every 10 years. He can run every route. You know he’s going to catch the ball. He did it in practice last week. We knew he was going to have a breakout game when Bobo Wilson went down.” – safety Ermon Lane on Nyqwan Murray’s development

 

“You’re honest and upfront with him and you say, ‘Listen, you’ve got to keep playing. You don’t know when your opportunity comes back. And when your opportunity (comes), you’ve got to be ready for it, as a team guy. And he’s done that. He’s done a great job of that.” – Fisher on how Bell stayed prepared despite playing as a reserve this season

  • Tarvarus McFadden continued his string of interceptions last week, grabbing his sixth of the season. That leads the nation and is the most by an FSU defensive back since Patrick Robinson had six in 2007.
  • Florida State remained in the AP poll after last week’s defeat and has been ranked in the poll for 79 straight weeks, the second-longest active streak in college football.

     

  • The Seminoles can become bowl eligible on Saturday, which would extend their bowl streak to 35 years. That would match Nebraska (1969-2003) for the longest streak of all time.

     

  • Per the NCAA, Florida State has played the nation’s fourth-toughest schedule. Overall, the Seminoles’ FBS opponents are 40-17, good for a .702 winning percentage.
  • Two FSU freshmen are among the best in the country for their age: quarterback Deondre Francois leads all freshmen in passing yards per game (270.3) and defensive end Brian Burns is tied for the lead among “Power 5” freshmen with five sacks.
  • The Seminoles are looking to win back-to-back games in Raleigh for the first time since 1994 and 1996. FSU is 4-5 at NC State since 1996.

     

  • NC State has elite company in three very specific categories: The Wolfpack ranks fifth nationally in forced fumbles (13), seventh in recovered fumbles (seven) and eighth in blocked kicks (three).

     

  • NC State has allowed just seven first-quarter points at home this season. The Seminoles meanwhile, have been outscored 38-34 in first quarters away from Tallahassee.

     

  • The Wolfpack will hold its annual Military Appreciation day on Saturday, and the team will don special alternate uniforms to mark the occasion.
  • NC State is facing its third ranked opponent in four weeks. The Pack hosted Clemson and visited Louisville last month.

It’s been 20 years since FSU has won back-to-back games in Raleigh. That would be 1996, when the Seminoles went undefeated in the regular season before falling in the national championship game at the Sugar Bowl. That team – which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the FSU football program – racked up eight sacks at NC State on the way to a 51-17 victory. Here’s some quality footage from that game, including an extended peek at what College Gameday looked like 20 years ago.

Jared Shanker of ESPN.com writes that about the one achievement that Dalvin Cook still hopes to reach.

Brendan Sonnone of Noles247 takes a deeper look at Nyqwan Murray’s recent emergence.

Corey Clark of the Tallahassee Democrat writes that, even in their loss to Clemson, the Seminoles laid a foundation on which they can build.

Matthew Simpson of the NC State Technician says that the Wolfpack is smelling an upset on Saturday.

NC State’s Carter-Finley Stadium has become something of an urban legend for Florida State fans, and not without reason. It’s one of the toughest places to play in the league, even more so for marquee opponents in a primetime kickoff.

Still, as Jimbo Fisher likes to say, the crowd can’t come on to the field and play. And the NC State team that will be playing is reeling after three straight losses, including a home defeat to Boston College that has the Wolfpack faithful feeling more than a little restless.

The recipe for Florida State is fairly simple: Get out to a sharp, quick start (something that has been easier said than done this year), feed Dalvin Cook the ball and take away any hope of an upset in the early goings. If the Seminoles can do that, then Carter-Finley Stadium might not seem so scary after all.

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