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)
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.
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.
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
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.