RALEIGH, N.C. – Fifth-year senior wide receiver Christian Green’s long wait to find the end zone for the first time in his career came to an end early in the second quarter Saturday. The Tampa, Fla. native collected his first touchdown reception on a 22-yard pass from Jameis Winston, which stood up in spite of replay review by ACC officials.
Winston not only delivered a cross-field dart to Green at the pylon, he fulfilled a pregame promise as well. After chapel, he approached Green, who had learned earlier that his grandfather, Ernest Green Sr., had passed away.
“We’re going to get you a touchdown,” Winston said he told Green. “Be ready for it. The opportunity presented itself and he made a heckuva catch. He stayed in-bounds and scored the first touchdown of his career. Is that not special? That should be the story of the day.”
Green’s bittersweet moment came in his 45th game as a Seminole on his 47th career reception.
Another Greene Day
Rashad Greene’s senior season assault on a slew of FSU’s all-time receiving marks continued with an 11-reception, 125-yard, one-touchdown performance against the Wolfpack. The Albany, Ga. native became just the third receiver in FSU history with 200 career receptions and 3,000 receiving yards, joining Ron Sellers and Peter Warrick.
With 206 career receptions, he trails Warrick by one for a share of the No. 2 spot on the all-time list, and is just six shy of Sellers’ all-time lead, which has stood for 46 seasons. Greene’s 3,008 receiving yards trails only Sellers (3,598) and Warrick (3,517). His 4-yard touchdown reception for the go-ahead score was the 25th of his career, tying him with Barry Smith for fourth on the all-time list.
For the fourth time in the last five games, he also eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark, giving him 10 for his career. It moved him past receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey and is now tied for second place all-time. Greene has now caught a pass in 33 consecutive games as he chases Rodney Smith’s school record (39).
Winston glad to be back
Reduced to the role of spectator and cheerleader by last week’s suspension in an overtime win over Clemson, quarterback Jameis Winston was just thrilled to be back in the fold and between the lines with his Seminole teammates.
“That [suspension] motivated me even more to get back out there on the field,” Winston said. “That’s my habitat, out there between the lines with my teammates, my family, my brothers. I can tell you that it means a lot to get it taken away from me, but it means even more to be out there with my brothers and my family.”
Winston showed his joy with his performance – a 26-of-38 passing effort for 365 yards and four touchdowns – which marked the ninth time he has cracked the 300-yard passing mark in 17 starts. He now trails Chris Weinke by one for the all-time lead in 300-yard games.
By pushing his career touchdown pass total to 47, Winston is now tied for sixth on FSU’s career list with his predecessor, EJ Manuel.
Watching the young men grow
Jimbo Fisher has been praising freshmen defensive ends Lorenzo Featherston and Jacob Pugh since preseason camp, so it was not surprising that he entrusted the two to be on the field for the beleaguered unit in the fourth quarter with FSU trailing NC State.
That trust was rewarded when Featherston sacked NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett – the first of his career – and dislodged the football, which Pugh recovered at the Wolfpack six-yard line. Two plays later, Winston connected with Greene on a 4-yard touchdown pass to provide the Noles with their first lead of the night.
“Those young defensive ends, Featherston and Pugh, really came in and gave us a lift,” Fisher said, after the duo combined for eight tackles – 2.5 for loss – a pass break-up and a hurry. “They caused the big turnover off the edge. We’ve got to keep playing those guys. Those guys are going to be really, really good football players for us.”
Fisher appears committed to building depth and playing his first-year players, especially on defense.
“We’ve got a lot of great, young athletes,” he said. “What we’ve got to get is a lot of great, young football players…That just takes times. We’ve got to keep putting them in the fire.”
This & That
Dave Doern’s NC State team ran 87 plays in defeat; seven more than the Seminoles faced against Auburn in the 2013 BCS National Championship Game…sophomore receiver Jesus Wilson recorded the first 100-yard game of his career, snaring six receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns…freshman wideout Travis Rudolph’s first career reception went for 40 yards and led to Winston’s 15-yard TD pass to Wilson, which trimmed NC State’s lead to 38-35…Karlos Williams’ three-touchdown performance was the first by an FSU back since Lonnie Pryor against Murray State in the 2012 season opener to run for three scores in a game…Williams has rushing touchdowns in each of his last three games and now has 16 in his career. He also became the 41st back in FSU history to eclipse 1,000 career rushing yards; a feat accomplished in just 17 games for the converted safety…four Seminole defenders registered double-digit tackle performances: Terrance Smith (11) and Tyler Hunter, Reggie Northrup and Jalen Ramsey (10 each)…Fisher praised Wolfpack quarterback and Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett, who passed for 359 yards and three touchdowns in defeat. “It was fun to watch as a spectator. It was not fun as the opposing coach,” Fisher said.