RALEIGH, N.C. – Every time Tamorrion Terry lines up and sees one-on-one coverage from an opposing defense, he licks his chops.
“I feel like nobody can stop me,” Terry said following a five-catch, 142-yard performance against NC State on Saturday.
“I know once the ball is up there, it’s mine. I want every ball that comes to me, so I know once it’s thrown to me, I’m going to go get it.”
The redshirt freshman sensation for Florida State has dazzled in his first year on the field and was brilliant yet again on Saturday against the Wolfpack. After the Noles found themselves down early in the contest, Terry came up with back-to-back big gains to help the Seminoles climb back within striking distance.
With quarterback James Blackman starting a game for the first time this season, Terry burned his man and hauled in a 40-yard “fly” route down the sideline. The very next play was an identical route that went for 35 yards and a score. Both times, the 6-4 pass-catcher was being played one-on-one by an NC State defender.
“He’s a deep threat with strong hands,” said fellow receiver D.J. Matthews, who also had a big game with 10 catches for 133 yards and a touchdown. “He has a big body that can run routes well, and he’s still not even at his best yet.”
Terry had a pair of scores on the afternoon, the second coming on a nice 10-yard grab late in the third quarter with the Seminoles attempting to keep pace with the Wolfpack’s offense.
His overall game was on full display throughout the game as he flashed his big frame and elite speed to bring in a variety of difficult catches.
“We know if we throw the ball in his area, he’s going to go get it,” coach Willie Taggart said. “He’s a big-time player for us.”
“‘Fifteen’ works his behind off,” added Blackman, referring to Terry by his jersey number. “…There just comes a game where you’re working hard and you get rewarded for the things that you’re working for.”
Matthews, meanwhile, had his best game as a Seminole on Saturday. While he’s shown what he’s capable of in the punt return game, the glimpse into what he could do in the Gulf Coast Offense was a welcoming sign for Taggart’s attack. His 31-yard touchdown catch late in the game highlighted the offense’s will to keep fighting and refusal to quit, despite the score.
“It’s a good feeling to see our team still celebrating a score at the end,” Matthews said. “It just shows that there’s no quit and we still want it. It’s also some momentum to roll into the next game with.”
Blackman threw for 421 yards in the game with four touchdowns, the most yards in a single contest for a Seminole since Jameis Winston tossed for 444 against Clemson in 2013. More than 65 percent of Blackman’s production – 275 yards – went to either Terry or Matthews. Further, FSU hadn’t had two 100-yard receivers in the same game since Jesus Wilson and Dalvin Cook did it together against North Carolina in 2016.
While the outcome of the game didn’t provide the result the Noles wanted, the fact that two second-year players delivered the way they did is a positive sign for the future, especially considering they were catching passes from a fellow underclassman.
“I try and lead by example and make sure I’m doing everything right and nothing wrong,” Terry said. “I want the guys I lead to see that and try and do what I do.”
Overall, the FSU offense racked up 445 total yards on just 68 plays, marking one of its best performances of the season. After a tough time against the vaunted Clemson defense a week ago, the team knew it would bounce back against the Wolfpack.
And an encouraging offensive performance has the team optimistic it can finish the regular season in strong fashion.
“We can’t give up on each other, we’re a brotherhood,” Matthews said.
“We need to stay strong and fight. We know it’s not good right now, but we can build on this.”