What is there to say after a game like this? NC State had to be flawless to have a shot--we all knew that much. NC State was not anything remotely close to flawless. Shadrach Thornton (who had a fine game overall) slipped and fell for no gain on the first play from scrimmage, and Brandon Mitchell tossed an interception on the next one, setting the tone for the day.
Florida State was unstoppable in the first quarter, and NCSU turnovers only compounded matters; by the time the Seminoles had a 21-0 lead halfway through the quarter, the game was over. Jameis Winston carved up some soft NC State coverage, and twice burned Juston Burris on long post-route touchdowns. It was 35-0 after one quarter, and Winston was well on his way to some insane records, had FSU wanted to keep its foot on the gas.
The Wolfpack, meanwhile, was busy going nowhere while the running game generated little and Brandon Mitchell made a string of ... adventurous decisions. This does sum it up quite well:
Mitchell threw a pair of picks and was fortunate not to have thrown more. He also did some weird/terrifying shit like that you see above; at one point in the first half, he scrambled up the middle of the field, then tried to lateral the ball to his right while being tackled. (It was ruled an illegal forward pass.) He was volatile, to say the least.
I'm not trying to sound overly critical of Mitchell, who obviously was dealing with a difficult set of circumstances. There's no easing your way back into the swing of things against Florida State, and he found himself under a lot of pressure early on.
Mitchell did start to look comfortable in the second half, and while that came against FSU's backups, that's kind of beside the point right now. He needs the live-game reps, and he needs the confidence. That's what the second half was all about. Oh, and Shadrach did this:
NC State's best player today, without question. When it looked like everybody else was mailing it in and giving zero cares, he was at least out there running hard, even if he didn't find much room early on. He set a career-high in rushing yardage.
That bright spot aside, there was little worth remembering about this game. Burn the damn tapes and let's just move on to UNC.