I’m pretty sure this was my favorite game of NC State’s season. And not just because winning it was a huge relief—though it definitely was that. NC State was a lot better than Florida State in its own house for the majority of the afternoon.
That did not mean that this one ended up being an easy finish; what a silly idea that would be. But NC State scored first, scored second, and kept control when the Seminoles made a worthy counter.
NC State’s offense didn’t have a great first half but it did connect on a couple chunk plays: the first was a lengthy touchdown pass to CJ Riley, who eluded coverage then broke a tackle to take in an easy touchdown. The second was a dime of a throw from Devin Leary to Trent Pennix down the boundary, prolonging a drive that ended in a Chris Toudle touchdown.
Florida State was so bad in the first half that it had to come out of halftime and pull a surprise onside kick, which, alas, worked. But it’s weird that these roles are reversed, isn’t it? That FSU is the desperate home team in this matchup?
Anyway, FSU scored on that drive to put some game pressure on State, which State quickly erased with a drive that eventually resulted in Trent Pennix making this a 21-7 game. That wasn’t enough to relax any of us, because FSU responded with another TD drive.
... there were some small moments here and there, in the first half and the second, where FSU’s defense quit and NC State took advantage for big scores. Trent Pennix had a big one in the first half, and Ricky Person buried them the second time. Whew. Damn that was scary.
Devin Leary played great tonight, and NC State found the chunk plays it needed at the right time, and the defense was outstanding.