With 6:37 left in the third quarter, Shadrach Thornton trucked a Florida State defender for a 10-year touchdown run to put the Pack ahead 38-28. For a few moments, it looked like the Pack might play the sort of perfect offensive game it needed to beat the Seminoles.
But it only took a few key mistakes – a fumble by Jacoby Brissett on the next drive and again in the fourth quarter – to give the ‘Noles enough opportunities to finish the Pack off and hold onto the nation’s longest unbeaten streak. For the first time in a long time, Florida State got out of Raleigh unscathed with a 56-41 win.
The two fumbles aside, Brissett was electric for the Pack. He threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns, constantly eluding the Seminole defense just long enough to make a play down the field. The Pack also ran the ball effectively, averaging 4.4 yards per carry to go along with 7.2 yards per attempt and racked up 520 yards of total offense. If the Pack can do that against the Seminoles, it’s safe to say they’ll be able to put up numbers against anyone on the schedule.
And they’ll almost certainly have to, because the only way the defense seems capable of stopping teams is with turnovers. A big reason the Pack led for the majority of the game (I repeat, NC State led No. 1 FSU for the majority of the game), was that the defense created turnovers and the offense turned them into points. Jerod Fernandez had two picks and the Pack recovered two fumbles which turned into 24 points for the Pack. But when the Pack wasn’t forcing turnover…. Ugh. The ‘Noles averaged five yards per rush and 9.6 yards per pass. . The Seminoles had 15 drives – eight were touchdowns, four were turnovers and just three were punts.
So, basically, get ready for some shoot outs folks! That UNC game might have an O/U in the 80s at the rate both teams are going.