I don’t know what to say anymore when it comes to this season. NC State has lost to Clemson and Florida State by a combined seven points, and yet this is infuriating and disappointing. The Wolfpack played well against the Seminoles on Saturday night, but just as inefficiency cost them at Clemson, it cost them against the Seminoles.
Florida State overcame a 20-10 deficit in the second half and won 24-20 on the strength of a late fourth-quarter touchdown. NC State had plenty of time to drive the ball down the field and answer, but like so many many things this year, it was never meant to be.
There’s so many small things here, so many big things. NC State’s defense was, for the most part, great against the Seminoles and Dalvin Cook. NC State’s offense also missed a field goal in close, settled for a field goal from the damned three-yard-line, and threw a pick with momentum in hand early on.
NC State was the better team in the first half, much better than its 13-10 lead implied. But the bottom line of a matchup like this: if you do not take full advantage when you have the upper hand, especially when the opponent has more talent than you do, then you’re asking to get burned. It doesn’t always work that way—it did this time. For Dave Doeren, this ain’t new. This may be the end for him.
It’s almost certainly the end for NC State’s bowl hopes, despite a great game from Matt Dayes, a big night from Nyheim Hines, and a pretty damn solid overall effort by the defense. So it goes.