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NC State’s loss to FSU overshadows big night from Larrell Murchison

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The big dog did some eating against the Seminoles.

North Carolina State v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Larrell Murchison turned in an exceptional performance against Florida State on Saturday night, but unfortunately, the majority of his teammates did not (I’m lookin’ at you, everyone on the offense), so the result was an NC State defeat. Murchison did everything he could personally to avoid this fate, finishing with six tackles that included 3.5 sacks.

It was the best performance of his career, and it made a huge difference in preserving the Wolfpack’s chances:

— His first sack of the night came late in the first quarter, with the Seminoles buried deep in their own territory. Murchison sacked Alex Hornibrook on first down for a loss of seven yards, setting up a 2nd-and-17 situation from FSU’s own 8. The Noles would go three-and-out, and State would get the ball at the FSU 30 after a shanked punt. That led to the Pack’s first field goal.

— His second sack came on FSU’s ensuing possession, a five-yarder on 3rd down that once again secured a three-and-out.

— Murchison was involved in sacks on back-to-back plays in the third quarter that pushed Florida State out of field goal range and resulted in a punt. On the first of those, he teamed up with Alim McNeill to drop Hornibrook on a 2nd-and-15 play from NC State’s 26. That pushed FSU back to the 30. On the next play, Murchison again got to Hornibrook, pushing the Noles back to the 37, and from there they opted to punt it away. Those were critical plays with NC State trailing 17-6 and still theoretically in striking distance.

He was also credited with a pair of quarterback hurries, and both of those plays ended with an incomplete pass. He either derailed or ended three Florida State drives, and there’s not much more you could ask from one defensive player—especially a defensive tackle.

But NC State’s offense essentially ended the team’s chances with its ineffectiveness in the third quarter. The Pack possessed the ball for 4:31 in that quarter, leaving the defense to wear down after repeated short breathers. As those guys wore out, FSU found more than enough points to put the game away.

Can’t take anything from Murchison on Saturday, though. He turned in an all-conference performance and just didn’t get much help. So it goes.

He is up to five sacks on the season, more than he had all of last year.