The halftime mood at Carter-Finley Stadium was indeed grim. I overheard some guys at the urinals comparing Tim Beck to Matt Rhule, so we were all going through it at that point. I was trying to find an excuse to skip the second half completely.
Fortunately, and not for the first time, the team proved that it is a lot more mentally resilient than most of us fans. The defense stepped up big time to keep Florida State off the scoreboard in the second half, and little by little, the Pack’s offense closed the two-score gap, beginning with Devin Leary’s touchdown pass to Darryl Jones early in the third quarter.
NC State picked off Jordan Travis twice in the fourth quarter, with Devan Boykin’s pick in the end zone effectively sealing the win. From my vantage in the upper deck, it became clear as soon as Travis released the ball that he was essentially throwing the ball right to Boykin, so I had a good half second or so to get pre-shocked about this shocking turn of events.
I don’t know if there was a miscommunication on the route there, and I have no problem with the decision to take the shot given how shaky FSU’s kicker has been this season, but FSU no doubt would love that one back. NC State was more than happy to accept the gift.
Travis had his worst game of the season by far, setting lows for completion percentage, yards per attempt, and passer rating. We expected this Wolfpack defense would be good enough to win us some games this season, and it definitely won this one last night. What an effort.