Wolfpack blows out FSU, snaps 2-game losing streak
After back-to-back losses, N.C. State needed a win. Florida State provided the perfect antidote on Saturday.
The Wolfpack got a career game from senior Reggie Gallaspy and three touchdowns from freshman Ricky Person to squeeze the Seminoles 47-28 and qualify for a bowl game in the process.
N.C State (6-2, 3-2 ACC) had dropped consecutive ACC games to Clemson and Syracuse after a 5-0 start to the season. The Wolfpack defense had been stretched in those two losses but was able to find some footing.
Mix in 16 penalties (for 121 yards) on Florida State (4-5, 2-5) with a 125-yard performance by receiver Jakobi Meyers and four field goals by Chris Dunn, and N.C. State was able to give coach Dave Doeren his second straight win over FSU (and first in Raleigh) to qualify for the postseason for the fifth straight year.
The Wolfpack forced two turnovers in the first half and scored on five of its first six possessions to jump out to a 27-7 lead in the second quarter.
Person, who missed the Syracuse game with multiple injuries, had touchdown runs of 1 and 4 yards in his return. He also had a 2-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
The running game got a boost with Person’s return, even though the freshman finished with only 42 yards. Gallaspy ran 21 times for a career-high 106 yards. The return of right tackle Justin Witt, who also missed the Syracuse loss, helped, too.
Quarterback Ryan Finley completed 21 of 27 passes for 240 yards with three touchdowns and was not sacked. FSU entered the game ranked in the top 20 nationally in sacks but couldn’t get to Finley.
An 8-yard touchdown pass from Finley to receiver Kelvin Harmon gave the Wolfpack a 17-0 lead at 11:33 in the second quarter.
There were still holes in the Wolfpack secondary. N.C. State, which entered the game at No. 126 in the country in pass defense, gave up two 75yard scoring drives to FSU in the first half.
Sophomore quarterback James Blackman, in his first start of the season, connected with receiver Tamorrion Terry on a 35-yard pass to cut N.C. State’s lead to 17-7.
Blackman also hit running back Cam Akers right before the half on an 8-yard touchdown to cut N.C. State’s lead to 27-14.
Blackman finished with 421 yards and four touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough to offset FSU’s problems on defense and with penalties.
N.C. State running back Ricky Person scores on a 1-yard run during the first half of the Wolfpack’s game against Florida State at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh on Saturday. Person scored three TDs during the Pack’s 47-28 win over the Seminoles.
N.C. State wide receiver Jakobi Meyers beats Florida State defensive back Asante Samuel Jr. down the sideline after making a reception.