Sunday, May 20, 2018
Colleges

Florida State routs N.C. State

TALLAHASSEE — So much for a potential upset of Florida State.

The Seminoles ended that senseless talk immediately after kickoff Saturday afternoon against North Carolina State.

One week after an emotional win over then-No. 3 Clemson and facing an N.C. State squad that derailed its season last year, No. 3 Florida State dominated the Wolfpack with a 49-17 victory in front of 80,389 at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Florida State (7-0, 5-0 ACC) has scored 40 or more points in seven consecutive games, which ties a school record set in 1995.

"A lot of people said it was a revenge game," Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston said. "They are a great team, but we obviously knew that last year's game really hurt us deep because it stopped our team from potentially getting a national championship. I'm glad our guys remembered that and bounced back strong."

Saturday's victory sets up a Sunshine State and ACC showdown this week between Florida State and No. 7 Miami — both undefeated.

"They are a heck of a football team," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said of Miami. "We're going to have to be ready to play. It's like the old days (of the rivalry)."

It took the Seminoles less than two minutes to score against N.C. State (3-4, 0-4) and within four minutes the Seminoles were up two touchdowns. The first touchdown was set up by defensive back Terrence Brooks, who intercepted Brandon Mitchell's first pass with 14:27 remaining in the first quarter.

"It's (early turnovers) real big because it affects the (opponent's) offense mentally when you come out like that and turn the ball over in the first series," FSU linebacker Terrance Smith said. "It was a momentum-setter for the defense."

Florida State scored 28 in the first 8:51. The Seminoles led 42-0 at halftime and gained 371 of their 566 total yards in the first half — the fifth time this season they have gained more than 200 yards in the first half, all against ACC competition.

"That's something we've been stressing the entire season, to start fast," receiver Rashad Greene said.

Winston (15-of-24 for 277 yards and three touchdowns) and the first-team offense played just one series, five plays, in the second half. FSU's first-team defense gave up 85 total yards and zero first downs in the first half.

N.C. State scored all 17 of its points and gained 231 of its 316 yards against the second-team defense after Fisher pulled his starting unit in the second half.

And though he wasn't thrilled with the overall performance of the young players, Fisher defended the decision, saying he wanted to avoid injuries to his starters in a blowout game and get his young players vital experience.

"Our first-team defense played extremely well the whole time they were in the ball game," Fisher said. "We tried to play a lot of young guys in this game, and we've got to get better. Our young guys are held to that same standard and to play at that same level, and we've got to get them as many reps as we can because you don't know when an injury is going to occur. I thought we could have played better. I give N.C. State a lot of credit. They played well the whole game and competed very well."

Antonya English can be reached at [email protected]

 
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