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Bad omen before tougher foe

Hey, Seminoles.

You just lost to North Carolina State. Where are you going?

Gainesville? Oh, gee.

"Since I've been playing football, I've never been in this situation, to lose to an underdog, a team you're supposed to beat, and then get ready for a No. 1, No. 2 (type) team the following week," sophomore defensive tackle Darnell Dockett said.

"We had worked so hard to climb back up as a team and we had, so this is tough," senior receiver Atrews Bell added. "But we've got to rebound. Florida's not going to feel sorry for us next week."

Before Saturday's game, FSU coach Bobby Bowden thought if his team dominated the Wolfpack, it would have a shot against the Gators.

"But we didn't do it, we didn't dominate," he said. "And not only did we struggle, we lost. This must tell you about our football team. It tells me we're not as advanced as I was hoping we were."

POSSIBLE BIG LOSS: On FSU's final desperate drive, junior offensive tackle Brett Williams went down clutching his left knee and had to be taken off on a cart.

"I heard a pop; it scared me more than anything," he said.

Trainers called a it sprain of the medial collateral ligament, but Williams said if it swells, he will need an MRI exam.

HOLD ON A SECOND: The Seminoles entered the game dominating play in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents by a combined 132-34. But N.C. State emphatically reversed that trendoutscoring FSU 17-0 in the quarter.

MORE FSU INJURIES: Sophomore tailback Greg Jones sprained his neck in the first half and did not return for the second. He said later he was okay. Dockett sprained his left knee and played the latter part of the game with a brace. Cornerback Stanford Samuels separated his right shoulder, linebacker Kendyll Pope had a hip pointer and defensive end Alonzo Jackson needed 10 stitches on a cut right thumb.

SOME HOME COOKING: FSU is 25-1 in homecoming games under Bowden. Before Saturday, the Seminoles last lost a homecoming game Nov. 15, 1975, to Miami 24-22.

HOME-COOKED: The last time FSU had lost two games at Doak Campbell Stadium in a season was in 1984. The Seminoles had a home unbeaten streak of 55 games before losing to Miami 49-27 on Oct. 13.

END OF ANOTHER STREAK: Bell had caught a pass in 21 consecutive games entering the game but came up empty.

ROAD TRIP: The last time N.C. State defeated Florida State on the road was in 1967, 20-10.

RECEIVERS: Senior wide receiver Javon Walker recorded the fifth 100-yard game of his career with eight catches for 121 yards. He is second among active ACC players in career 100-yard receiving games.

INTERCEPTIONS: Redshirt freshman Claudius Oseis, a Tallahassee native, recorded his first career interception during the second quarter of Saturday's game.

TWICE IN A LIFETIME: For the second time in 10 years, a span of 40 games, the Seminoles trailed a visiting ACC opponent at the half. In 1996, Virginia led 17-14, but the Seminoles rallied for a 31-24 win.

_ BRIAN LANDMAN, ALEX ABRAMS

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