Recap: NC State vs. Florida State
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Mike Glennon's 2-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Underwood with 16 seconds remaining capped a furious second-half rally that propelled North Carolina State to a stunning 17-16 victory over third-ranked Florida State in Atlantic Coast Conference action from Carter-Finley Stadium.
Glennon completed 30-of-55 passes for 259 yards -- all but 41 of which came after halftime -- and a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns as North Carolina State (4-2, 1-1 ACC) overcame a 16-0 deficit at intermission and knocked off a nationally-ranked Seminoles squad for the fourth time in the last nine years.
Florida State (5-1, 2-1) was also upset in Raleigh by a 28-24 count in 2010, when the program was ranked 16th at the time, and was also dealt defeats by the Wolfpack while in the national polls during the 2005 and 2006 seasons.
The win was also N.C. State's first over a top-five opponent since a 24-7 triumph over the then-No. 2 Seminoles at Carter-Finley Stadium on Sept. 12, 1998.
Quintin Payton caught six Glennon throws for 79 yards and Shadrach Thornton had 48 yards and a touchdown on four grabs for the Wolfpack, which outgained the Seminoles by a 257-111 margin in total yards over the final two quarters.
"Tonight was tremendous," said Wolfpack head coach Tom O'Brien. "It was a great effort by the team. A great effort by our defense to shut out a team like Florida State in the second half like we did."
Chris Thompson rushed for 141 yards on 25 carries for Florida State, which was bidding for its first 6-0 start since its last national championship season in 1999.
Seminoles quarterback E.J. Manuel threw for 218 yards and a touchdown on 17- of-29 passing, but also had a critical interception that aided NC State's comeback.
"We felt good," said Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. "We came out with a lot of energy. They just out-executed us out there."
The Wolfpack mustered a minuscule 68 total yards and four first downs against a stifling FSU defense in the first half, but Glennon and his mates would find considerably more success afterward.
N.C. State put together its first sustained drive of the night on its initial second-half series, churning out 73 yards on 15 plays and getting a key 11- yard run from Thornton on 3rd-and-11 to move the chains. The Wolfpack would eventually move down to the FSU 10, but two Glennon incompletions and a false- start call forced them to settle for Niklas Sade's 27-yard field goal just past the halfway mark of the third quarter.
Following an exchange of punts, Juston Burris intercepted an ill-advised Manuel pass and returned it near midfield to thwart a Seminoles' scoring attempt.
Three straight Glennon completions brought the Wolfpack deep into Florida State territory early in the fourth quarter, and the senior signal-caller later hit Thornton on a wheel route for a 24-yard score that brought N.C. State within 16-10 with 13:47 left to play.
The deficit would remain at six points deep into the fourth quarter, with the Seminoles halting N.C. State on downs with under three minutes to go. However, the Wolfpack stuffed three straight running plays to get the ball back, and did so with excellent field position after Mike Rose partially blocked Cason Beatty's punt for a mere 10-yard gain at the FSU 43.
Glennon made good on two fourth-down conversions to move the chains, hitting Asa Watson for seven yards and drilling a 12-yard strike to Payton on 4th- and-10 to put the ball at the Florida State 2-yard line with 1:07 left.
The Seminoles would force another fourth down by pressuring Glennon into a pair of misfires and stopping a rush attempt, but Glennon delivered once again by threading the needle to a diving Underwood across the middle of the end zone to tie the contest at 16-16. Sade then converted the ensuing point-after try to complete the rally.
"Getting the blocked punt helped give us a short field and we used it to our advantage," said O'Brien. "I kept telling [offensive coordinator] Dana [Bible] to get a fourth-down play ready. The touchdown play was a play we practice a lot. Bryan did a good job of finding an open spot and Mike did a good job of finding him."
Florida State faced little resistance from the Wolfpack prior to the break, with the defense continually providing scoring opportunities to enable the Seminoles to build a seemingly comfortable lead.
A three-and-out on N.C. State's second possession gave Florida State the ball near midfield, and Thompson broke free on a 21-yard scamper on the drive's first play to set up Dustin Hopkins' 49-yard field goal that opened the scoring midway through the first quarter.
After the Wolfpack again produced little on their subsequent series, the Seminoles embarked on an 11-play, 80-yard drive to take a 10-0 lead. Manuel connected with Rashad Greene for a 21-yard gain on 3rd-and-17 to extend the march, then later capped it by hitting Nick O'Leary in the corner of the end zone from four yards out just over a minute into the second quarter.
Florida State would obtain excellent field position on account of defensive stops twice more before the half would end. A 36-yard run by Thompson led to a 20-yard Hopkins field goal with just over four minutes to go, and Hopkins drilled a 36-yarder with 28 seconds remaining to further the margin to 16 points.Game Notes
N.C. State is now 5-2 in its last seven matchups with FSU when the Seminoles
have been ranked ... Underwood has a touchdown catch in six consecutive games,
breaking a Wolfpack record he had shared with Koren Robinson (2000) ... The
Wolfpack improved to 14-2 at Carter-Finley Stadium since the start of the 2010
season ... Florida State has lost in its first game following a 5-0 start four
straight times, also doing so in 2000, 2003 and 2005.