North Carolina State defeats No. 3 Florida State
The Raleigh News Observer -
Heisman Candidate - EJ Manuel
RALEIGH, N.C. - So much for Florida State's national title hopes. The third-ranked Seminoles couldn't even make it out of the ACC.
N.C. State, in an improbable turn-around from a numbing loss to Miami, knocked off the Seminoles, 17-16 at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday night in a repeat of history.
The last time the Wolfpack faced a top 10 team at home (last year against Clemson)? A win.
Bryan Underwood's touchdown with 16 seconds left gave the Wolfpack its 13th win in its past 15 home games, including a pair of upsets over top 10 teams.
N.C. State (4-2) quarterback Mike Glennon converted two passes on fourth down on the game-winning drive, including the 3-yard touchdown pass to Underwood, who has caught a touchdown in every game this season.
Glennon hit receiver Quintin Payton on fourth and 10 from the 14-yard line to extend the drive. A blocked punt by Mike Rose with 2:27 left set up the Wolfpack's wild win.
Twice in the fourth quarter, after N.C. State had cut FSU's lead to 16-10, the Seminoles fast and swarming defense, held the Wolfpack out of the end zone.
FSU cornerback Tyler Hunter stopped N.C. State running back Shadrach Thornton five yards short on a fourth-down pass play with 2:47 left in the game.
But N.C. State's defense, which struggled on defense in last week's loss at Miami, was able to pressure FSU quarterback E.J. Manuel (four sacks) and force FSU to kick field goals.
State's defense gave up an ACC-record 566 passing yards to Miami's Stephen Morris but Manuel, who's in the Heisman Trophy race, was held to 218 with an interception.
Senior running back Chris Thompson had 115 of his 141 yards in the first half. He accounted for 71 of 80 yards on FSU's first touchdown drive of the game.
Manuel threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Nick O'Leary but it was the Noles' only touchdown of the night.
FSU kicker Dustin Hopkins hit from 49, 20 and 36 in the first half while the Seminoles' fast, swarming defense held N.C. State to 68 yards and four first downs.
N.C. State had a season-low 166 yards in last year's 34-0 loss at Florida State. The Wolfpack's offense found life in the second half after an interception by freshman cornerback Juston Burris.
Burris stepped in front of a Manuel pass interned for receiver Kelvin Benjamin and returned it 11 yards to the Wolfpack's 41-yard line.
Given the short field, N.C. State took advantage of the FSU defense with a 24-yard touchdown from Glennon to Thornton.
Thornton's touchdown, his third in the past two home games, at 13:47 in the fourth quarter cut FSU's lead to 16-10.
On the next possession, FSU drove the ball down N.C. State's 19-yard line but on third-and-2, Johnson sacked Manuel for a 15-yard loss.
The Pack got the ball back, and picked up two first downs, but the drive stalled at its own 40.
State's defense held and got the ball back with 4:35 left and Glennon found Payton for a pair of first downs.
The Pack's drive reached FSU's 36-yard line but on third-and-10, Glennon missed tight end Asa Watson and on fourth down, Glennon hit Thornton but for only five yards.
N.C. State's defense forced another punt and got the big play it needed, the block from Rose, and then the clutch fourth-down conversions from Glennon, first to Payton and then to Underwood for the game-winner.