Quick hits from NC State's win over Florida State

Matt Carter, Editor
The Wolfpacker
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Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Quick hits and notes from NC State’s 27-21 win over No. 11/12 Florida State in front of 73,541 sun-soaked fans at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on a hot and muggy Saturday afternoon:

A win for the books

This was Florida State’s first home-opening loss in head coach Jimbo Fisher’s eight years at the helm, and the Noles are 0-2 for the first time since 1989.

The breaks go the Pack’s way

For once, it seemed that NC State got some of the friendly bounces. When Florida State freshman quarterback James Blackman fumbled, the mad scramble for the loose ball, which went about 20 yards to the NC State 3, was won by Wolfpack redshirt sophomore safety Jarius Morehead, and then the review held up on a bang-bang play on whether Blackman’s knee was down or not.

Florida State was also the team that missed the chip-shot field goal, a 30-yarder in the second quarter, for a welcomed change. Seminoles senior linebacker Jacob Pugh was ejected in the third quarter for a controversial targeting penalty that was reviewed.

The biggest bad break for FSU, though, came when junior receiver Auden Tate injured his shoulder at the end of a 51-yard pass play in the third quarter. Tate did not return after catching nine passes for 138 yards and a score.

Blackman was 16-of-22 passing (72.7 percent) for 190 yards before Tate’s injury. He was 6 of 16 (37.5 percent) for 88 yards after it.

Secondary still short handed

Senior corner Mike Stevens was expected to, at a minimum, return to the NC State rotation at cornerback. The two-year starter had missed the first three weeks of the season with an injury, but he was not on the injury report released Thursday.

Stevens even dressed out and warmed up for NC State. But come game time, he was back in street clothes.

"After warm-ups he just didn’t look right, and we didn’t want to put him out there,” head coach Dave Doeren said. “Our corners had to play every snap.”

Starting redshirt junior free safety Dexter Wright also missed his third straight game with a groin injury. Wright had been listed as questionable.

Samuels' assault on the record books

Senior H-back Jaylen Samuels ran for a TD and caught a touchdown pass, adding two to his career collection that now stands at 38. Samuels moved past a tie with T.A. McLendon for fourth on the all-time school touchdowns list and is now within two of No. 3 Matt Dayes and four of No. 2 Stan Fritts. Legendary running back Ted Brown holds the school record with 51.

Samuels, who caught a game-high 12 passes, has 32 straight games with a catch, within two of Jimmy Grissett for the third-longest all-time streak at NC State and seven behind Jerricho Cotchery and Bryan Peterson, who share the school record with 39.

His touchdown reception was the 18th of his career, two away from tying Jarvis Williams for third and three shy of Cotchery for second. His 20th rushing TD tied him with Joe McIntosh for 10th place at NCSU.

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Interception-free streak stays alive

For a brief moment, it appeared that Finley’s interception-free streak had ended at 216 attempts, but FSU redshirt sophomore safety Derwin James’ pick was wiped away by a pass interference penalty.

So Finley’s streak continues — now standing at 224 — which trails only Russell Wilson’s streak of 379 at NC State and is the fifth-longest in ACC history. Finley also has the longest active streak in the FBS.

Another player who moved up the NC State records book was senior defensive end Bradley Chubb. His two tackles for loss, both sacks, give him 41.5 in his career. He moved past Manny Lawson, Dantonio Burnette and Stephen Tulloch into fourth place at NCSU. Mario Williams has the record with 55.5. Willie Young is second with 45.5, followed by Carl Reeves with 45.

Spotted at the game

It was military appreciation day at Doak Campbell, and pregame festivities featured a swearing-in ceremony for ROTC cadets and a flyover by a pair of jets.

What the win means

NC State is 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in the ACC. Florida State leads the all-time series 26-12 and is 15-5 in Tallahassee. This was NCSU’s first win on the road in the series since 2005 and third overall in ACC games played at Doak Campbell Stadium.

Doeren’s overall record at NC State is now above .500 at 28-27, quite a climb after beginning his tenure with a 3-9 mark in year one. Doeren is 2-3 in ACC openers, but the Pack has yet to start conference play 2-0 under him. The chance to change that comes Saturday, when the Pack hosts Syracuse.

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