N.C. State coach Dave Doeren wanted his defense to cause more turnovers. The Wolfpack has nine takeaways in the past two games, after producing only two in the first four ACC games.
Florida State had only turned the ball over four times in its first nine games of the season. N.C. State forced five on Saturday but it wasn’t enough to beat the Seminoles.
N.C. State’s defense finished with three interceptions and two fumbles in a 34-17 loss at Florida State. The Wolfpack scored three points after FSU quarterback Everett Golson fumbled at his own 10-yard line on the first play from scrimmage.
The Wolfpack also had a touchdown drive after Golson’s first interception but those were the only 10 points N.C. State scored off FSU’s multiple mistakes.
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“We need to be able to capitalize and score touchdowns instead of field goals,” Doeren said.
It should have been a lot closer game being a plus-4 turnover margin.
NC State coach Dave Doeren
While FSU uncharacteristically couldn’t take care of the ball, N.C. State’s offense only turned the ball over once. The plus-4 turnover margin was the best in 35 games under Doeren.
“It should have been a lot closer game being a plus-4 turnover margin,” Doeren said.
Senior safety Hakim Jones said he couldn’t remember playing in a game where the defense had forced that many turnovers and lost.
“Maybe in high school,” Jones said.
It was the first time the Wolfpack had five takeaways in an ACC game since a 56-41 win over Maryland on Nov. 26, 2011. N.C. State has lost four ACC games under Doeren when it has had a plus turnover margin, half of those losses are to Florida State.
The Seminoles were able to turn a fumble by Jaylen Samuels in the third quarter into a touchdown. They took control of the game after their lone takeaway.
N.C. State had two takeaways after Samuels’ fumble – an interception by defensive end Bradley Chubb and forced fumble by linebacker Airius Moore.
N.C. State’s offense stalled out after the Chubb interception at the N.C. State 33-yard line on the last play of the third quarter. A false start penalty on third-and-1 sunk the Wolfpack’s momentum. N.C. State was flagged nine times for 59 yards against the Seminoles.
Florida State’s last fumble came after the game had been decided. Moore stopped freshman Jacques Patrick on fourth-and-2 from the N.C. State 13-yard line with 1:58 left in the game.
N.C. State’s offense drove the length of the field after Patrick’s fumble but was stopped on the 1-yard line as the game clock expired.
Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio