RALEIGH, N.C. – The Wolfpack finished what they started against the Florida State Seminoles, and wrapped up a wire-to-wire finish at Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday.
For the first time since 2012, N.C. State (6-2, 3-2) beat FSU (4-5, 2-5) at home, this time holding onto the lead throughout the game, and posting a bowl-eligible 47-28 win in front of 57,600 in attendance.
Quarterback Ryan Finley finished the game throwing for 240 yards (21-27) and three touchdowns and handing the ball off for 177 rushing yards.
“I thought we dominated the line of scrimmage,” Finley said.
“Our offensive line played, really, really well. When we rush for that amount, it opens up everything.”
Hauling it in
The N.C. State touchdown parade was led by running back Ricky Person (3) followed in order by wide receivers Kelvin Harmon (1) and Jakobi Meyers (1).
Person became the first Wolfpack freshman with 3 TDs in a game since former standout Matt Dayes did so with three rushing scores against Louisiana Tech in his college debut back in 2013.
Placekicker Christopher Dunn filled in with a flawless finish on PATs and went 4-for-4 on field goal attempts to complete an 8-of-8 effort in the red zone for the Wolfpack.
To that end, Dunn became the first N.C. State player to make that many kicks through the uprights since Nikolas Sade made four in 2013 against UNC.
“I was really proud of our guys tonight,” Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren said.
“I just thought it was really good execution in a lot of ways.”
Airing and flaring
The Seminoles came into the game ranked second in the ACC and tied for 12th in the NCAA in rushing defense, allowing only 102.9 yards per game on the ground, and not allowing an opposing 100-yard rusher in an ACC-leading 13 games.
As a team, N.C. State, along with running back Reggie Gallaspy’s 106 yards on 21 carries, overcame and ended that streak.
FSU answered back on a number of occasions, but not enough.
Shutting it down low
Quarterback James Blackman threw for an impressive 421 yards and four touchdowns, two to Tomorrian Terry and singles to Cam Akers and D.J. Matthews.
However, only gaining 24 rushing yards, the Seminoles couldn’t break through a defense led by N.C. State’s Germaine Pratt, Stephen Griffin, and Isaiah Moore, who each finished with six tackles.
With five sacks credited to Kendall Brown (2), Deonte Holden, Tanner Ingle, and Alim McNeil, Blackman and the Seminole offense were neutralized and never had the chance to get close.
With the win, the second in as many years over FSU, the Wolfpack became bowl-eligible for a fifth straight season.
“I thought there were a ton of positives in the game,” Doeren said.
“We wanted to start fast and I thought we did that.”
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport