FSU football: ‘Noles offense chokes in second half against Wolfpack

Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell watches a replay on the screen. The Florida State Seminoles lead the Boston College Eagles at the half 31-0 Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.Fsu V Bc498
Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell watches a replay on the screen. The Florida State Seminoles lead the Boston College Eagles at the half 31-0 Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022.Fsu V Bc498 /

FSU football missed a lot of opportunities in the first half of the NC State game. The Noles took the opening possession into NC State territory but stalled at the NC State 41-yard line.

Special teams had an opportunity to pin the Wolkpack inside the five-yard line with three defenders near the ball but failed to down the ball before it went into the end zone for a touchback.

The FSU defense forced a three and out, but the FSU defense looked disjointed and immediately went three and out, giving the NC State Wolfpack good field position at their 42-yard line. The Wolfpack kicked a 38-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. FSU football missed a golden opportunity on their next possession.

They went 59 yards on eight plays with Malik McClain dropping a touchdown pass in the corner on third down. Mike Norvell elected to go for it on fourth and three since Ryan Fitzgerald isn’t dependable from anywhere, and Johnny Wilson dropped a short slant route that was slightly underthrown for a turnover on downs.

The FSU defense showed up again, forcing another punt after giving up a couple of first downs. FSU began their next drive from their 15-yard line and scampered 71-yards to set up a 14-yard one-handed TD reception by Mycah Pittman for a 7-3 lead with 11:29 remaining.

The FSU defense forced another punt on NC State’s next possession, with the FSU offense beginning their drive at the FSU 27-yard line.

A quick eight-yard pass to Mycah Pittman and 39-yard run by Treshaun Ward put the Noles on the NC State 26-yard line with 10:08 remaining in the half. An offensive pass interference penalty pushed the Noles back to the NC State 36-yard line. Jordan Travis hit Ontaria Wilson for a big gain, but Wilson dropped the pass. That’s three drops from the FSU wide receivers.

Alex Mastromanno punted 28-yards to pin NC State at the eight-yard line with 7:55 remaining. NC State hit a huge chunk play as DJ Lundy got mixed up in coverage on a running back.

NC State got down to the FSU 39-yard line before Jammie Robinson intercepted a fourth-down pass to give the Noles the ball back on the 27-yard line with 4:13 remaining. Trey Benson converted a third-down and four with a 26-yard run to the NC State 40-yard line.

Jordan Travis hit Johnny Wilson for a 26-yard reception on third and 12, with Lawrance Toafili scoring on a 12-yard run to give the Noles a 14-3 lead. The FSU defense forced another punt and FSU special teams returned the punt 51-yards with 10 seconds remaining. Ryan Fitzgerald hit a 47-yard field goal to give the Noles a 17-3 lead at halftime. FSU ran 35 plays for 294 yards. NC State ran 30 plays for 133 yards.

2nd Half

NC State took the opening drive 84 yards on 10 plays for a touchdown to cut the lead to 17-10. NC State didn’t have one-third down play on the entire drive.

That’s the opposite of what the Noles needed to allow the NC State crowd to get back in the game because the FSU offense promptly went three-and-out on their next possession with another drop from an FSU wide receiver that would have been a first down.

A low line drive punt from Alex Mastromanno gave NC State the ball at their 43-yard line. However, the FSU defense forced a three-and-out with Mycah Pittman fair catching the ball at the 15-yard line. The FSU drive stalled after a Jordan Travis first down run. The wide receivers seem out of sync and are running routes in the same vicinity.

NC State began their next possession at the 25-yard line after a 43-yard punt from Alex Mastromanno. NC State got a gift from the referees on a roughing the passer call that was completely bogus. However, the hit knocked Devin Leary out of the game.

The referees miss some blatant holding calls, and NC State gets a field goal out of the possession to trim the lead to 17-13 with 57 seconds remaining. FSU went three-and-out on their next possession after another bogus call by the referees put the Noles at third and 17.

Alex Mastromanno felt pressure when he went to punt, tucked the ball and started running, and then decided to punt after crossing the line of scrimmage. He would have easily picked up the first down if he kept running with the ball.

The penalty gave NC State the ball at the FSU 13-yard line with 14:55. The FSU defense stood tall and force NC State into a 4th and 30, where the NC State kicker barely made a 53-yard field goal to trim the lead to 17-16 with 12:07 remaining.

The FSU offense continued to stall, and another dropped pass on third down cost the Noles a possession. NC State began their next possession on their 42-yard line with 11:11 remaining.

They ran the ball down FSU’s throat, but that forced a field goal, which gave the Wolfpack the 19-17 lead with 6:33 remaining. FSU got the ball back and promptly threw an interception on their first play, which gave NC State the ball at the FSU 40-yard line.

FSU forced a punt, which gave the Noles the ball at the eight-yard line with 4:22 remaining. FSU marched down the field, aided by long reception by Johnny Wilson and with a big targeting penalty on NC State. However, Jordan Travis threw an interception which effectively ended the game.

This loss is entirely on the FSU offense and reminiscent of the FSU loss against NC State in 2012 on the same field. The FSU offense had 93 offensive yards in the second half. That is pathetic.

3 Key Stats From NC State's Defense. dark. Next