Wolfpack win overshadows Purdy performance
By Chuck Walsh
RALEIGH, N.C. – Florida State quarterback Chubba Purdy threw for 181 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start and wide receiver Ontaria Wilson caught a career-high seven passes for 117 yards but Florida State fell to NC State, 38-22, at Carter Finley Stadium.
Florida State fell to 2-6 overall (1-6 in the ACC) and plays host to Clemson at noon on Saturday at at Doak Campbell Stadium. NC State improved to 5-3 overall (5-3 in the ACC).
Purdy helped the Seminoles outscore the Wolfpack 19-17 in the second half. He threw for two second half touchdowns and ran for 54 yards as Florida State’s primary quarterback for the first time in his career.
“I’m proud of our team, the way they competed to the end,” said head coach Mike Norvell. “There were a lot of young guys with some who were getting their first major experience throughout the year. The energy that was on the sideline, the belief of continuing to go out there and continuing to compete. It was great to see them make a little rally at the end. The guys on that sideline believed we were going to find a way to come back and put ourselves in position to be successful.”
After spotting NC State the 14-0 first quarter lead, Florida State got on the scoreboard via a 48-yard field goal by Parker Grothaus. The field goal for Grothaus was his third in four attempts and second of 48 yards or more this season.
NC State upped its lead to 21-3 on a four-yard touchdown run by quarterback Bailey Hockman with 1:32 remaining in the first half. The third scoring drive in five possessions for the Pack covered 65 yards on eight plays in just over two minutes.
The Wolfpack increased its lead to 28-3 on an 18-yard scoring run by Zonovan Knight at the 10:34 mark of the third quarter.
Florida State cut into the deficit on a 28-yard rushing touchdown by Jashaun Corbin with just over five minutes left to play in the third quarter. The scoring run came out of the wildcat offensive package. Florida State was unsuccessful in the two-point play to leave the score at 28-9.
Thomas earned his second receiving touchdown of the night on a 24-yard catch and run on Hockman’s 24th completion of the game to up NC State’s lead to 35-9.
Following the first career interception by Jarvis Brownlee, Florida State and Purdy utilized a quick-strike offense to begin to climb back into the game. Purdy connected with Wilson on a 69-yard touchdown pass to bring the Seminoles to within 35-16. The touchdown pass was the first of Purdy’s career while the scoring catch was the second touchdown of the season for Wilson.
“We were able to complete a couple of explosives there late,” said Norvell. “Chubba competed extremely hard. He was able to make plays not only with his arm but with his legs. You can see him really starting to grow up. It was one of those games that was a challenge, especially when we got behind.
“You can see the confidence he (Chubba) has with each rep continuing to grow … the way that he is communicating, the way that he is working to manage the offense. He’s going to continue to grow. I thought Chubba did some nice things especially there late.”
NC State closed out its scoring on a 32-yard field goal by Christopher Dunn to increase its lead to 38-16. The five-minute drive kept the Seminoles rejuvenated offensive off the field and ran the game clock to below five minutes remaining to be played.
Florida State closed out is scoring on Purdy’s second touchdown pass of the game – a 24-yard completion to Warren Thompson who displayed his athleticism to pull the ball in for the score.
“In the second half, I feel like we started opening up a lot of our plays that we were doing during the week,” said Purdy. “I feel like in the second half we really let it loose.”
Purdy was pleased with earning the first starting assignment of his career.
“It felt good,” said Purdy. “It felt really nice to go in starting fresh and knowing this game depends on me. However I play, and my team plays, that’s what the outcome is going to be.”
With three weeks remaining in the regular season, Norvell continues to see improvement in his team.
“We are going to continue to work, we are going to continue to get better; I believe in these guys,” he said. “I see some guys that are growing up; I see some leadership emerging within our team. We have to get better in all aspects.”