Bryan Underwood caught the game-tying touchdown in the closing seconds of NC State’s win over FSU. (ZUMAPRESS)
Snap Judgments from the Week 6 evening slate.
For more, check out our early Snaps, midday Snaps coverage of LSU-Florida, Georgia-South Carolina, West Virginia-Texas and complete Top 25 review.
• North Carolina State 17, No. 3 Florida State 16. Find your bliss, they say. Follow it, and don’t give one fig what anybody else thinks of you. Some folks quit their hedge fund jobs to teach middle school. Some hike the Appalachian Trail. The Florida State Seminoles have a secret passion, too, and you can probably guess what that is:
Two weeks removed from The Big One, a 49-37 win over Clemson, Florida State did the most Florida State-y of things: The Seminoles surrendered first a 16-0 third-quarter lead to North Carolina State, and then the game. Heisman hopeful E.J. Manuel and the ‘Noles were shut out in the second half, while quarterback counterpart Mike Glennon led his team to a short field goal followed by two touchdown drives — the second culminating with just 16 seconds left on the clock. It didn’t even look that hard, once the ‘Pack got to the touchdown part; getting that drive going in the first place required a blocked Florida State punt with less than three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and a drive-sustaining defensive penalty against FSU with NC State nearing the end zone. Glennon finished the evening with 31 completed passes on 56 attempts, good for 266 yards and the aforementioned two touchdowns.
We are loath to use the flat-footed “a tale of two halves” here, but it couldn’t be more fitting for both squads. Observe: An impressive 141-yard rushing total for FSU’s Chris Thompson grows simultaneously more impressive upon learning that he put up 115 of those yards in the first half and more bitter as ‘Noles partisans wonder what might have been had Thompson scampered about for two additional quarters.
Florida State presumably surrendered something else along with those 17 second-half points: its national championship hopes. The ‘Noles could get back into the hunt if every remaining unbeaten squad loses a game, and with three top-five teams (FSU, LSU and Georgia) going down today alone, it’s becoming the kind of season where we can’t rule out such a turn. But the fact remains: The only ACC teams with unblemished conference records are now Maryland, Miami and Duke. We could be in for a Terps-Blue Devils ACC Championship Game. Or, the ‘Canes could still win the conference with this record against ranked teams. It’s a ludicrous thought, but it’s one that Florida State’s inability to take care of business in the seemingly easy games has left us with as we head off to dreamland. [BOX | RECAP]