Quick hits from NC State’s 47-28 win over Florida State
Quick hits and notes from NC State’s 47-28 win over Florida State in front of 57,600 fans at Carter-Finley Stadium on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon in Raleigh.
For the second time this season, NC State had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver.
Senior running back Reggie Gallaspy Jr. rushed 21 times for a career-high 106 yards. He helped the Pack rush for 177 yards as a team, the second highest effort allowed by Florida State's defense this year.
Gallaspy recorded the second 100-yard game of his career. Ironically the other time was against Boston College earlier this season when junior wide receiver Kelvin Harmon caught nine passes for 128 yards and a score.
This time, the receiver breaking 100 yards was redshirt junior Jakobi Meyers, who eclipsed the mark for the first time since he had 14 receptions for 161 yards in the opener against James Madison. Against Florida State, Meyers had nine catches for 125 yards and a touchdown.
A season ago against the Noles, Meyers had his first career 100-yard game with five receptions for 112 yards, punctuated by a 71-yard touchdown during which he perfectly executed a flip going into the end zone and stuck the landing.
This is the 32nd time NC State has had a 100-yard rusher and 100-yard receiver in the same game, 11 of which have come in the past three years.
Ryan Finley watch
The sixth-year senior quarterback completed 21 of 27 passes for 240 yards with three touchdowns in an efficient afternoon. He surpassed 9,000 career passing yards at NC State and now has 9,067. Only Jamie Barnette (9,461 yards) and Philip Rivers (13,484 yards) have also eclipsed 9,000 yards for the Wolfpack.
Finley became the fifth quarterback to throw at least 50 touchdown passes for the Pack. He now has 51, eight shy of Barnette for fourth place all time. Rivers holds the out-of-reach record of 95.
Youth on defense
The future may be promising on defense:
• Redshirt freshman linebacker Isaiah Moore tied for the team lead with six tackles, including 1.5 for loss. One of his hits for loss came on fourth-and-one when FSU went for it at its own 34 to start the third quarter. Moore nailed FSU sophomore running back Cam Akers for a three-yard loss in the backfield.
• True freshman defensive tackle Alim McNeill, who had former FSU assistant coach Brad Lawing watch one of his games last year at Raleigh’s Sanderson High, nearly had a safety in the first quarter when he sacked FSU sophomore quarterback James Blackman just shy of the end zone. McNeill has 2.5 sacks on the season.
• Redshirt freshman defensive end Xavier Lyas, who had yet to play a defensive or special teams snap this season, registered two sacks in the fourth quarter.
• True freshman nickel Tanner Ingle, who did not start for the first time this year, sacked Blackman in the fourth quarter.
• True freshman corner Teshaun Smith started his second straight game and broke up a pass in the end zone.
Pass defense concerns
It was noted last week and bears repeating after Saturday: NC State’s pass defense is vulnerable to high-powered passing attacks. Blackman finished with 421 yards and four touchdowns through the air with just one interception.
His favorite targets were redshirt freshman Tamorrion Terry (five receptions for 142 yards and two touchdowns) and sophomore D.J. Matthews (10 catches for 133 yards and a score). Starting junior corner Nick McCloud missed his second straight game. McCloud dressed and went through warm-ups, but did not play.
Over the past three games, NC State has given up an average of 427.0 passing yards per contest.
Blackman’s 421 yards surpassed the total from Syracuse senior Eric Dungey last week (411) for the most allowed to a player this year. Those are the only two times in sixth-year head coach Dave Doeren’s tenure that teams have thrown for 400 yards or more in a game.
After allowing just one 100-yard receiver in the first five games, NC State has given up five in the past three, including back-to-back contests with two wideouts getting there.
True freshmen vs. redshirt freshmen watch
Kicker Christopher Dunn, nickel Tanner Ingle, defensive tackle Alim McNeill and cornerback Teshaun Smith had previously burned their redshirts. Dunn made 4 of 4 on field goals Saturday with a long of 38 yards, marking the first time since Niklas Sade in 2013 against UNC that a kicker had four in a game for NC State.
Running back Ricky Person Jr. joined the list Saturday. Person’s three touchdowns (two rushing and one receiving) marked the first time a freshman had three in a game since Matthew Dayes' career debut versus Louisiana Tech in 2013.
With NC State is eight games into the season, here’s a rundown of how many games the Wolfpack true freshmen have played. They can play up to four games before burning their redshirt (players with asterisk were listed on the Florida State game participation report in the box score).
Kicker Christopher Dunn — Eight games*
Nickel Tanner Ingle — Eight games*
Defensive tackle Alim McNeill — Eight games*
Cornerback Teshaun Smith — Six games*
Running back Ricky Person Jr. — Five games*
Cornerback De’Von Graves — Four games*
Linebacker C.J. Hart — Four games
Running back Trent Pennix — Four games
Safety Tyler Baker-Williams — Three game*
Defensive end Derrick Eason — Three games*
Cornerback Malik Dunlap — Two games
Defensive end Joe Boletepeli — One game
Wide receiver Devin Carter — One game*
Spotted at the game
The 1968 ACC-title winning squad was honored during a timeout in the game with several former players and at least one assistant coach from the team on the field to be recognized.
NFL scouts from the Arizona Cardinals, New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts were seen hanging around the press box, as well as bowl reps from the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
Giants rookie defensive tackle B.J. Hill was in attendance.
Among the notable recruits spotted included three high-profile four-star juniors:
• Offensive tackle Mitchell Mayes from Raleigh Sanderson High
• Quarterback Tyler Van Duke from Suffield (Conn.) High
• Receiver Porter Rooks from Charlotte Providence Day
Both Mayes and Rooks are rated in the Rivals250 for the 2020 class. Rooks is the No. 9 receiver, the top recruit in the state and the No. 41 player overall nationally, while Mayes is listed as the No. 188 player in the country, the No. 20 offensive tackle in the nation and the No. 9 prospect in the state.
What the win means
NC State is 6-2 overall and 3-2 in the ACC, while Florida State is 4-5 and 2-5. The Noles lead the overall series 26-13, but the competition between the schools has been noticeably tighter since NC State best FSU 20 years ago in 1998. Florida State is 12-9 against the Pack in the last 21 games and has a 10-8 lead in games played at Carter-Finley Stadium.
The Wolfpack's previous largest win over FSU had been that 24-7 win in 1998.
NC State is 10-12 in the month of November and 24-15 overall in home games under Doeren. During Doeren’s tenure, the Pack is 16-3 when scoring at least 40 points and 38-10 when allowing less than 30 points.
The Wolfpack is bowl eligible for a fifth straight season, and Doeren picked up his 40th win at NC State (40-32 overall record).
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