NC State looks to end two-game skid vs. Florida State
North Carolina State can’t afford another slip-up, so looking at Florida State’s record entering this week’s game would be counterproductive for the Wolfpack.
“We play Florida State every year; we know what kind of talent they have. They beat us last year,” NC State coach Dave Doeren said.
“They just beat (North Carolina). So we have great respect for their program. Obviously, this is a weird year, so you’re seeing a lot of ups and downs out of teams because of the ins and outs of players with lineup changes and your lack of ability to maintain chemistry at certain position groups.”
NC State will try to snap a two-game losing streak when the Seminoles visit Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday night.
Florida State (2-5, 1-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) has dropped both of its games — blowouts to Louisville and Pittsburgh — since stunning then-No. 5 North Carolina for its only victory against a Football Bowl Subdivision opponent this year.
The Seminoles are 0-3 on road, with the closest result a 42-26 outcome at undefeated Notre Dame on Oct. 10.
“We’re not at that place in our program that we’re able to overcome the negatives that are showing up offensively,” Florida State coach Mike Norvell said. “We have to find a way to get in a rhythm.”
NC State (4-3, 4-3), which has lost back-to-back games since building a three-game winning streak, will look to fare better against a multi-threat quarterback than it did last week. That’s when Miami’s D’Eriq King had a huge outing through the air and on the ground.
Florida State will count on Jordan Travis to have similar avenues of production if he’s available after missing the second half of last week’s 41-17 loss to Pittsburgh due to an undisclosed injury.
“He’s scary with his feet,” Doeren said. “He does a lot for them on his own, similar to D’Eriq King where he can extend plays that aren’t there. There’s just not enough film to tell you what kind of passer he is.”
Travis became the first Florida State quarterback to have five straight games with a rushing touchdown.
Florida State has failed to reach the 20-point mark in four games this season. Travis’ decision-making has come under question at times, such as when he might be better off throwing the ball away rather than forcing a pass into tight coverages.
“We have to continue to help him grow in that,” Norvell said.
The Seminoles used freshman Chubba Purdy in place of Travis in the second half last week.
“Chubba’s demeanor and communication … I like his presence,” Norvell said. “I like the things he does. He just has to learn.”
Nine Florida State players caught passes vs. Pittsburgh.
NC State receivers have come up clutch, including in several plays Friday night in the 44-41 loss to now-No. 9 Miami. That helped quarterback Bailey Hockman excel at times.
“So they’re giving quarterbacks targets, they’re making tough plays for them, and all that does is allow your quarterback to have confidence to give you a chance,” Doeren said. “Those guys are making those plays.”
Hockman is a transfer from Florida State, spending 2017 there as part of a redshirt season before departing. He threw one touchdown pass in 2019 on 97 throws, and he has five TD passes on 98 attempts this year.
Doeren said the Seminoles could be eager for another notable result.
“They beat North Carolina in a huge upset, so we know they are capable of playing lights out,” he said. “For us, it’s just another opportunity to improve, work hard in practice and try to be better than we were the week before.”
–Field Level Media