Friday, October 17, 2008


No, not that "bend," the good "bend."

FSU 26, N.C. STATE 17

Christian Ponder threw the go-ahead touchdown pass and Graham Gano kicked two of his four field goals in the final 4 1/2 minutes to help Florida State beat North Carolina State 26-17 on Thursday night, the Seminoles’ third straight victory.

Antone Smith ran for 89 yards and a touchdown for Florida State (5-1, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), which scored the last 13 points of the game to give assistant coach Chuck Amato a successful return to the stadium he called home for seven seasons.

Ponder had turned heads with his 144 yards rushing—the second-most by an FSU quarterback—in a win against Miami on Oct. 4, but on Thursday he looked sharp throwing the football. He was 23-of-35 for 254 yards, including the go-ahead 17-yard touchdown to Bert Reed after Russell Wilson’s 67-yard scoring pass to Owen Spencer had put N.C. State up 17-13.

The Seminoles finished with 392 yards and held the ball for more than 38 minutes.

Former N.C. State coach Chuck Amato admitted to being choked up prior to the game, but was all smiles afterwards.

“It’s bittersweet,” he said. “There are a lot of good kids over there. I don’t care what their record is, they are good players and good kids…and they don’t flinch when they play Florida State.”

(Photos by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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