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.
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)