By: Fletcher Keel | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
September 28, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Alex Horibrook started his first game for Florida State, in place of the injured James Blackman, and threw for over 300 yards for the first time in his career helping the Seminoles to a 31-13 win over NC State in front of 60,351 fans at Doak Campbell Stadium on Saturday night.
Hornibrook looked sharp in the early going with the Noles, making crisp passes and quick decisions in Willie Taggart's Gulf Coast Offense. Despite getting sacked eight times, he still connected with Tamorrion Terry for two touchdowns and Ontaria Wilson for another.
He finished by completing 29 of his 40 pass attempts for 316 yards and three total touchdowns.
It was a field goal fest to open the contest, with the only score of the first quarter coming off the boot of Ricky Aguayo in the form of a 37-yard field goal before the Wolfpack answered in the second quarter with chip shots of 29 and 26-yards to take a 6-3 lead midway through the second quarter.
Florida State scored the first touchdown of the game with just under five minutes to play in the first half, when Hornibrook dumped the ball across the middle to Terry, who did the rest of the work himself in space, racing to the endzone from 43 yards out to give the Seminoles a 10-3 lead.
FSU added one more score before the half on a 40-yard touchdown connection from Hornibrook and Wilson to give the Noles a 17-6 halftime lead.
To read our in-game live blog, click here
Terry's second touchdown came inside of the final minute of the third quarter, as Hornibrook found him for a nine-yard touchdown pass, getting hit as he threw a lob into the endzone, giving FSU a commanding 24-6 lead.
NC State recorded their first touchdown of the game early in the fourth quarter, but it didn't come without controversy.
A play before the touchdown, the Seminoles thought they had sacked former FSU quarterback Bailey Hockman and rattled the Wolfpack offense, but a targeting call against Janarius Robinson moved the ball to the three yardline.
Hockman connected with Emeka Emezie on a three-yard slant route for the 'Pack's first touchdown of the night, bringing NC State within 24-13.
The finally tally of the night came via Cam Akers, who took a 41-yard rush to the house to make it 31-13 on his 17th carry of the evening. He finished 17 yards shy of logging his fourth 100 yard game in five games this season.
Hockman was solid for NC State. While he didn't start the game, he did play a majority of the Wolfpack's snaps, throwing for 208 yards on 21-of-40 passing.
The NC State offense put up a quiet 370 total yards (outgaining the Noles by one yard, thanks in part to yardage FSU lost as part of eight sacks allowed on defense) but were unable to sustain drives for long periods of time.
NC State's longest drives spanned 4:25, which was their last drive of the game, and 3:55, which resulted in their second field goal of the second quarter.
No Wolfpack drive went longer than 51 yards, with the exception of their lone touchdown drive in the third and fourth quarters.
FSU's offense looked far from the well oiled machine that it has shown it can be over the opening half of the season and still looked stagnant in spots, but ultimately were able to get enough big plays at opportune times to come away with the victory.
Florida State is on bye next week before heading onto the road for consecutive weeks against Clemson and Wake Forest.
The Seminoles now sit at 3-2 overall and 2-1 in ACC play.