Leary tosses four TDs as NC State defeats Florida St.

Nov 6, 2021, 5:04 AM | Updated: 6:33 pm
North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary (13) looks for a receiver during the second half of th...

North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary (13) looks for a receiver during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. N.C. State won 28-14. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

(AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

              Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton (10) escapes North Carolina State linebacker Vi Jones (31) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
            
              Florida State quarterback McKenzie Milton (10) throws a pass during the first half of the team's NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
            
              North Carolina State running back Ricky Person Jr. (8) makes a cut on his way to a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. N.C. State won 28-14. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
            
              After taking a direct snap, Florida State running back Jashaun Corbin (0) dives for the end zone and scores a touchdown during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against North Carolina State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. N.C. State won 28-14. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
            
              North Carolina State quarterback Devin Leary (13) looks for a receiver during the second half of the team's NCAA college football game against Florida State in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. N.C. State won 28-14. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Dave Doeren can smile with pride, enjoying a season in which North Carolina State defeated Clemson and Florida State for the first time since he arrived in Raleigh, N.C., in 2013.

Devin Leary threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns as the Wolfpack jumped ahead of Florida State early for a 28-14 win on Saturday.

“I don’t know how many times NC State has beaten Clemson and Florida State in the same year as a program,” Doeren said. “But that happened this year and I think that’s pretty good. When you look at those two programs, what they spend on football, their budgets, what they spend on their staffs, what we just did. I think it says a lot about what we’re doing.”

Doeren’s Wolfpack knocked off two of their biggest Atlantic Division rivals for the first time since 2002, before some of the current freshmen were born. N.C. State used the big play in the passing game against a Florida State team that was shorthanded due to flu-like symptoms.

Leary connected with Trent Pennix, C.J. Riley, Christopher Toudle and Ricky Person on touchdowns — one in each quarter — for the Wolfpack (7-2, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference). Three of the touchdowns were big plays, with connections of 62 yards to Riley, 45 yards to Pennix and 43 yards to Person.

“I feel like it’s a really special day,” Pennix said. “We have a really special team. I had all the faith in my guys that we were going to pull out this win. We just went out and finished like we always do.”

McKenzie Milton filled in as Florida State’s starting quarterback with Jordan Travis not dressed out. Milton completed 22 of 44 passes for 233 yards and scrambled to complete an 8-yard touchdown pass to Keyshawn Helton, but the Seminoles (3-6, 2-4) were also plagued by drops from the start.

Leary connected with Riley and Toudle to give the Wolfpack a 14-0 lead at the half. Florida State’s offense was stuck in neutral, accumulating just 78 offensive yards and three first downs in the first 30 minutes.

Florida State was shut out in a half for the first time since the second half of a Week 3 loss at Wake Forest. It was the first time the Wolfpack held an opponent scoreless in the first half on the road since 2015 at Boston College.

The Seminoles opened the second half with an onside kick, which was recovered by kicker Parker Grothaus. That short-field opportunity eventually set up Milton’s touchdown pass to Helton, and the Seminoles added Jashaun Corbin’s 3-yard touchdown run on the following drive to cut the deficit to 21-14.

Coach Mike Norvell opted to go for it on fourth-and-4 from the Florida State 43 with 8:16 left in the game, but Milton’s pass to Ontaria Wilson was broken up.

“Liked the response that I saw from our guys,” Norvell said. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to finish it off there in the fourth.”

LEARY’S STREAKS

Devin Leary threw a Hail Mary at the end of the first half, but the pass was intercepted by Florida State safety Jammie Robinson. Leary had not thrown an interception since a loss at Mississippi State on Sept. 11, a streak of 228 passes in which he had thrown for 20 touchdowns.

But Leary also matched a season high with four touchdowns. He also threw four TD passes against Clemson and Louisville.

TAKEAWAYS

NC State: While the Wolfpack struggled on the ground, Leary had his third straight 300-yard passing game and fourth of the season.

Florida State: The Seminoles managed just 38 yards on 27 carries and struggled on third downs, going just 2 of 16.

UP NEXT

NC State: The Wolfpack play at No. 10 Wake Forest in a game that will go a long way toward deciding the Atlantic Division race.

Florida State: The Seminoles play host to Miami on Saturday seeking their first victory in the rivalry since 2016.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Weston McKennie of the United States leaves the pitch at the end of the World Cup round of 16 socce...
Associated Press

American soccer success in World Cup remains a dream

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — American soccer success in the World Cup remains a dream. The U.S. team looked better in this year’s World Cup, but the results were the same as in 2010 and 2014. The Americans were eliminated in the round of 16 following a 3-1 defeat to the Netherlands on Saturday. “We’ve shown […]
1 day ago
Australia's Aziz Behich is comforted after losing the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Ar...
Associated Press

What’s next for Australia after World Cup exit?

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Australia’s World Cup adventure came to an end against a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina. A 2-1 loss at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium matched its best-ever performance at soccer’s biggest tournament by reaching the round of 16 for only the second time in its history. EXPECTATION VS. PERFORMANCE Drawn in Group D […]
1 day ago
Argentina's Julian Alvarez celebrates his side's second goal during the World Cup round of 16 socce...
Associated Press

Messi’s sidekick Julián Álvarez flourishing at the World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — This season has been quite an education for Julián Álvarez. From being the understudy to Erling Haaland in his first year at Manchester City to being the sidekick to Lionel Messi for Argentina at the World Cup, Álvarez is learning from the biggest stars in soccer. He’s on the path to […]
1 day ago
FILE - Croatia and Canada fans cheer ahead of the World Cup group F soccer match between Croatia an...
Associated Press

Fans’ wild World Cup fashion draws praise, scorn in Qatar

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The World Cup in Qatar has become a political lightning rod, so it comes as no surprise that soccer fans’ sartorial style has sparked controversy. Forget your classic soccer jerseys – the streets of Doha have been transformed into a chaotic runway show in terms of fashion. Visitors from around the […]
1 day ago
A guard rides his camels outside the Amiri Diwan in Doha, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2022. (AP Photo/Natacha ...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Camels a common sight for World Cup visitors

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Two weeks into the first World Cup in the Middle East, fewer teams are at the tournament and some fans are starting to make long journeys home. But there is still plenty to see and do in Qatar for those who remain. Camels are a common sight in Doha. In front […]
1 day ago
FILE - Rory McIlroy, left, of Northern Ireland, and Sergio Garcia, of Spain, walk up the 15th fairw...
Associated Press

McIlroy says Norman rift began with his ‘brainwash’ comment

Rory McIlroy thought his differences with Greg Norman over a Saudi-funded rival golf league had been patched up. That changed when Norman accused him of being “brainwashed” by golf’s ruling brass. “I thought, You know what? I’m going to make it my business now to be as much of a pain in his arse as […]
1 day ago
Leary tosses four TDs as NC State defeats Florida St.