The 2016 season has not been the success that was anticipated but a strong finish can get FSU in sync to start out next season. That strong
finish must start tonight in Raleigh.
Florida State once again experienced an extremely slow start and the fact is they never took a lead in the game until the last score that put them up 24-20.
It could have been a letdown considering their close loss last week against Clemson.
Another factor was NC State was mired in a 3 game losing streak and played a very inspired game. This matchup is always a battle, regardless of records.
Of note, this is the first time FSU has won consecutive games in Raleigh since the 1994 and 1996 games!
What this FSU win means is they are bowl eligible once again. The last time the Seminoles did not participate in a bowl was when they finished the 1981 season with a 6-5 record.
At one point that season they were at 6-2 but dropped their final 3 games. I know the injuries had piled up as they once again had faced a brutal road schedule. With wins that season at Ohio State, Notre Dame and LSU and losses at Nebraska, Pitt and Florida, I would say the schedule was formidable. They also had their regular matchup with Miami.
So what was notable the last time Florida State did not go to a bowl game?
In January Georgia defeated Notre Dame to win the 1980 National Championship.
A few weeks later Ronald Reagan was sworn into office as the 40th President. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Philadelphia Eagles to win Super Bowl XV.
Also in 1981, George Rogers was the 1st pick in the NFL draft, Bear Bryant won his 315th game to pass Amos Alonzo Stagg and Marcus Allen won the Heisman.
Born in 1981: Eli Manning, Troy Polamalu, Wes Welker, Vince Wilfork and Philip Rivers.
The Quarterback of that 1981 Florida State Seminole team was none other than MTSU Head Coach Rick Stockstill.
In his post-game remarks Jimbo Fisher said:
”They still believe in each other, believe in what we’re doing and they believe in this program,” Fisher said. ”And they want to be a part of
history and what this program has meant in the past. And I think that carries them today. There’s a lot of pride in this group.”
The post-game player interviews: From Dalvin Cook; He said the team was focused on ”the way you finish” as it secured bowl eligibility. ”This team right
here, man, they just accept everything that comes with it,” Cook said, adding: ”That’s why this team right here is going to be a group to remember.”
Wide Receiver turned Safety Ermon Lane: “We had to do what we had to do in the moment,” He also said. “We weren’t think of anything but what we had to do.”
Of note, Lane converted over 6 games ago and he tied for the game lead with 10 tackles. The top 3 safeties are out injured so this is a significant contribution.