TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — No quarterback in college football might have had as roller-coaster a week as Florida State’s Sean Maguire.
After finding out Thursday that he wouldn’t be starting against North Carolina State, Maguire came off the bench to rally the 19th-ranked Seminoles to a 34-17 victory over North Carolina State.
Maguire replaced an ineffective Everett Golson in the second quarter and directed four straight scoring drives as Florida State (8-2, 6-2 ACC, No. 16 CFP) took control. The junior was 18 of 28 for 231 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
“It was tough (finding out on Thursday) especially after the two weeks, the emotion from last week. At the same time you got to be ready,” Maguire said.
Being on a roller-coaster though has been par for the course this season for Maguire.
After losing the preseason competition to Golson, Maguire got limited action in two of the first seven games. When Golson suffered a concussion in the Oct. 24 loss at Georgia Tech, Maguire got the start the following week against Syracuse and threw for 348 yards and three touchdowns. He was 16 of 29 for 169 yards last week against Clemson but struggled and had a costly red zone interception.
Golson and Maguire split snaps this week but Fisher gave Golson the nod because he wanted a more mobile quarterback.
Golson’s struggles started in the Oct. 24 loss at Georgia Tech and continued on Saturday. He committed turnovers on three of five drives, including two interceptions, and was taken out with the Seminoles trailing 17-7. Golson finished 5 of 9 for 52 yards and two interceptions.
After not throwing a pick in 210 attempts dating back to last season at Notre Dame, Golson has three in his past 17.
“We were in a bad rut and we thought he could give us a spark,” said Fisher about bringing in Maguire. “What he did and the maturity he showed, to be able to be ready to go in and do that was outstanding.”
Maguire completed five of his first six passes and gave the passing game a spark. Kermit Whitfield had his second 100-yard receiving game of the season with six receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Jesus Wilson added 78 yards on seven receptions.
“They were really throwing quick, a lot of hitches and stuff, “N.C. State coach Dave Doreen said. “We were pressuring them quite a bit early in the game and then we had to start dropping off into some zones because they were max protecting into man-to-man, which hurt us.”
Florida State has two regular season games remaining as Fisher did not name a starter for next Saturday’s game against Chattanooga.
“You think about it at the same time but there really is no point to think about it,” Maguire said.
Dalvin Cook, who set Florida State’s single-season rushing record, had 138 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns, including a 30-yard score in the second quarter where he broke four tackles. Warrick Dunn, who had held the record with 1,242 yards in 1995, was in attendance and congratulated Cook in the locker room after the game.
“Ain’t no better way to do it than in front of our fans,” said Cook, who has 1,369 yards this season. “This wasn’t something I set for myself when I got here. The time is now.”
For the second straight year, the Wolfpack got out to a 17-7 first-quarter lead against the Seminoles but were unable to sustain it. Ten of the points came via Florida State turnovers. The Seminoles had five turnovers after committing only three on offense coming into the game.
Jacoby Brissett accounted for 236 all-purpose yards for N.C. State (6-4, 2-4 ACC) and accounted for both touchdowns. He was 27 of 47 for 209 yards and a touchdown along a rushing touchdown. Florida State was able to get consistent pressure on Brissett all day long, recording four sacks.