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Inside the box score: FSU handles NC State

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Even on a night when Florida State struggled to run, the Seminoles were able to build an early lead and make it stand.

Alex Hornibrook filled in to start and was accurate under constant pressure.

The Seminoles improve to 3-2, 2-1 ACC going into the bye week. They have won back-to-back conference games for the first time since 2016 (a three-game win streak over NC State, Boston College and Syracuse in November of that year).

Here are some key stats and notes.

Offense

Alex Hornibrook earned his first start at FSU. The graduate transfer completed 29 of 40 passes for a career-high 316 yards, including two touchdown passes to Tamorrion Terry and another to Ontaria Wilson. He completed passes to 10 receivers.

Hornibrook was 26-6 at Wisconsin as a starter. He is 1-0 as FSU’s starter.

FSU has 30+ points in four of five games this year. The Seminoles hit 30 points just three times – Samford, NIU and Wake – last season.

Wilson, a converted defensive back, had his first career touchdown reception. His 40-yard touchdown gave FSU a 17-6 lead in the second quarter.

FSU’s offensive line gave up eight sacks, although some of them were a combination of Hornibrook not being able to find an open receiver before pressure closed in.

There weren’t many rushing lanes for Cam Akers. But he did score on a fourth-and-short in the fourth quarter, finding green grass and running 41 yards for a touchdown that pushed the Seminoles’ lead to 31-13 with 9:13 left.

Akers had 83 rushing yards and moved into ninth place on FSU’s all-time rushing list with 2,311 yards, passing Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith.

FSU didn’t turn the ball over on offense for a third straight game.

James Blackman was on the FSU sideline, talking with teammates. He was dressed out but did not play.

Defense

FSU outside linebacker Janarius Robinson was ejected for targeting after a booth review. He will miss the first half of FSU’s game at Clemson.

FSU bent but didn’t break, limiting the damage by former Seminoles quarterback Bailey Hockman. The left-hander completed 21 of 40 passes for 208 yards and had a fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Emeka Emezie.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Amari Gainer earned his first career start for FSU. Gainer forced a fumble and had a sack in the fourth quarter.

Tru Thompson forced a first-half fumble. Asante Samuel had two pass break ups.

Special teams

Ricky Aguayo, who missed three kicks in the win over Louisville, made a 37-yarder in the first quarter and later missed a 47-yard field-goal attempt.

Noteworthy

The announced crowd was 60,351, far better than last week’s 46,530 for the win over Louisville.

FSU was penalized 13 times for 99 yards.

RB Ricky Person Jr. was carted off for NC State. His left leg was in an air cast.

Honorary captains were Cory Brookins, Ross Brannon, Derrick Alexander and Martin Mayhew.

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