Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 10/6/12
RALEIGH, N.C. The game, the season, the national title hopes all unraveled in one stunning fourth quarter. No. 4 Florida State had the game seemingly in control. But a 16-point halftime lead slipped away on the road in college football's biggest upset on Saturday. North Carolina State had less than 100 yards of offense in the first half, but rallied to score on a 3-yard, fourth-down touchdown pass from Mike Glennon to Bryan Underwood with 16 seconds left as the Wolfpack took a 17-16 win over the Seminoles before a raucous crowd at Carter-Finley Stadium. The Wolfpack (4-2, 1-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) were in position to win after Mike Rose blocked a Cason Beatty punt with just under three minutes left, and NC State recovered at FSU's 43. NC State used a pass interference penalty on Xavier Rhodes to take a first down on FSU's 14 with 1:31 left. And on fourth down, Glennon found Underwood over the middle for the touchdown and Niklas Sade made the extra point to put the Wolfpack ahead. FSU only had a few seconds left but could not get into field-goal range. EJ Manuel laid on the field for a few moments after his desperation Hail Mary pass fell incomplete and short of the end zone as time expired. "We let one slip away from us," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said. "Games like that, it's always shoulda, coulda, woulda. They are (games of) inches and you have to execute." FSU (5-1, 2-1) was attempting to open 6-0 for the first time since 1999, the last time the Seminoles won the national title. But the 'Noles kept settling on Saturday for a touchdown and three field goals in the first half. And midway through the third quarter, NC State used an FSU mistake to ignite a rally from a 16-3 deficit midway through the third quarter. Manuel has been consistent and accurate this season, but his second interception of the season was a crucial mistake on a third-quarter drive into Wolfpack territory that could have put the game away. Instead of FSU possibly driving and going up 19-3 or 23-3, NC State quickly capitalized. Glennon connected with Shadrach Thornton on a 24-yard touchdown pass that trimmed FSU's lead to 16-10 with 13:47 left in the game. FSU's defense then forced NC State to punt with 6:09 left in the game, and the Wolfpack turned the ball over on downs at the FSU 32 with 2:47 left. But NC State had one more chance with the blocked punt. "Nobody gets punts blocked anymore," Fisher said. "We have got to get that fixed." FSU had won its first five games by double figures, but after jumping ahead 16-0 at the half found itself on the ropes and then knocked out in the fourth quarter. A week after Glennon passed for 440 yards and four touchdowns in a loss to Miami, FSU held NC State to just 68 first-half yards (41 passing and 27 rushing). Glennon, who was 6-of-13 passing in the first half, finished the game 30 of 55 for 259 yards. "Coming back tonight against that defense was huge," NC State coach Tom O'Brien said. "(Glennon) played very well in the second half. I'm ecstatic for him. Getting the turnover was huge and then being able to go down and get a touchdown afterwards was even bigger." For FSU, the national-championship dream is likely done. But the Seminoles still are tied with Clemson atop the ACC's Atlantic Division and own the tiebreaker by virtue of their win over the Tigers. FSU players took the loss hard, but vowed to fight back. "We've never been in this position where we've been this high, 5-0, since I've been here," FSU senior defensive tackle Everett Dawkins said. "(Defensive end) Bjoern (Werner) was standing up telling everybody, It's not over, don't put your head down.' "A of people will probably throw the towel in on us. We're going to fix our problems, that's a promise."
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