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Florida State-North Carolina State Preview Capsule

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No. 3 Florida State (5-0, 2-0 ACC) vs. N.C. State (3-2, 0-1), 8 p.m. (ESPN2)

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Line: Florida State by 14 1/2.

Series Record: Florida State leads 22-10.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Florida State's first ACC road game could end with the Seminoles having an even firmer hold on the Atlantic Division. They've already beaten Clemson, so a win against the Wolfpack would give them victories against the two teams projected to be their biggest challengers. As for N.C. State, a loss would put Tom O'Brien's squad at 0-2 in the league and essentially end its preseason goal of contending for the ACC crown.

KEY MATCHUP

The Wolfpack's offensive line against the Seminoles past rush. N.C. State is expected to start its fourth different combination in front of QB Mike Glennon this season due to injuries. N.C. State has given up an ACC-worst 16 sacks this season, and those protection issues have played at least some part in N.C. State's mistake-prone performances this year. Florida State won't make things any easier, entering the game with a league-best 15 sacks - seven coming from DE Cornellius Carradine.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Florida State: RB Chris Thompson. Thompson missed much of last year with a back injury, but the senior is second in the ACC with 431 yards rushing. He's averaging nearly 9 yards per carry and has scored five touchdowns, providing the Seminoles with a strong ground game to go with QB EJ Manuel's run-or-throw ability that has FSU averaging a league-best 51 points and 544 yards per game.

N.C. State: CB David Amerson. Amerson is having a bumpy junior year after setting an ACC record with 13 interceptions last year. The cornerback was in primary coverage on three of Miami's five touchdown passes last week, got beat on another long TD toss when he thought the play was dead on an offsides call and was the last defender with a desperation chance to run down the Hurricanes' Phillip Dorsett on the go-ahead 62-yard scoring pass late in the 44-37 loss. He'll have to regroup quickly against the Seminoles to provide some stability in the secondary.

FACTS & FIGURES

The game will mark the first time a top-five opponent has visited N.C. State's Carter-Finley Stadium since 1998, when the Wolfpack upset the second-ranked Seminoles 24-7. ... Florida State won last year's meeting 34-0 in Tallahassee, and has beaten the Wolfpack in four of the past five seasons. ... N.C. State has allowed 52 points in the first quarter this year, but just 55 in the other three quarters combined. ... The Seminoles rank in the top 10 nationally in both scoring and total offense, as well as scoring and total defense.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
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