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Florida State Stumbles Against North Carolina and Drops Second In a Row

RALEIGH, NC - OCTOBER 28:  Kendall Smith #29 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates after a fumble recovery against the North Carolina State Wolfpack during their game at Carter-Finley Stadium on October 28, 2010 in Raleigh, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Daniel BrommerCorrespondent INovember 8, 2010

It took just two weeks for the Florida State Seminoles to go from riding high on their undefeated conference schedule to being back into the mix of things with a glimmer of hope remaining for an ACC Championship appearance. Just two games for the Florida State faithful to realize that they aren't back just yet.

Florida State dropped the ball against North Carolina, with the end result looking a lot like their loss against NC State. With only seconds remaining, the stage was set for kicker Dustin Hopkins to be the hero, but he failed to make a 40 yard field goal to clinch the victory.

But one play cannot define the entire game, with the Florida State defense giving up 439 yards passing to North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates. That was the most yards FSU has given up through the air since 1995 against then Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel. The defense played arguably their worst game since the loss to Oklahoma earlier in the season and showed they have a long road ahead of them.

On a brighter note, FSU quarterback Christian Ponder looked to be his old self passing for a season high 264 yards with three touchdowns, finding his new favorite target, sophomore wide receiver Willie Haulstead who had ten catches for 154 yards and a touchdown.

So where do the 'Noles go from here? They needed N.C. State to lose to Clemson in hopes of still making the ACC Championship. Now they will need them to lose yet again and to win out. A 9-3 regular season isn't out of the question. Florida State has shown vulnerability these past two weeks, but they will need to regain the swagger they displayed earlier this year.

Florida State will need to win out and beat Florida in the final game of the year in order to prove this year wasn't a failure, and to show that Jimbo Fisher is making huge strides in giving the program a much needed face lift.

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