North Carolina State junior quarterback Jacoby Brissett may not have been a household name entering Saturday's clash against No. 1 Florida State, but after a remarkable performance in a 56-41 loss to the nation's top team, that will change.
Brissett's brilliant showing yielded this stat line:
|Jacoby Brissett vs. Florida State|
The 6'4", 231-pound signal-caller didn't take long to make his presence felt against the Seminoles. After his first pass of the game to David Grinnage went for 21 yards, he evaded a pass-rusher and let one loose down the middle of the field, hitting Bo Hines in stride en route to a 51-yard touchdown.
After just two passes, perhaps the Florida Gators began to feel the effects of the quarterback's departure—Brissett spent two years there before transferring to North Carolina State. Kevin Brockway of GatorSports.com seemed to think so:
Later in the first quarter, Brissett went back to work. After a 45-yard completion to Grinnage brought the Wolfpack within striking distance, the quarterback showed his ability to shed would-be tacklers once more, evading two defenders and hitting Johnathan Alston for an eight-yard touchdown.
Here's a look at Brissett's ridiculous strength and mobility:
ESPN ACC tweeted an interesting comparison following the play:
Through the first half, Brissett's numbers were very impressive. In fact, he was faring better than Florida State's Jameis Winston to that point. Here's a look at their side-by-side stats, via 120 Sports:
With his team clinging to a three-point lead early in the third quarter, Brissett performed his best magic trick of the day. North Carolina State's offensive line crumbled, allowing the quarterback to be swarmed by defenders. Somehow, someway, he managed to get a pass off to Matt Dayes while sitting atop a fallen pass-rusher. The play went for eight yards.
ESPN ACC's tweet following that play pretty much summed up how every single onlooker felt in that moment:
Later in the drive—which included a Brissett 19-yard scramble out of a collapsing pocket—the Wolfpack offense faced a 1st-and-goal on the Seminoles' 10-yard line. Brissett delivered a perfect strike to Dayes, capping off one of the most brilliantly engineered drives we've seen from any quarterback this season.
SportsCenter tweeted Brissett's updated stats following the score:
Finding himself under continuous pressure, Brissett was sacked and stripped of the football late in the third quarter. This allowed the Seminoles to take their first lead of the game. Later, utilizing quick, underneath throws, Brissett orchestrated a methodical drive deep into Florida State territory yet again. However, the rush got to him one more time, forcing another fumble which was recovered by the Seminoles.
Although, after a Winston interception, Brissett was given another chance. A 13-yard completion to Alston kicked things off, but the quarterback was briefly injured after a five-yard scamper on second down. After an incomplete pass by backup quarterback Garrett Leatham on third down, the team settled for a field goal.
Unfortunately for Brissett and the Wolfpack, Florida State was effective enough on the ensuing drive to kill most of the clock—and the Wolfpack's hopes of an upset—with a solid running game that produced another Seminoles touchdown.
Despite the loss, the future looks bright for Brissett. He was already performing well heading into Saturday's contest, completing 69.7 percent of his passes this season for 1,005 yards, 10 touchdowns and just one interception for a rating of 166.7. Now, Brissett proved he can produce against difficult opposition.
ESPN ACC tweeted one final comment upon the game's conclusion:
After his brilliant performance in the national spotlight, we'll be hearing his name more often.
Looking at the Wolfpack's remaining schedule, games at Clemson and Louisville will be challenging; however, considering the way Brissett has been playing, there's no denying the possibility of this team winning out. If that turns out to be the case, we may also hear his name mentioned in Heisman discussions.
With seven games left on North Carolina State's slate this season, we can expect this human highlight reel to provide plenty more fireworks.