October 6, 2006

Defense can't answer the bell

RALEIGH - No matter what happened to Florida State's offense this season, whether the running game fizzled or the passing game struggled, the Seminoles defense was there to save the day. They intercepted the right passes, made the key tackles, tightened up when times got tight.

But that defense, gashed by injuries, wasn't able to be there as the clock ticked away in Thursday night's fourth quarter against N.C. State.

Nursing a 10-point lead - and gaining momentum following a 99-yard touchdown drive - the Seminoles watched a sophomore quarterback making his second career start throw two late touchdown passes to put the Wolfpack back in front.

"They did a good job scouting and figured out some holes in our defense," defensive lineman Andre Fluellen said. "They exploited those holes in our defense."

Those holes have grown larger as, each week, another Florida State defender has hobbled or rode off the playing field.

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