Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics
Another valiant effort culminated in a loss on Saturday as Florida State came up short against NC State at Doak Campbell Stadium, 28-14.
The Seminoles twice cut a 14-point deficit in half, but could never draw even. Despite falling to 3-6, there were some commendable efforts on Saturday.
Handing out game balls to the top FSU performers this week are editors Mike Ferguson, Cory Thorpe and lead writer Jake Bunting:
Mike’s Game Ball: Keyshawn Helton, WR
No one put up gaudy offensive numbers for Florida State, but wide receiver Keyshawn Helton made some key and difficult catches for the Seminoles on Saturday. Helton led the team with four catches for 49 yards and made an excellent catch on the sideline for the team’s first touchdown. His longest reception on Saturday went for 23 yards.
Cory and Jake’s Game Ball: McKenzie Milton, QB
With Jordan Travis battling an illness, McKenzie Milton made his first start in more than a month on Saturday. The UCF transfer wasn’t sharp, but gave a gritty effort. He finished the game 22-for-44 passing for 233 yards and a touchdown. Milton also rushed for three yards and did a decent job extending plays with his legs.
Unanimous Game Ball: Keir Thomas, DE
As a defense, FSU finished with three sacks on Saturday. Two of them came from South Carolina transfer Keir Thomas. Thomas finished with three total tackles and also made a heady play after an NC State receiver was credited with a catch for a first down on a third-down pass that clearly hit the ground. Thomas laid on the field with an injury, which usually isn’t a commendable action if the injury is faked, but given the egregious nature of the missed call, he gets a kudos in this case. The call on the field was ultimately overturned.
Mike’s Game Ball: Parker Grothaus, K
Parker Grothaus had a kickoff go out of bounds on Saturday, but he also gave FSU some much-needed momentum to start the second half. Trailing 14-0, Grothaus perfectly executed an onside kick to open the third quarter and even made the recovery. The Seminoles would capitalize by going 51 yards for a touchdown.
Cory and Jake’s Game Ball: Alex Mastromanno, P
There’s nothing new here. Australian punter Alex Mastromanno has been stellar all season for FSU and that continued on Saturday. Mastromanno punted nine times for an average of nearly 45 yards per boot. His longest kick of the day went 58 yards. Three of his punts were downed inside the NC State 20-yard-line. Not a single one was returned.