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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (seminoles.com) – Dalvin Cook cemented his place in the record books, Sean Maguire came off the bench to engineer a comeback and Florida State enjoyed a happy homecoming on a sunny afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Cook ran for two touchdowns and Maguire threw for two more as the Seminoles erased an early 10-point deficit and pulled away from North Carolina State for a 34-17 victory.
Florida State improves to 8-2 and finishes its ACC campaign at 6-2. The Seminoles will hold their home finale next week against Chattanooga (3 p.m.)
Cook entered the game needing just 12 yards to break Warrick Dunn’s single-season rushing record, and, with Dunn watching from the sidelines, did just that on his third carry of the game.
Despite an apparent ankle injury, Cook rushed 22 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
Maguire, meanwhile, started the game behind Everett Golson, who coach Jimbo Fisher named the team’s starter on Thursday.
But after the Wolfpack turned three Golson turnovers into a 17-7 lead, Fisher tabbed Maguire to take the reins.
FSU’s offense immediately responded to the change, scoring points 20 points across its next four drives.
Maguire, who had started each of FSU’s previous two games, finished 18 of 28 for 231 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Both TDs went to junior Kermit Whitfield, who scampered for scores of 27 and 45 yards as part of a 27-0 FSU run during the final three quarters.
The Seminoles’ defense had its say, too.
After allowing 92 yards and 17 points (10 off of turnovers) in the first quarter, coordinator Charles Kelly’s group held the Wolfpack off the scoreboard for the final three periods.
NC State finished the game with just 297 yards of total offense, the second lowest allowed by FSU this year (Boston College, 195). After halftime, the Wolfpack ran 42 plays and gained only 149 yards (3.5 yards per play).
Freshman safety Derwin James had another strong effort, leading the Seminoles with 10 tackles, a sack and a tackle for loss. James and senior nickel back Javien Elliott teamed up to force and recover a fumble that led to a touchdown.
The Seminoles harassed and hit NC State quarterback Jacoby Brissett most of the afternoon, sacking him four times and recording another three hurries.
Junior defensive end DeMarcus Walker also sacked Brissett twice, bringing his team-leading season total to eight.
Brissett, who had a career day against the Seminoles a year ago, had 55 yards and a touchdown after the first quarter, but he finished 27 of 47 for 209 yards.