FSU failed to capitalize on a scintillating kick off return by Greg Reid and the ghosts of missed field goals past came back to once again hurt the Noles. In an exciting back and forth game that saw each team go on impressive offensive drives, the Tar Heels prevailed as kicker Dustin Hoffman made a complete ass out of himself and missed a 40 yarder that would have won it for FSU. Hoffman also missed another 2nd half FG as well. Although FSU did not turn the ball over and took a touchdown lead into the half, a comedy of errors by linemen and wide receivers erased several chances that might have eliminated the need for a late field goal. Reciever Bert Reed dropped a sure first down that led to Hoffmans first miss, and the receiver corps were plagued all game with untimely holding calls. Just as it did last week at North Carolina State, the offense committed 3 straight penalties on a promising drive, including one that negated a late hit call on QB Christian Ponder that would have given the Seminoles a crucial first down despite it being 3rd and 30 yards to go.
The game changed in the Noles favor seemingly when the Tar Heels snapped the ball over their punters head and he chased it back towards their own goal line before kicking it out of the back of the endzone. Because the ball was kicked at the 1 yard line and not in the endzone, the Seminoles were awarded the ball first and goal on the 1 instead of getting 2 points from a safety. This proved critical as FSU did not run out any clock, scoring on their first play. This left the Tar Heels plenty of time to drive down the field and kick the winning FG, which they did.
The Seminoles had one last chance with little over a minute left in the game. As he has done numerous times in his short career at FSU, Greg Reid came up big when he was needed most. The DB took the kick and weaved his way all the way to 50 yard line, seemingly inches away from breaking it for a TD. But that was the theme of this game…close, but not close enough. Christian Ponder did what he could, hitting Willie Haulsted for a first down and breaking off a run for another. With his final snap, he dove towards the center of the field to give Hoffman a perfectly lined up shot at the win. As the kick went off his foot, every fan in attendance for this back and forth homecoming battle had to be thinking the same thing : oh fuck, not again.
The only thing good to come of the day was that NC State lost at Clemson, leaving the Noles in first place in the ACC Atlantic division and setting up a huge game next week against the Tigers. A win against Clemson could seal the deal for FSU and secure its first title shot since 2005, when they defeated Virginia Tech in the inaugural ACC title game. The defense has a lot to improve upon after letting UNC senior QB TJ Yates set a Heels school record for passing yards in a game. It was the most yards passing allowed since the notorious homosexual Danny Weurfell sprayed hot passes all over the Noles D back in 1995.