RALEIGH, North Carolina — Jacoby Brissett did just about everything possible to give North Carolina State a shot to upset No. 1 Florida State.
The Florida transfer threw for 359 yards and three touchdowns in the Wolfpack's 56-41 loss to the Seminoles, while his mobility extended plays, frustrated the FSU defense and created a few highlight-reel moments. It just wasn't quite enough to snap Florida State's long winning streak nor give coach Dave Doeren a huge win in his second season here.
Brissett threw a long touchdown pass just 18 seconds in and helped the Wolfpack to a 24-7 lead in the first quarter, but the Seminoles rallied when the Wolfpack finally began to sputter late. Brissett had a costly fumble to set up FSU's go-ahead touchdown pass late in the third quarter.
"We were just coming out playing hard and executing the plan," Brissett said. "We really were locked in. I feel like it was my fault toward the end, making some of the plays that I did and put us in bad situations. I've just got to learn from it."
Brissett's best moment came late in the first quarter. He ducked under the grasp of a Seminoles defender in the pocket then stayed on his feet to break away from another near the sideline to throw an 8-yard scoring pass to Johnathan Alston for a 24-7 lead with 2:06 left in the opening period.
"It was fun to watch as a spectator," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said of Brissett's performance, "but not fun if you're the other coach."
For Florida State, Jameis Winston threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns in his return from a suspension.
The Heisman Trophy winner directed four straight second-half touchdown drives to help the reigning national champions extend the nation's longest active winning streak to a program-record 20 games.
Rashad Greene hauled in 11 passes for 125 yards and the go-ahead score for the Seminoles (4-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), while Karlos Williams ran for three scores — the last with 2:07 left to seal it.
Winston was suspended last week for making an obscene public comment on campus, then watched backup Sean Maguire lead FSU to an overtime home win against Clemson.
He shook off a third-quarter interception to keep the Seminoles pushing forward against the Wolfpack (4-1, 0-1) and Brissett, who was on the sideline for the Gators during FSU's last loss in November 2012.
N.C. State led 24-7 after the first quarter and 38-28 midway through the third quarter after Shadrach Thornton's 10-yard scoring run.
But Winston directed a quick 71-yard drive that ended with his 15-yard scoring toss to Jesus Wilson, then capitalized on Brissett's fumble by zipping the ball to Greene — and just past the outstretched arm of Jack Tocho — for a 42-38 lead with 3:24 left in the third.
Williams' 1-yard scoring run pushed that lead to 49-38 early in the fourth, a cushion that ultimately held up.
Winston also came through with two key third-down conversions in the final minutes after the Wolfpack kicked a field goal to make it a one-possession game — the last being a 20-yard run on third-and-11 with about 3½ minutes left.
Williams capped that drive with his 12-yard score, giving him 126 yards rushing for the day.
FSU has now won 17 straight games against ACC opponents, a run that began after a loss here in October 2012.
It was a frustrating finish for N.C. State considering its promising start, when Brissett connected with freshman Bo Hines for a 54-yard touchdown pass on the second offensive play.
It marked the first time in program history that FSU had given up 24 points in the opening quarter, though FSU rallied to within 24-21 by halftime.
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