Clark: An unbelievable win for a program that needed one desperately
When you've experienced as much heartache as the Florida State football program has in recent years, a win like this, a moment like what happened Saturday night, becomes so much more meaningful.
I don't know if it's the start of a great resurgence for the once-dominant program, although I wouldn't argue with you if you think it is.
And I don't know if Mike Norvell is going to end up being a championship coach here, although I wouldn't argue if you think that's going to happen, too.
I do know that this program hasn't beaten anyone good since the Orange Bowl against Michigan in December 2016. And I also know that it was utterly embarrassed by rival Miami three weeks ago.
And yet on Saturday night, in another prime-time game, the Florida State Seminoles did something they hadn't done in six years: They beat a Top 5 team, knocking off No. 5 North Carolina, 31-28, at Doak Campbell Stadium.
Sure, there was some hiccups along the way -- you know, like pretty much the entire second half -- but we'll save those critiques for another column. Because this one is all about a program that finally got a signature win, that finally found a way to beat a good team, that finally, at last, somehow, some way, gave its fan base and its players something to feel fantastic about.
"I'm so proud of these guys," Norvell said in his Zoom press conference after the game. "The most exciting thing to me is we beat a Top 5 football team and we didn't even play a clean game, especially in the second half."
No. You did not.
But both halves count the same. Florida State was outscored by 21 points in the second half. The Seminoles outscored North Carolina by 24 in the first. Add 'em both up, and the Seminoles got themselves a W.
And you know, I tend to think this might have been exactly what this program needed.
If Florida State had just run a repeat of the first half and beaten North Carolina 62-14, I don't know if that would have been any better in the long run than the way it actually did transpire (though I bet your family members might have appreciated the lack of expletives over the final two quarters).
For a moment there late, it looked like the Seminoles were done.
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