To the Rescue

FSU's defense holds Wolfpack down.

Florida State can credit its defense for a job well done in Thursday's 17-10 road victory at North Carolina State. The lone touchdown for the Wolfpack (4-6, 3-5) came on <b>Darrell Blackman's </b> 87-yard punt return in the second quarter. N.C. State had only one first down -- on a penalty, mind you -- and finished with 26 yards in the final two periods. FSU's best weapon, meanwhile, was punter returner <b>Willie Reid.</b> The Seminoles also welcomed back tailback <b>Leon Washington.</b>

Leon Washington knew exactly where to give thanks to.

"Hats off to our defense," Washington said following the Seminoles' hard-fought victory at North Carolina State on Thursday night.

"They did a heckuva job. Like I've said all year long, if we score more than seven points our defense will hold up on their end, and they did that."

"And hats off to Willie Reid. Everytime he touched it (punt), he almost returned it to the house."

Lorenzo Booker and James Coleman each ran for third-quarter touchdowns, helping No. 11 FSU rally past North Carolina State in a game that featured 22 punts, four turnovers and less than 250 yards of combined offense.

Returning for the first time since suffering a separated right shoulder at Wake Forest three games ago, Washington was was held to 56 yards on 18 carries. While Washington wasn't 100 percent, he teamed with Booker to give the Seminoles a needed boost.

"I feel pretty good. It was one of those things, my team really needed me out there," Washington said.

"This is one of those things where you have to play hard. I can deal with the pain."

Reid, meanwhile, had 129 yards in returns, helping give FSU needed field position, especially in the second half. Reid also had a long return in the first half to the N.C. State 2-yard line nullified by a penalty.

"Field position is very important when you are playing a game like this with two great defenses," Reid said.

"I was just trying to do my job, cutting the field in half and giving my offense a chance. It really worked out well in the second half for us."

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