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Florida State Seminoles

FSU receiver Tamorrion Terry delivers offensive spark

Just one 40-yard grab against NC State set off an explosive game for Florida State receiver Tamorrion Terry, a player who made promises to Seminoles coach Willie Taggart.

Promises he knew were attainable.

“Tamorrion promised me as we were going into training camp that he was going to be everything we thought he can be,” Taggart said. “He’s living up to it.”

After Keyshawn Helton’s kickoff return for 25 yards, James Blackman set up the 40-yard catch with a four-yard pass to D.J. Matthews. The short reception was negated immediately on second down when Cam Akers rushed for a loss of four yards, setting up third-and-10.

Florida State had minimal offensive production at this point in the second quarter. The Wolfpack led the ’Noles by three possessions, 17-0.

It was a critical moment for Florida State. They had to take away NC State’s momentum. Mentally, another stalled drive would have depleted all hopes of a possible comeback.

Enter Terry, who followed his momentous 40-yard reception on third down with a 35-yard touchdown catch. The Seminoles found themselves back in a two-possession game.

In total, the quick four-play 75-yard drive took 1:34 off the clock.

NC State continued to peck at FSU’s defense, making a comeback nearly impossible, but Terry and Blackman didn’t let up.

Down 37-14 in the third quarter, Blackman kept a drive alive by rushing for six yards to pick up a first down, the first new set of downs of the series. He threw to his trusted weapon, Terry, for a 37-yard catch. Two plays later, Terry stood in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown catch.

He had one more epic grab on the night during FSU’s last scoring drive. His 20-yard reception on fourth-and-7 set up Matthews’ 34-yard touchdown catch to shrink NC State’s lead to 47-28.

Terry made very difficult catches, especially when some of Blackman’s passes were underthrown. On the 40-yard catch, the defender’s arm was perpendicular to Terry’s arms, ready to block the incoming pass, but Terry caught the ball while stripping away the defender.

He was solely focused on the pigskin, unashamed of his advantage.

“I just looked in the DB eyes; he looked scared,” Terry said. “He ain’t want to guard me. Then he ain’t say nothing to me the whole game, so I just knew he ain’t want to be out there with me. I just told coach Tagg, ‘Come to me.’”

Self-reflection and dedication prepared Terry, who leads the ACC with an average of 22.0 yards per catch, for this season.

“I try to take that on the field and off the field,” Terry said. “Make sure I do everything right. Stay focused, keep grinding, make sure everything right. Try to lead the team, too. I lead by example, so I try to take that and run with it.”

With Taggart’s attempt to instill a winning culture, Terry seems to be a key figure in Florida State’s rebuild.

“You want highly motivated, highly competitive, tough, smart, good people around,” Taggart said. “And I think Tamorrion has that. You want a team full of that. That’s the culture that you want. Yeah, you got the motivate guys but when you have guys that self-motivate and care, then it makes things a lot easier for you.

“This is a place he wanted to be, he dreamed of being here, he dreamed of winning championships here, and he wanted to get it back that way,” Taggart said. “We need a team full of guys that’s committed to doing it that way and when it gets that way, it’s going to be really special and it will get that way.”

Terry, a redshirt freshman, finished the night with 142 receiving yard with two touchdowns, ultimately winning ACC quarterback of the week. It was his first 100-yard game and first by a Seminole this season.

“He’s really becoming a complete football player,” offensive coordinator Walt Bell said. “The way he blocks. The way he plays without the football. The plays that he makes in the air. One of the best post takeoff guys that I’ve probably been fortunate enough to be around. Every day becoming better and better.”

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