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Updated: Saturday, November 23, 2002 12:02 PM EST
NCAA FOOTBALL PREVIEW
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No. 14 Florida St (8-3) at No Carolina St (9-3)
FLORIDA ST. SEMINOLES
Florida St. Seminoles
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NORTH CAROLINA ST. WOLFPACK
North Carolina St. Wolfpack
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RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- After an up-and-down season, Florida State finds itself in a familiar position.

The 14th-ranked Seminoles can clinch the outright Atlantic Coast Conference title Saturday when they host slumping North Carolina State.

Last season, the Wolfpack became the first ACC team to win at Florida State, a defeat that helped end the Seminoles' nine-year reign as ACC champions.

But Florida State, which already has clinched at least a share of the title, will have more than revenge on its mind this weekend. With a victory, the Seminoles with clinch a berth in the Bowl Championship Series, most likely the Orange Bowl.

If Florida State loses, it can clinch the outright ACC title if Maryland drops one of its final two conference games against Virginia and Wake Forest.

Florida State (8-3, 7-0) remained the only unbeaten team in the ACC with a 40-14 rout of North Carolina last week. Adrian McPherson passed for four touchdowns and has led the Seminoles to three straight victories since taking over for Chris Rix.

In his three starts, McPherson has passed for 654 yards and eight touchdowns.

Three of McPherson's touchdown's last week went to Anquan Boldin, who caught five passes for 104 yards. Boldin has 10 TD receptions this year after tearing an ACL last season.

The wheels have fallen off for North Carolina State (9-3, 4-3), which has dropped three in a row after starting 9-0 for the first time in school history. The Wolfpack are trying to avoid their first four-game losing streak since 1997.

The Wolfpack, who are playing their final regular season game, still need a win to set a school record for victories. North Carolina State dropped out of the top 25 following last week's 14-9 loss to Virginia.

Philip Rivers completed 28-of-47 passes for 236 yards but was kept out of the end zone. The Wolfpack were held to just 96 yards on the ground as T.A. McLendon struggled to gain 75 yards on 22 carries. McLendon needs 31 yards to become the fifth 1,000-yard rusher in ACC history.

North Carolina State's victory last season cut Florida State's lead in the all-time series to 16-6.


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