-- TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb went out to the team buses to visit with family after his impressive performance against Florida State, but all anyone could talk about was what he did to the Seminoles' midfield logo.
Postgame video showed Chubb appearing to spit at midfield after the Wolfpack's 27-21 win. When asked about whether he intentionally spit on the logo, Chubb told ESPN, "No, I didn't!" before adding, "But I did have fun out there."
North Carolina State also tweeted out an apology on behalf of Chubb after the game.
The spit only added another level of insult after NC State sent No. 12 Florida State, who had true freshman James Blackman?making his first start in place of injured? Deondre Francois?at quarterback,?to its first 0-2 start since 1989.
Chubb dominated the Florida State offensive line, and the vaunted Seminoles defense could not make critical stops down the stretch. Florida State, a preseason favorite to make the College Football Playoff, saw its postseason hopes all but dashed.
"I always spit when I'm playing football," Chubb told reporters after the game. "I don't remember doing that. It wasn't intentional at all. ... It wasn't a celebration. I celebrated with my teammates and then talked to Coach (Dave) Doeren. I guess I just spit. I really didn't mean to."
FSU coach Jimbo Fisher said afterward that the team's preseason goals didn't have to be revisited, but given the way they played and the schedule ahead, it's hard to envision a scenario where the Seminoles make the playoff with two losses.
"There is no panic," Fisher said. "But there's an urgency. You've got to correct some things and get better. We're going to line up and play next week. Whether 1-1 or 0-2, we have to play one week at a time, one game at a time. That's all we can control, and that's what the conversation's about."
Blackman stood his ground in his first career start, going 22-of-38 for 278 yards and one touchdown and Fisher praised his performance. But there were crucial missed opportunities, particularly in the red zone. Florida State got into the NC State red zone seven times, but only came away with one touchdown.
Sometimes penalties hurt them. Other times the run game could not pick up a few yards. But Chubb was a big reason why Florida State couldn't get into the end zone, too. Chubb forced one fumble and had two sacks inside the 20-yard line.
Meanwhile, the Florida State defense gave up crucial third-down conversions and some big plays -- including one on All-American safety Derwin James, who allowed a 71-yard touchdown pass late in the first half from Ryan Finley to Jakobi Meyers in the second quarter was a big momentum changer in the game.
"I feel like I've got to be better personally," James said. "The big touchdown pass I felt like I could have made that tackle. That was a big play in the game and I know I can make. I waited for him to press up on me. It's a play I make 10 out of 10 times, but I've got to be better. That was a big turning point in the game."
It also didn't help that Florida State was down starting linebacker Matthew Thomas (back) and receiver Auden Tate (shoulder), as well as starting linebacker Jacob Pugh (ejected for targeting). Fisher expects Tate to be back relatively quickly, and didn't have a status update on Thomas.
Florida State players had already cleared the field when Chubb was shown spitting toward the logo.
"Honestly, if he did that, God bless him," FSU defensive end? Brian Burns?said. "That's disrespectful and dirty, but that's up to him. That's the way he has to do it."
Florida State has more to worry about than whether an opponent disrespected its logo moving forward. Last season, the Seminoles overcame a slow start to the season to finish as Capital One Orange Bowl champions.
"This doesn't define who we are," Florida State running back Jacques Patrick said. "Things are going to get better, and that's how we see it. We're going to try to win out. That's our goal."