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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren waited a year to get Florida transfer Jacoby Brissett into his lineup. It didn't take the quarterback nearly so long to completely change the Wolfpack's offense.
Brissett leads the Atlantic Coast Conference with 13 touchdown passes against just one interception. He has also stabilized a position plagued by injuries and poor play a year ago, helping the Wolfpack steadily build confidence heading into Saturday's game at Clemson.
"I can't say enough about the effort he's given and how hard he's playing," Doeren said. "He's putting it all out there for his teammates."
Any questions about how much impact Brissett really could have in his first year with the Wolfpack were erased last weekend.
With Brissett trading big plays with Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, North Carolina State (4-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) gave top-ranked Florida State fits before falling 56-41.
Brissett finished with 359 yards and three touchdown passes. He also kept several plays alive with his mobility and had a highlight-reel moment in the opening quarter in which he ducked under the grasp of a Seminoles defender in the pocket, then stayed on his feet to pull free from another one trying to drag him to the turf before throwing a short touchdown pass.
Brissett is too busy crediting everyone else around him, from his line to offensive coordinator Matt Canada, to take credit for the Wolfpack's suddenly strong offense.
"That's honestly what Coach Canada pushes me to do in practice — it's just make plays," Brissett said. "It's just going out there and trusting the players around you, trusting the offense. Other players on the team have got a job too. You just have to trust that they're going to do their job in the right situations."
Last year the Wolfpack bounced between Arkansas graduate transfer Brandon Mitchell and Colorado State transfer Pete Thomas at quarterback. They led an offense that finished the year in the bottom half of the league in scoring (22.8 points) during a three-win season that included the program's first winless ACC record since 1959.
North Carolina State is second in the league in scoring at 40.4 points while averaging a league-best 505.6 yards — about 100 yards more than a year ago.
Brissett was one of the nation's top prep quarterbacks when he signed with Florida in 2011. He became the first true freshman in Gators history to take his first college snap as the starter at No. 1 LSU that fall, but he ultimately lost the battle for the starting job to Jeff Driskel and decided to transfer after the 2012 season.
He worked on the scout team last year while sitting out as a transfer.
"I haven't seen too much of the (current) Florida quarterback," Tigers defensive coordinator Brent Venables said, "but I can't imagine he's better than Jacoby Brissett."
Brissett hasn't thrown an interception since the season-opening win against Georgia Southern, a streak of 156 straight passes. He next faces a defense that ranks next-to-last in the ACC in scoring (27.5 points) but sits at fifth in total defense (324.5 yards).
If Brissett can turn in another big day, North Carolina State might earn its first league victory since November 2012.
"In any offense, when you have a confident leader at quarterback, it's going to trickle down to the players," freshman receiver Bo Hines said. "We really feel like we can play with anyone and win."
AP Sports Writer Pete Iacobelli in Columbia, South Carolina contributed to this report.
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