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FSU's Lawrence Nile-Stample will miss rest of season

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Steve Cannon/Associated Press
Florida State nose tackle Niles Lawrence-Stample is out for the season with a pectoral injury.

Florida State starting nose tackle Niles Lawrence-Stample will miss the rest of the season with a pectoral injury.

Lawrence-Stample (6-foot-1, 314 pounds), a junior, suffered the injury during this past Saturday's win over Clemson. He continued to play against the Tigers, but the injury needs surgery.

"You can't chance that. You can't rehab it. And it's a shame," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told reporters.

Lawrence-Stample was a part-time starter at defensive tackle in 2013; this season, he took over at nose tackle for Timmy Jernigan, who was a second-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens. Lawrence-Stample is the classic run-stuffer, clogging up the middle, taking up space and holding up well at the point of attack.

Junior Derrick Mitchell Jr. (6-4, 303), who also can play end and started there against Clemson, will replace Lawrence-Stample. Senior Desmond Hollin (6-3, 285) and true freshmen Derrick Nnadi (6-2, 303) and Demarcus Christmas (6-3, 302) also are expected to see time.

FSU's run defense has been somewhat spotty this season. The Seminoles allowed 124.8 yards per game last season, when they won the national title; that has increased to 170.7 this season. That number is skewed a bit because FCS foe The Citadel, which runs the triple-option, rushed for 250 yards on the Seminoles. Oklahoma State ran for 161 but Clemson managed just 101.

Saturday's game at North Carolina State could provide a test. The Wolfpack are averaging 248.8 rushing yards per game and have 12 rushing touchdowns. But the competition level has been extremely low. Depth is the issue for FSU; the starting tackles are fine, but there are some questions about the backups.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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