NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb said Sunday that he regrets letting his emotions get the best of him when he made the split-second decision to spit on the Florida State midfield logo after a 27-21 win.
The clip went viral, and afterward, Chubb denied spitting on the logo intentionally. But after doing interviews with reporters in Tallahassee and getting on the team bus back to Raleigh, Chubb issued an apology through the school. On Sunday, Chubb explained what happened during a wide-ranging phone conversation with ESPN.com.
"After the game, I just got caught up in the moment," Chubb said. "My mind set going into the game was not, 'When we win this game, I'm going to spit on the field.' I just got caught up in the moment, a bad decision. I'm a very passionate player. When you've been so close for three years, when you come back and play your heart out, stuff like that happens. I hate that it happened to me, but all over the country you see guys playing their hearts out, and at the end of the game, there's a little bit too much emotion, and they let it get the best of them."
Chubb was alluding to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, who took criticism for planting the OU flag at midfield in Ohio Stadium after a 31-16 win on Sept. 9. That clip also went viral, and Mayfield later apologized.
The win was a long time coming for Chubb and NC State. Last year, the Wolfpack lost a heartbreaker to the Seminoles in Raleigh late in the game. When Chubb made the decision to return to school for his senior season, he targeted the Florida State game in particular because he knew how hard his program worked for a win over an elite team. He was 0-3 against the Seminoles going into Saturday.
Plus, Chubb said he took issue with comments some Florida State players made on an Instagram post from February. Chubb posted a picture of himself wagging a finger and looking down at former Florida State running back Dalvin Cook. Current Florida State players Auden Tate, Tarvarus McFadden, Dontavious Jackson and Janarius Robinson all made comments that Chubb viewed as disrespectful.
"I told a lot of guys on the team that I took this one personal because a lot of their players last year were commenting on some of my Instagram pictures and all that, talking trash to me, and I felt it was in a disrespectful way, so that was a lot of motivation out there to play to the best of my ability, which I tried to do as best as possible," Chubb said. "There was a little more in the tank for this one."
Chubb said he heard from his family and entire hometown after the clip of him spitting on the logo went viral.
"A lot of people texted me and stuff, some laughing at it, some letting me know that I just have to be aware that cameras are on me at all times and can't do anything like that anymore," Chubb said. "It was a lot of constructive criticism."