The No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels and Florida State Seminoles clash this weekend, and the teams are on opposite ends of the standings. UNC has been playing perfect football under Mack Brown through the first few weeks of the year.
In his coaching return to Chapel Hill, Brown has rebuilt a winning culture. Yes, it’s still early on in the season, but given some of the recent pre-Brown seasons that this program had, the positives are shining through, and the polls reflect his efforts. Winners of their first three games, they’ll be looking to make it 4-0 this weekend.
The Seminoles, on the other hand, are trending in the entirely wrong direction. They went through two coaches a year ago, and now Mike Norvell is in his first season at the helm. This season is very different from others with the timeline and schedule, but there are no excuses.
Norvell will have a few years to make the Seminoles a winner again, or he may be on his way out the door. Can FSU put up a fight this weekend?
The spread for Saturday’s game favors UNC by 13.5 points, with the over/under set at 64. Kickoff is at 7:30 P.M. Eastern on ABC.
UNC Aiming to Make it 4-0
North Carolina has rolled through opponents this year, with only Boston College coming within a touchdown at the final whistle. They beat No. 19 Virginia Tech 56-45 a week ago. Sam Howell has fired six TD passes and three interceptions, completing just under 69% of his throws in total. He has 277 yards passing to date.
Michael Carter has been an absolute beast on the ground, averaging ten yards per carry on 40 attempts, scoring a pair of touchdowns. Fellow back Javonte Williams has six touchdowns and a 6.3 yards-per-carry average. When you have two great running backs, it’s easier to control the tempo and keep opposing offenses off the field.
The defense could stand to be a little bit better, as the Tar Heels are allowing 24 points per game. It’s not a huge number, but if they want to beat the elite teams, it will need to tighten up defensively.
Seminoles Looking to Make Some Noise
Florida State has limped to a 1-3 start, and nothing has gone well for them. They haven’t chosen their #1 quarterback yet, with three players getting significant reps. Their leading running back is averaging fewer than 40 yards per game. And they allow 34 points on average.
The three Seminoles quarterbacks, Jordan Travis, James Blackman, and Tate Rodemaker, have combined for four touchdowns, six interceptions, and 897 total passing yards. The only positive from those three is Travis’s rushing ability. He has racked up 235 yards and two scores; however, the Florida State offense has lost its way without an effective passing game.
Defensively, the Seminoles need to pressure Sam Howell, with the cornerbacks doing their jobs on the outside. But if the linebackers don’t tackle well, UNC will have a historic day running the football. So much can go wrong.
UNC Keeps the Train Rolling
Four wins in a row and counting. The No. 5 Tar Heels may even move up in the standings with this win because No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia are slated to play each other. North Carolina’s defense will have their best week against a lifeless Florida State offense.
FREE PLAY: UNC -13.5.
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