Florida State avoided a disaster in Week 1 against Ole Miss, and then that disaster came to fruition against Louisville a couple weeks later. In one of the most anticipated matchups in Week 3, Louisville laid the wood on Florida State. Final score: 63-20 Louisville. FSU was the public favorite to win the game, let alone any predictions of them getting beat down that badly. The Cardinals watched the Ole Miss tape from top to the bottom and exploited the holes that the Rebels were able to attack in the first-half of that game. Difference being Louisville played for four quarters, something else they probably learned from that game as well. The Seminoles were unable to stop Lamar Jackson, as he torched them from the 1st quarter until the final second. The loss pushed FSU back considerably in the rankings, and put the Cardinals in the top 4.
Ohio State suffered a loss early in the year to Virginia Tech a couple of years ago and made out with the National Championship. All is not loss for Florida State. They just better start playing a lot better defense than they’ve been showing. The secondary hasn’t looked like a team ready to compete for a National Championship this season. Pair them with Alabama or even Michigan and they wouldn’t get away such reckless play on defense. Points come at a premium against teams like that, so the margin for error on defense is rather thin.
They should be able to get by in this one with some errors on defense. Because God knows that North Carolina is going to make a lot of them on defense themselves. The Tar Heels, who have ranked nearly last in college football stopping the run. You probably don’t remember, but Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl a year ago embarrassing North Carolina on the ground. The Bears were going into the game with a 3rd string quarterback and ran the ball every play. Baylor was also without their best receivers and running back. It didn’t matter, Baylor ran for 645 yards! With a total of 49 points in the win. More of the same has transpired thus far, giving up big yardage to Pittsburgh, 309 yards rushing, and Nick Chubb rushed for 222 just by himself in the opener. The Tar Heels have a vaunted task in front of them against the Florida State rushing attack in Week 5.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Florida State Seminoles NCAAF Betting Odds:
North Carolina +10.5(-110)
vs. Florida State -10.5(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
North Carolina vs. Florida State Pick:
Florida State loves to pound the football with their talented combo of Dalvin Cook and Jacques Patrick. Cook is the mauler who will wear a team out, Patrick is a change of pace back who is lightning in a bottle. Cook has already rushed for 495 yards on 6.35 yards per carry. Patrick is coming off a 100-yard rushing game himself against South Florida. The Seminoles are 15th in the country rushing per game, with 244.8 yards per game. FSU has a capable dual-threat quarterback, Deondre Harris, who is credited with leading them back against Ole Miss. Harris has thrown for 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Parlayed with 97 yards rushing and a touchdown. Harris benefits greatly from having one of the best backfields in college football at his side.
North Carolina is 121st defending the run in the FBS. There are only 128th teams. On average they’ve allowed 240.3 yards per game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Florida State top 300 yards this afternoon. Going against North Carolina in this game is how much they pass the ball. I suppose I should say it’s a double-edged sword. Florida State can be thrown on, their secondary has had a bunch of issues. But if the Tar Teels don’t extend drives and keep the FSU offense off the field, the Noles are going to run through a tired defense. Passing the ball 80% of the time may work against some teams, but if it’s a quick three-and-out, or quick touchdowns, Florida State is going to mop the floor with them on the ground.
North Carolina is having a tremendous year passing the ball, so not to take anything away from their immense success. Mitch Trubisky is having a tremendous campaign throwing the ball, passing for 10 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. He saw brief action in 2015 and passed for 6 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Thus, he hasn’t thrown an interception since the 2014 season. Florida State is 62nd against the pass, so there shouldn’t be any reason why Trubisky doesn’t find his element again this week. Florida State has allowed more than 30 points versus the three competent teams they’ve faced, not including Charles Southern. The total in this game should be in the mid-70s. Both teams should hit at least the high 30s, with a 45-37 final score looking pretty plausible.
PICK: OVER 70 POINTS (-110)