North Carolina Tar Heels (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) vs. No. 13 Florida State Seminoles (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
College Football Week 5
Date/Time: Saturday, October 1st, 3:30PM (EST)
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: UNC +11/FSU -11
Over/Under Total: TBA
The ACC Coastal Division preseason favorites in the North Carolina Tar Heels will finally kick off ACC play this Saturday when they go on the road to battle the no. 13 Florida State Seminoles inside Doak Campbell Stadium. The Tar Heels are 3-1 on the season with their only loss coming to Georgia in the opener. The Tar Heels are expected to be the best team in the Coastal Division this year but that moniker as preseason favorite will be put to the test this Saturday. If the Tar Heels fail to get past the Seminoles on the road in Tallahassee, they will have a tough road to get back to the ACC Championship.
At the beginning of the year, many looked at this game as a potential precursor to the ACC Championship Game in December. Florida State was considered to be the best, along with Clemson, in the Atlantic while UNC clearly held the advantage in the Coastal Division. However, Florida State was crushed by Louisville two weeks ago which completely shook up the ACC Atlantic race. Additionally the likes of Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech have been pretty solid this far which ensures North Carolina will not have a cake walk like some may have previously believed.
As far as this week’s game, the Tar Heels catch the Seminoles at an opportunistic time. Florida State is still trying to shake off that disaster 63-20 disaster against Louisville and their defense appeared like they were still rattled last week against South Florida. Despite the victory, the talented Seminoles defense gave up 35 points and 450 total yards to the Bulls in a 55-35 victory. The defense gave up big plays throughout the game including an 84 yard touchdown pass from the opening play of the game. Coach Jimbo Fisher openly criticized the play of the Seminoles defense and it is apparent that group is struggling to get off the field.
The good news for Florida State fans is that, despite the bad defensive play, the offense finally got running back Dalvin Cook going last week. Cook exploded against the South Florida defense to the tune of 267 yards and two touchdowns on the ground. Last year, Cook broke the Florida State school record with 1,691 yards rushing on the season. However, he had a slow start through the first 3 games that had several people questioning his health. Cook silenced those concerns with a brilliant performance rushing the football and his play will be very important towards the Seminoles’ offense going forward.
The Tar Heels defense has really struggled on defense giving up 30 points per game through their first 4 games of the season. If you consider the way Georgia’s Nick Chubb racked up 222 yards against the Tar Heels in the opener, Dalvin Cook could be in-line for another big outing. To this point, North Carolina has not had many answers towards defending the run and that will be a major concern on Saturday.
Luckily as stated before, the Seminoles have a lot of defensive issues as well. North Carolina’s offense has a nice balance between the run and the pass which should keep the Seminole’s linebackers honest. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been absolutely awesome completing 74.5% passing for 1,306 yards with 10 touchdowns and 0 picks through the first 4 contests. Trubisky has emerged as a big time weapon for the Tar Heels offense which also has a decent running attack with Elijah Hood and T.J Logan. Both tailbacks have 4 touchdowns a piece on the season. If the Tar Heels can get a little help from the tailbacks in the short yardage positions, Trubisky has the arm to shed more light onto the weaknesses of this Florida State defense.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Like most of Florida State’s recent games, I expect the scoring to be high in this game. Florida State will have plenty of success on the ground and the Tar Heels will find ways to answer. Take UNC +11
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