The Daily Nole

North Carolina at FSU: Gameday Primer athletics

Florida State avoided losing back-to-back contests for the first time in four years last week against South Florida and will come into Saturday’s game against North Carolina with something to build on. The Tar Heels also showed the ability to deal with adversity last week, rallying from 13 points down in a thrilling 37-36 home victory over Pittsburgh.

The Tar Heels are loaded on offense at just about every position. Mitch Trubisky is red-hot at quarterback, the duo of Elijah Hood and T.J. Logan is solid in the backfield and receiver Ryan Switzer is coming off a career-game with 16 catches for 208 yards and a touchdown. They’ll all play behind a talented offensive front that will look to slow FSU senior defensive end DeMarcus Walker, who is among the nation’s leaders with 5.5 sacks.

Offensively, Florida State will look to exploit a North Carolina defense that ranks just 120th in the country against the run. Junior running Dalvin Cook leads the FSU attack with 495 yards on the ground and four touchdowns while quarterback Deondre Francois is poised beyond his years for a redshirt freshman. That’s good, because the North Carolina secondary led by junior cornerback M.J. Stewart is a good one. The teams square off at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.

Quick Hits

Florida State will be looking to run the nation’s longest home winning streak to 23 games on Saturday. The last loss came to Florida to conclude the 2012 regular season. FSU hasn’t lost to an ACC opponent at home since falling 14-13 to Virginia in 2011.
North Carolina is the only ACC school that Florida State has never defeated under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The Tar Heels won the only meeting against Fisher, beating the Seminoles 37-35 in 2010.
Florida State will look to avoid its first 0-2 start in ACC play since 2011.
FSU will look to avoid losing its first ACC home game since the 2009 season-opener when the Seminoles fell to Miami, 38-34.
Florida State would be the highest ranked team that North Carolina has defeated under head coach Larry Fedora. Fedora, who has been the head coach of the Tar Heels, has only defeated one ranked team and that was No. 23 Pittsburgh last season.
Against teams from the ACC Coastal division, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher is 16-4 and 5-2 at home.

Good Times, Bad Times

All-time series: Florida State leads 15-2-1
Good Times: In the only bowl meeting between the teams — the 1983 Peach Bowl — the Seminoles throttled the Tar Heels, 28-3. Quarterback Eric Thomas accounted for three total touchdowns in the FSU victory.

After winning 13-0 with both teams ranked in the top 15 in 1996, No. 3 Florida State won the 1997 contest in Chapel Hill that at the time, was billed as the biggest game in ACC history, 20-3. Defensive end Greg Spires recorded four of the nine FSU sacks for a defense that held fifth-ranked North Carolina to just 73 yards of offense.

In FSU’s last visit to Chapel Hill on a Thursday night in 2009, the Seminoles overcame a 24-6 deficit to stun the Tar Heels, 30-27. Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder passed for 395 yards and three touchdowns in the win, including a school-record tying 98-yard bomb to Rod Owens and the game-winner to Beau Reliford.

Bad Times: The only tie between the teams was a 10-10 finish in Tallahassee in 1986. Derek Schmidt missed a 37-yard field goal in the waning seconds that would have given the Seminoles the victory.

Ranked No. 6 for its trip to Chapel Hill in 2001, Florida State was manhandled by North Carolina and defensive end Julius Peppers, 41-9. The Seminoles were held to 224 yards of offense and turned the ball over five times in the loss.

The last meeting between the teams in 2010 is North Carolina’s only win in Tallahassee. FSU grabbed a 35-34 lead with under six minutes to play on a short touchdown run by Lonnie Pryor, but Connor Barth answered with 55 seconds to play with a 22-yard field goal to give the Tar Heels a 37-35 victory. FSU’s Dustin Hopkins had a chance to win the game for the Seminoles in the waning seconds, but his 40-yard field goal attempt sailed wide.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Here are all The Daily Nole articles on North Carolina leading up to Saturday’s contest:

FSU Football: A First Look at North Carolina
North Carolina’s Trubisky to Test Struggling FSU Secondary
Preview: Shootout Expected as Florida State Hosts North Carolina
FSU Football: UNC Offers Chance to Build on Stellar Rushing Performance
Staff Predictions for FSU-North Carolina
FSU-North Carolina: Five Things to Watch

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply