FSU vs. UNC Prediction, Game Preview

    FSU vs. UNC prediction and game preview. The Seminoles and Tar Heels face off in Doak Campbell Stadium in a pivotal ACC matchup on Saturday.

    September 26, 2016

    FSU vs. UNC prediction and game preview. The Seminoles and Tar Heels face off in Doak Campbell Stadium in a pivotal ACC matchup on Saturday.

    FSU vs. UNC Game Preview

    When: Saturday, Oct. 1 – 3:30 p.m. ET
    Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, FL
    TV Broadcast: ESPN

    Things don’t get any easier for the Seminoles, as they continue a tough four-game stretch with North Carolina visiting Tallahassee on Saturday afternoon. Last week, the ‘Noles beat USF on the road while UNC notched a win over Pitt in a key ACC Coastal showdown. Jimbo Fisher’s team did not have any problem scoring points against a physical Bulls defense, but coordinator Charles Kelly needs his defense to make significant improvements if the ‘Noles have any chance at a New Year’s Six berth.

    The last time these teams played was in 2010, when Tar Heels quarterback T.J. Yates threw for 439 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-35 Tar Heels win. The loss was Jimbo Fisher’s first at home since replacing Bobby Bowden earlier that year.

    What To Know About FSU

    Dalvin Cook recovered from his slow start to the season by running all over USF last week, as he recorded a career-high 267 rushing yards and two touchdowns to pace the Seminoles to a 55-35 rout. He scored on a 75-yard run on the Seminoles’ first play from scrimmage, as they bounced back from being blown out 63-20 by Louisville. But Fisher was not happy that his team gave up five touchdowns and 450 yards on defense. Moving forward, FSU needs to find its nastiness and clamps on defense.

    What To Know About UNC

    Tar Heels quarterback Mitch Trubisky is coming off of one of his best efforts yet, as the junior threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Bug Howard with :02 remaining to help the Tar Heels rally past Pitt 37-36. Trubisky threw for career highs of 453 yards and five touchdowns, and Ryan Switzer tied a program record with 16 catches for 208 yards and a score. UNC never led until that final touchdown, trailed by 13 with six minutes left and converted three fourth-down conversions on the game-winning drive. Just a huge effort in a big divisional win.


    Offense: FSU. If Cook runs with anger as he did last week against USF, UNC will have major problems.

    Defense: FSU. The ‘Noles have better material, but it’s a unit that needs a lot of work.

    Special Teams: UNC. Switzer has seven career punt returns for touchdowns.

    Coaching: FSU. Fisher has won a national title with the ‘Noles, but expect Larry Fedora’s name to be attached to high-profile coaching vacancies.

    Intangibles: UNC. The Heels are still riding high from the win over Pitt.

    Matchup To Watch

    Switzer vs. FSU punt return coverage

    If the Tar Heels are going to score an upset, special teams play could be big for them. Switzer owns the UNC and ACC records for career punt return yards and touchdowns, and he’s just one score shy of tying the FBS record held by Texas Tech’s Wes Welker and Oklahoma’s Antonio Perkins. As a freshman in 2013, he tied the single-season FBS record with five punt return touchdowns, and he added two more scores in 2015.

    Betting Odds

    Spread: FSU -11
    Over/Under: No line

    FSU vs. UNC Prediction

    With Cook returning to ’15 form last week, it could be a long day for Gene Chizik’s UNC defense. Trubisky will be able to move the ball against this FSU defense, but it’s a unit that will play a little bit better this week than its effort against USF. FSU simply outscores UNC.

    FSU vs. UNC Score Prediction: FSU 41, UNC 30

    MORE: 1-128 College Football Rankings – Week 5


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