NoleGameday Staff Score Predictions: FSU vs North Carolina

Florida State will take on the No. 5 team in the country for the second week in a row as North Carolina travels to Tallahassee for a Saturday night showdown. A week after taking on Notre Dame’s vaunted rushing offense, the Seminoles will look to show some signs of life against an even better offense. The Tarheels are a multi-dynamic threat and the engine of the offense is sophomore quarterback Sam Howell. A former FSU commit, Howell has blossomed into one of the best young signal-callers in all of college football after throwing 38 touchdown passes a season ago. He’s also got a pair of running backs and three really good receivers to complement his skill set.

This is an extremely tough matchup for a ‘Noles defense that has been exposed in all four games it has played this season. The only hope on that side of the ball is that Adam Fuller will be able to come up with some creative blitz and coverage packages to force Howell into mistakes. It would also help if the players started performing up to their capabilities.

Offensively, this is a game where the team is going to need to put up a lot of points if they want to have a chance to pull off the upset. The good news is, North Carolina has a pedestrian defense and surrendered 45 points in a win last week. The bad news? The Seminoles will be without star wide out Tamorrion Terry, who had his best game of the 2020 season against Notre Dame. FSU is going to need Jordan Travis and its trio of running backs to produce on the ground while they figure who’s going to step up in the passing attack.

Our staff provides their predictions and analysis for Florida State vs North Carolina below.

Dustin Lewis (@Dussttin)

Once again, the defense was a flat out disappointment in the loss to Notre Dame. Time and time again, they were burned on the same counter play for long rushes. For the most part, it seemed like the Fighting Irish did what they wanted to all night. I think that’s pretty much how the game against North Carolina is primed to go. The Tar Heels have a more complete offense in my opinion and Sam Howell is a guy who can make all of the throws. It helps they have two solid running backs, including Michael Carter, who’s averaging 10.3 yards per carry on 40 touches. The defense is going to have its hands full….again.

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That said, the offense should be able to put some points on the board this weekend. As long as Jordan Travis’ hand is alright, he’s primed for another big performance on the ground. I’m interested to see how the offense adjusts in the passing game with Terry primed to miss at least a few weeks, if not the rest of the season.  La’Damian Webb and Lawrance Toafili should continue to assert themselves in the running attack as they become more confident. I just don’t believe it’ll be enough in the end with the number of defensive breakdowns we’re likely to see on the other side.

Score prediction: North Carolina 55, FSU 34

2020 record: 2-2

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Logan Robinson (@LogansTwitty)

Score prediction: UNC 37, FSU 34

2020 record: 3-1

Austin Veazey (@NolesVikesVeaz)

FSU’s offense will miss Tamorrion Terry in his first game out due to knee surgery. North Carolina might score on every drive considering what we’ve seen from the defense through four games.

Score prediction: UNC 52, FSU 31

2020 record: 3-1

Nate Greer (@NateGreer26)

Tale of one of the best offenses nationally vs the most disappointing defense nationally. This is going to be an ugly game for FSU on defense. Luckily, UNC sucks on defense. Can FSU’s rapidly improving offense keep up? That’s going to be the mitigating factor in this one.

Score prediction: UNC 44, FSU 33

2020 record: 3-1

Nico Huertas (@Nicohuertas2)

Score prediction: UNC 42, FSU 17

2020 record: 2-2

Charleston Bowles (@Cbowles1)

Score prediction: UNC 42, FSU 31

2020 record: 3-1

Richard Barnes (@R_Barnes407)

Score prediction: UNC 45, FSU 24

2020 record: 2-2

Tom Riddlestone

Whichever team has more fun will win.

Score prediction: UNC 69, FSU 0

2020 record: 3-1

Michael Settle (@SettlemlCFB)

Score prediction: UNC 38, FSU 31

2020 record: 2-0

CONSENSUS: North Carolina (9-0)

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