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Three bold predictions for FSU vs North Carolina

Florida State will play host to fifth-ranked North Carolina this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. After an impressive fight against Notre Dame, many fans are expecting a close and competitive game in Tallahassee. Despite the steady improvement, a 1-4 start for Mike Norvell would not be ideal for his first season at the helm. 

Below, I listed three bold predictions for the contest. 

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1. Jordan Travis throws for 250 or more passing yards

In his last two games, Travis has thrown for 210 and 204 yards. In each of those, Travis threw the ball under 25 times. Against the Tar Heels, I think Norvell and offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham will come out and try to establish the run early. But if the Tar Heel offense gets ahead a few scores, I expect the ‘Noles offense to air it out. With a likely increase in passing attempts, Travis will have plenty of opportunities to spread the ball across the field. It will be difficult without Tamorrion Terry, who will be out indefinitely after having knee surgery. Keyshawn Helton, Camren McDonald, and Ontaria Wilson will have to step up in his absence. In what should be a shootout, I believe the redshirt sophomore will finish with at least 250 yards through the air. 


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2. FSU defense creates at least two turnovers 

The Seminoles defense should be walking into Doak Campbell Stadium as motivated as ever come kickoff. After an embarrassing performance against Notre Dame, there has been plenty of noise criticizing defensive coordinator Adam Fuller and the rest of the unit. Add in Sam Howell and his recruiting background, the story lines in this contest set up perfectly. Remember when NC State and former FSU quarterback Bailey Hockman came to Tallahassee last year? The defensive line made sure the transfer quarterback felt their presence all night long. We did not see that in Georgia Tech with former commit Jeff Sims, but hopefully the defense plays with a chip on their shoulder against a more national commodity in Howell. Whether it be by virtue of fumbles, interceptions, or even blocked punts, I think the ‘Noles defense creates at least two takeaways in this prime time matchup. 

3. FSU gets its first 100-yard rusher of the season

Through four games, the offense has still not produced a 100 yard rusher in a single game. Jordan Travis came close last week with 96, but walked away a little banged up. I doubt he carries the ball for 19 times this weekend, Lawrance Toafili came one yard shy in his breakout performance against Jacksonville State. Against the Tar Heel run defense, who just gave up 260 rushing yards against Virginia Tech, the running backs should be utilized quite nicely. Jashuan Corbin and La’Damian Webb each bring a dimension of running between the tackles, as well as breaking outside if need be. If I had to choose one back though, I would choose Toafili. I think he has the most home run ability out of the three, but I would not be surprised if Corbin or Webb eclipse the century mark.


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