FSU vs. UNC prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in Saturday’s “other” ACC game between the Seminoles and Tar Heels.
Unfortunately for the Seminoles, they’re going to be judged all year by what happened against Louisville. They’re better than that, though. I had no doubt – unlike some others – that FSU would beat USF handily last week, and I have no reason to believe it won’t easily dispose of UNC. Dalvin Cook might out-gain the Tar Heels by himself in this one.
This is sneakily one of the best games of the weekend. So far, UNC is on the same trajectory as last season: losing the opener to an SEC team and then reeling off victories. Meanwhile, FSU really purged the demons from its ugly showing against Louisville by lighting up the scoreboard against USF. The main factor here is UNC’s run defense, which has been a sieve (No. 118 nationally, 240.25 yards allowed per game). Dalvin Cook will run all over the Heels, as will Deondre Francois. Mitch Trubisky and the Heels will get their points, but expect another second-half flurry from FSU as the Noles win by double digits.
Remember last week when everyone was piling on the Seminoles and some picked USF to win? (Hysterical laughter) Yeah, that didn’t go so well. Now, UNC isn’t a pushover. The Tar Heels are 3-1 for a reason. Mitch Trubisky will play well, but Deondre Francois will play better when the game’s on the line. Dalvin Cook will finally break out of this “slump” he’s in, and the ‘Noles will edge out a win.
Dalvin Cook returned to his 2015 form last week against USF, so that is bad news for the Gene Chizik-coordinated UNC defense. Mitch Trubisky should be able to move the football against an FSU defense that has wholly underwhelmed this year for coordinator Charles Kelly. However, I think the Seminoles will clamp down and be more ‘bend but not break’ this week. Keep an eye on UNC punt returner Ryan Switzer, who is always dangerous on special teams. In the end, FSU simply outscores UNC and logs the win.
It’s a battle between two coaches whose names keep on coming up for the LSU job. After getting waxed by Louisville, the Seminoles rebounded with a win over a good South Florida team. I expect that to keep going as they win a close one over the Tar Heels.