Last Saturday, the Seminoles came quite close to setting a new program record for rushing yards in a game. As in, they couldn’t have come any closer. Florida State ran roughshod over the South Florida Bulls, amassing 478 yards on the ground, a mere yard shy of the all-time ‘Nole record.
Of course, that came against a rushing defense tied for 118th in the FBS. The school with which USF is tied? FSU’s next opponent, the North Carolina Tar Heels. Both the Bulls and the Heels are surrendering 240.25 rushing yards per game, an average better than just nine other FBS programs.
And a closer look at the numbers reveals that UNC may have been even worse than USF— although the Heels have played three Power-Five teams compared to the Bulls’ two. Still, North Carolina is allowing its yards on fewer carries per contest (48.25 to South Florida’s 52), has conceded more rushing touchdowns (11 to 9) and yields a higher YPC average: 4.98 to 4.62.
All of this, combined with an improving Dalvin Cook and Jimbo Fisher making use of quarterback Deondre Francois’ legs, could certainly spell trouble for the Heels in Doak Campbell Stadium. And if there was ever a time to get the rushing game running at peak performance, this is it; next week’s opponent, the Miami Hurricanes, currently boast the FBS’ No. 4 rushing defense.