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Watch, Read, Listen: FSU vs UNC Preview

Can FSU pull off another upset?

Florida State Football looks to ride some momentum off of their sole victory of the season into Chapel Hill on Saturday to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Neither of these teams has lived up to expectations this year. This was supposed to be a breakout year for the Tar Heels. They have had some solid recruiting classes and looked to build off the past successes of coordinators Phil Longo and Jay Bateman. Compound that with the return of Heisman hopeful Sam Howell and many believed that UNC would make a run for the ACC title.

That hasn’t been the case early in the season.


  • Features a lot of flexibility in their routes- there's even a rumor that there's a “get open” route in the playbook
  • Simple reads and frequent deep shots allow Howell to showcase his strengths
  • They lost a lot of playmakers which means that often these receivers struggle to get open
  • Offensive line issues add to the problem which brings them towards the bottom of CFB in sacks allowed
  • When Howell gets time it's an explosive and fun to watch offense


  • Base 3-4
  • Very aggressive- frequent one gapping which means the defensive line is upfield quickly
  • Fire zone heavy- a fire zone is a 5 man pressure with a spot drop zone behind it
  • If they get pressure they are a decent defense
  • But if not they can struggle with underneath coverage
  • Contain may be a problem. The mobile QB Jeff Sims for GT took advantage of their over-aggressiveness which led them to lose gap integrity.


It has been difficult to parse out this UNC team’s true colors. Much like FSU, it seems like any team can show up on any given Saturday. Because of that, this game is not quite the lock that it should be when considering the fact that UNC is a much better-coordinated team with an exceptional quarterback.

A lot of these things are a bit difficult to get a mental image of so that’s why I provided some images myself. Let's dive into the film to get a better understanding of FSU’s matchup.