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Florida State vs. North Carolina: Offense, breakdown, analysis

The Seminoles stick to the run game and pull off an upset.

NCAA Football: Florida State at North Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida State Seminoles go on the road to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels for their second road game of the season. The Seminoles, coming off a 33-30 win against the Syracuse Orange last week with 378 yards of total offense (131 through the air and 247 on the ground) look to build off that momentum in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels offense, led by quarterback Sam Howell average 37 points per game and are 3-2 on the season.


  • A false start by offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons put Florida State at second and long, and the UNC defense brought pressure for most of the drive. Punter Alex Mastromanno gets the call after an incomplete pass to wide receiver Keyshawn Helton streaking down the sideline.
  • Quarterback Jordan Travis and running back Jashaun Corbin kept the second drive alive but a holding call put them at 1st and 20. A delay of game on the UNC defense put them at second and 11 and a screen pass to running back Treshaun Ward gets them to 3rd and eight.

UNC 10, FSU 0


  • Critical runs by Corbin to convert on third and eight along with a nice pass from Travis to Helton put the Seminoles into the North Carolina red zone. A shovel pass to tight end Camren McDonald followed by a 4-yard rush from running back Treshaun Ward put the Seminoles at 1st and goal. Wide receiver Malik McClain hauled in his first career touchdown catch on a hitch route to put FSU on the scoreboard. McClain is a very physical receiver and has shown to be one of the more reliable guys on the field as a part of the freshman youth movement.
  • Corbin averages 100 yards per game and along with Travis, Florida State managed to catch the UNC defense off guard with a zone read, run-pass option, ripping off a 53-yard touchdown run by the dynamic quarterback.
  • Swing passes and gut runs by Treshaun Ward got the Seminoles moving for their third drive of the quarter. Florida State made a statement to run the ball and the three-headed monster of Ward, Corbin, and Travis started to show. Both teams committed to the ground game but the ability of Jordan Travis put the defense in a bind. Wide receiver Ontaria Wilson pulled the defense up off a play fake and post route to charge his way into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown pass from Travis.

FSU 21, UNC 10

Half time stats

  • Florida State total yards, 204 (passing 60, rushing 144.)
  • Jordan Travis, 6-8 for 60 yards and three touchdowns ( two through the air and one on the ground.)
  • Leading rusher, Jordan Travis (87 yards and one touchdown.)
  • Leading receiver, Treshaun Ward (10 yards.)
  • Time of possession, FSU 13:30, UNC 16:30.
  • Third down conversions, 4-5
  • Penalties, 4-35

Overall, through the first half, the offense seemed to be clicking. The emphasis on the run game set up opportunities for some big plays through the air. Jordan Travis used one of his best weapons in his legs giving the UNC defense fits trying to defend both the pass and the run. Two touchdowns through the air and one on the ground were set up nicely by running backs Treshaun Ward and Jashaun Corbin. North Carolina’s eight penalties for 75 yards put them in bad situations and the Noles took the advantage.

FSU 21, UNC 10


  • The Seminoles, continuing with the run game came out of the half with three straight runs and a three and out.
  • Jordan Travis found Helton wide open for a 44-yard pass putting them in the red zone and defensive penalties put the Noles at the two. On a quarterback sneak, the Noles found the paint and got back to two scores ahead. Travis, for his second rushing touchdown on a five-play 75-yard touchdown drive, broke 100 yards on the ground.
  • Ward, Helton, and Travis put the offense in full overdrive and the UNC defense could barely find an answer. Jordan Travis found Ontaria Wilson in the front corner of the end zone on a pick route, wide-open adding more momentum in the Nole's favor to seal the deal.

FSU 35, UNC 17


  • Jordan Travis finished with a career-high of 121 yards rushing.
  • Treshaun Ward showed great effort in the victory drive and head coach Mike Norvell showed good clock management.
  • The game ended with kneel-downs from Jordan Travis to bring home the sod.

End of game stats

  • Total yards, 383 (145 passing, 238 rushing.)
  • Leading rusher, Jordan Travis (121 yards two touchdowns.)
  • Leading receiver, Keyshawn Helton (71 yards.)
  • Time of possession, FSU 29:48, UNC 30:12
  • Third down conversions, 7-10

FSU 35, UNC 25

All in all the offense showed what it was capable of. The ball on the ground with dynamic players in the run game paved way for huge plays in the passing game. Penalties on the Tar Heels side of the ball were detrimental and their head coach Mack Brown had some questionable clock management towards the end of the game.

Offensive MVP: Jordan Travis.

Complemented by two excellent running backs and a receiving corps that made the defense honest, Travis was able to amass 121 yards on the ground and 145 yards through the air with five touchdowns. It was a team effort offensively and a well-called game for the offense and his ability on the run proved to be too much for the Tar Heels. Break the rock, plant the sod, and look forward to a well-deserved bye week.

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