Florida State continued its dominance over North Carolina while earning its second consecutive win, 35-25, Saturday.
Three things learned during the Seminoles’ victory:
1. As Jordan Travis goes, so does offense
For the second week in a row, Travis was efficient in guiding the FSU offense.
After starting out with two incompletions, the Seminoles quarterback completed his last 11 passes to finish 11-of-13 for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns. It was the first 3-touchdown game of his career.
“He played exceptionally with his eyes,” said coach Mike Norvell. “Those things aren’t going to show up in the stat line but being able to be in the right spot and make sure he worked through his progressions, he pushed the ball down the field.”
Travis also had 121 yards rushing on 14 carries with 2 touchdowns. He’s the first Seminoles quarterback with 3 passing touchdowns and 2 rushing touchdowns in a gamein the past 25 years.
It was the second straight game in which he rushed for more than 100 yards.
2. Offensive line strengthens
FSU didn’t allow a sack for the first time since the Jacksonville State game on Sept. 11.
Injuries have forced the Seminoles to use several different combinations on the offensive line, which has been difficult. The return of center Maurice Smith, who has been sidelined since the opener against Notre Dame, gave the group a huge boost.
Even when guard Devontay Love-Taylor went down early with an injury, Baveon Johnson entered to help.
“Words can’t describe how happy I am for them,” Travis said. “The outside noise has been getting in their head a lot the past couple of years and those guys have always kept their heads down and worked.”
FSU was able to sustain drives, scoring touchdowns on five of their first seven possessions, allowing only two tackles for loss. The Seminoles finished with 238 yards rushing while averaging 5.8 yards per attempt.
3. Secondary finds success
FSU limited North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell to a season-low 203 passing yards, 103 of which came on five chunk passing plays. It was his lowest output since throwing for 152 yards against Mercer on Nov. 23, 2019.
“Our defensive backfield really challenged themselves this week,” said Norvell.
Defensive back Jarrian Jones intercepted Howell in the end zone in the second quarter. It was the second straight game in which the Seminoles have an interception.
The defense also came up big to start the fourth quarter when North Carolina droveto FSU’s 5-yard line. The Seminoles refused to budge, forcing the Tar Heels to turn the ball over on downs.