This week’s ‘3 Up, 3 Down’ may be the most fun to write yet. After heading into the game versus North Carolina as a 17 point underdog, Florida State pulled out a decisive and impressive 35-25 win against the Tar Heels.
There were a lot of positive takeaways from Saturday's game for the Seminoles. While Florida State is still sub .500 on the season, the win Saturday was very pleasing for FSU fans. Not only did it snap an away game losing streak that dated back to 2019, it also showed that things are truly moving forward for Mike Norvell and his staff.
This week’s ‘3 Up, 3 Down’ was tough to write in terms of choosing just ‘“3 Up” - there legitimately could have been anywhere from five to seven players who have their stock on the rise after this week’s performance. On the flip side, choosing the “3 Down” took a little time as the negatives were a very small number.
Let’s get into it!
1. Jordan Travis
For the second week in a row, Travis comes away with the game’s overall best performance for FSU. After getting down ten points quickly in the first quarter, Travis and the offense turned on the jets and didn’t look back as they outscored the Tar Heels 35-7 in the second and third quarters. On the day, Travis was efficient in the passing game, completing 11 of 13 passes for 145 yards and 2 scores. It was his work on the ground that kept the UNC defense on its heels. 121 yards and 3 scores on the ground was one of the top overall ACC performances of the week.
2. Jarvis Brownlee
After some early-season struggles, Brownlee is starting to really come into his own. He’s been the lone constant starter in the secondary and his play continues to improve at a rapid pace. Against an offense that was scoring 52 points at home, Jarvis allowed 0 catches on the night while being his usual self in the run game. Just an overall stellar game for #3.
3. The FSU Offensive Line
I am cheating here a bit by picking the entire unit, but the group deserves kudos for their performance Saturday. FSU entered the game with their season-opening lineup for the first time since the Notre Dame game, but Devontay Love-Taylor went out early with an injury. Baveon Johnson stepped in at guard - the offense didn’t miss a beat and you can say the line played better with him in the lineup. FSU was able to control the pace of the game and the line of scrimmage throughout the game as they rushed for 238 yards, or 5.8 yards per rush. The biggest and best stat from Saturday was 0 - no sacks allowed with 0 quarterback hurries! How long has it been since FSU can say that?
1. FSU’s Rush Defense
After being one of the best early season rush defenses nationally, the defense once again was gashed. They gave up 229 yards on the ground, good enough for a season-worst 6.36 yards per rush.
2. Missed tackles
Florida State simply has to clean up the tackling during the bye week. They kept Syracuse in the game and, while I don’t have the exact stat yet, it looks like they had well over 15 missed tackles for the UNC game. With a heavy back-end schedule, FSU will need marked improvement starting with UMass in two weeks.
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