Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 35-25 home loss to Florida State on Saturday afternoon.
- Mack Brown is now 0-11 all time against his alma mater.
- Two of Sam Howell’s five lowest passing yardage games have occurred in the 2021 season. He had 203 tonight and 208 in the season opener at Virginia Tech. Here’s the list:
- Carolina jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but were outscored 35-7 over the next two quarters. The Tar Heels scored a throwaway touchdown in the final three minutes, but it was not enough.
- The refs missed, check that, blatantly decided not to call a late hit penalty against a Florida State defensive player who flattened Josh Downs after he was already down. The officials even threw a flag, discussed the play, and decided to pick it up. This is the second time this year an opposing player will go unpunished for a cheap shot on Downs.
- For the second straight year, Carolina allowed Seminole quarterback Jordan Travis to rush for over 100 yards; this year was a career-high 121 yards plus two touchdowns for the FSU signal-caller. In preparing for the game, I said that Jay Bateman and his defense would need to both plan for and execute a game plan to limit Travis on the ground. That did not come to fruition.
- Despite the team struggles, Josh Downs is doing everything he can to will the Heels to victory. Today he posted his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season (121 yards on nine catches) and added a touchdown in the first quarter. Downs has now scored in seven straight games going back to last season’s Orange Bowl.
- Downs is not the only Tar Heel with a touchdown streak. TE Kamari Morales now has a four-game streak of his own after his 21-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter.
- While the season Downs is putting together is nothing short of incredible, he is getting next to no help from the rest of the receiving core. RB D.J. Jones was the only other Tar Heel with multiple receptions (three) with five other Tar Heels hauling in one catch.
- Florida State was 7-for-10 on third down. It’s nearly impossible to win a college football game when you can’t get off the field on third down.
- Howell’s interception in the end zone near the end of the first half really changed the tenor of the game. Carolina trailed 14-10 and was looking to recapture the lead or at least cut the lead to one. Instead, FSU scored to push the lead to 11 going into halftime. In a game the Heels ultimately lost by 10, that change is a huge swing.
- Carolina uncharacteristically struggled with penalties today. Here are the number of penalties and yards of the first five games of the season: 5-44, 3-35, 7-59, 7-69, 5-54. This afternoon? 12 penalties for 110 yards.
- The offensive line performed better, allowing just one sack after allowing a combined 13 in the previous two games.
- Here’s a strange statistic: Carolina actually out-gained Florida State, 432-383. The problem was that the Heels made a lot of progress, but couldn’t convert that yardage advantage into points.
Mack Brown postgame press conference
Players postgame press conference
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina football game. Next up is a home game against Miami on Saturday, October 16. Kickoff is at 3:30pm ET on ESPN, ESPN2, or ACC Network.
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