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Hot Read: ‘Noles Get Statement Win

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Florida State upends 5th ranked North Carolina 31-28

1. The start to the season was a disappointing one, but credit Florida State for responding and doing so in a big way. Beating North Carolina is a statement win for the Seminoles and a signature win for Mike Norvell. Florida State played without star wide receiver Tamorrion Terry and still found a way to a 31-point first half behind quarterback Jordan Travis, who was banged up last week at Notre Dame and was hurt late in the win Saturday night. There were struggles down the stretch, needing a game-winning stop on fourth down after holding a 24-point lead, but this is a program learning how to win. A victory over the 5th ranked Tar Heels is a milestone moment.

2. There is an energy to Travis. His mobility gives Florida State options. Travis ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns against North Carolina. He has 449 yards and six scores on the ground already. Counting stats from last season too, Travis has a career average of over 6.9 yards per run for the Seminoles. He is also an improving passer and his late first half touchdown throw to Cam McDonald was one of the plays of the game.

3. Florida State was able to pressure the passer and, while North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell still had a big night, a consistent rush definitely impacted his play. Pressure on the deciding final drive helped rush Howell's throws. Led by Janarius Robinson with two, the Seminoles compiled four sacks defensively. End Joshua Kaindoh had a 25-yard interception return for a touchdown.

4. La'Damian Webb continues to make an impact. The JUCO-transfer ran 12 times for 109 yards and had some key runs for Florida State, including a 54-yarder. He has a balance and toughness that often comes with extra yards.

5. The offensive production was there for North Carolina, but a continued inability to stop the run, giving up 241 yards Saturday night, is proving troublesome and was arguably the difference in the game.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports