Tar Heels To Step On Seminoles?

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Florida State hosts number 5)North Carolina on Saturday evening at Doak Campbell Stadium.

The Seminoles enter the game with a 1-3 record, including an ugly 0-3 record against their Atlantic Coast Conference foes.

The Tar Heels are at an undefeated, 3-0, with all three victories coming in conference play. North Carolina enters the game on a six-game winning streak.

The Tar Heels’ offense is led by sophomore quarterback Sam Howell (fun fact: He was at one time an FSU commit).

Howell leads the ACC with passes over 10 yards and greater (154), 30 yards and greater (30) and 40 yards and greater (17).  After three games, Howell is 57 of 83 for 777 yards, 6 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

Howell isn’t the only weapon on offense, Michael Carter and Javonte Williams have created arguably the best running back tandem in today’s college football.

The duo has a combined average of 232 rushing yards per game.

Carter is averaging 10.3 yards per carry and has two rushing touchdowns so far.

Williams is averaging 6.3 yard per rush and has seven total touchdowns.

Both are very capable receivers as well; Carter has 8 receptions for 81 yards and Williams has 6 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown.

Watch out for junior receiver Dyami Brown, he leads the Tar Heels with 13 receptions for 240 yards and 2 touchdowns.

On the defensive side of the ball the Tar Heels are led by sophomore defensive end Tomari Fox. Fox leads the team with 4.5 tackles for loss and 3 sacks. North Carolina has 20 tackles for loss and 23 quarterback hurries.

Florida State enters this game with one certainty, Jordan Travis will be the starting quarterback.

Travis was one of few bright spots in the 16 point beat down last week by Notre Dame. He showcased some play making abilities that were really impressive.

Jordan Travis, a transfer from Louisville, was 13- 24 for 204 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

He also rushed for 96 yards and a touchdown. Travis’s 48-yard bomb to Tamorrion Terry late in the first quarter showed his play making potential.

The Seminoles still have a problem protecting the quarterback and opening lanes for the running backs.

All the sacks and pressures from the first three games can be placed into one of three categories: missed assignments, linemen getting beat, and poor quarterback play.

After last Saturday night, those categories have shrunk to two. But without a supporting cast on the front line, will it make a difference?

Freshman Robert Scott, getting his second career start at right tackle, showed some flashes and impressed me. The other four starters on the line couldn’t bust a grape!

Here’s a stat: No defense in the country allows more first downs than Florida State. The Seminole’s defense has been pounded on the ground and through the air. Playing defense has become a trending problem for every team in the entire state of Florida.

North Carolina opens as an eight-point favorite. This one will be close for the first half, then I see the Tar Heels wearing down the Noles. Final score: UNC 48 FSU 27.

FSU took another loss on Tuesday when their top linebacker recruit Branden Jenning decommitted. FSU currently has 16 commits and ranks 25 overall.

Tar Heels March Back To Final Four?


By: Kenneth Harrison Jr.

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services


Last basketball season was pretty good for North Carolina. The Tar Heels went 33-7 and finished first place in the ACC. They also won the conference tournament. They lost the national championship game to Villanova 77-74. Losing was very disappointing but it was their first appearance in the national title game since 2009.

Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige are two key players that the Tar Heels will miss this season. They averaged 82.3 points per game last year which was tied with Indiana for 11th in the nation. Having a high scoring offense has always been a hallmark of Roy Williams’ coaching style.

Junior guard Joel Berry II averaged 12.8 ppg which made him the second leading scorer on the team behind Brice Johnson. Forward Justin Jackson also contributed 12.2 ppg and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Senior forward Kennedy Meeks will be expected to step up and play a bigger role this season. Standing 6’10 Meeks should make an impact blocking or altering shots and rebounding. He averaged 9.2 ppg and 5.9 rpg in 2015-16. Another senior forward Isiah Hicks is in the same position. The 6’9 Hicks should improve on his 4.6 rpg and 8.9 ppg.

UNC is a blue blood program but for whatever reason they don’t typically get the elite recruits like Kentucky, Duke, Arizona or Kansas. That makes them one of the few major programs led by upperclassman which is a huge advantage. They did sign a few talented players that should contribute right away.

Center Tony Bradley is 6’10 and a five star recruit. He was ranked 17th overall in the class of 2016. He was Mr. Basketball in the state of Florida and a McDonald’s All-American. He averaged 23 ppg, and 12.6 rpg, while shooting an impressive 65% from the field as a senior.

He’s only 235 pounds so he still needs to get stronger and put on weight but he’s expected to see the most playing time of any of the freshmen. Bradley has received a lot of comparisons to Tim Duncan. That’s a huge comparison but everyone in Chapel Hill will be happy if he can be half as good as Duncan.

They also signed two four star guards, Brandon Robinson and Seventh Woods. Robinson is a 6’5 shooting guard from Georgia and he’s a very good shooter. He shot 42% from the three-point line as a high school senior.

North Carolina needs that same production out of him to help stretch the floor. UNC only made 32.7% of shots beyond the arc last season which ranked 263rd out of 346 teams. Robinson is also a very good defender.

Woods is only 6’1 but he’s very athletic and explosive. As a 14 year old freshman he had a dunk that has over 14 million views on YouTube and was the No.1 play on the SportsCenter Top 10. He likes to play above the rim but he will have to transition into being a point guard.

The season starts Friday at Tulane which will be an easy win. Carolina normally plays a tough nonconference schedule and this year is no different. They are going to the Maui Invitational with other big time programs like UConn, Georgetown, Wisconsin and Oregon.

They play No. 11 Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge November 30th. They also play No. 2 Kentucky in the CBS Sports Classic December 17th.

The Tar Heels start the season ranked 6th in the nation. They have a realistic goal of making the Final Four again.

North Carolina Stomping Through ACC

kenBy: Kenneth Harrison Jr.

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The ACC has been dominated by the Atlantic Division for the last six years. No. 3 Clemson, No. 5 Louisville and No. 12 Florida State are the marquee programs in the conference.

Can a Coastal Division team win the conference championship for the first time since 2009?

No. 21 North Carolina (6-2) appears to be the team most likely to reach the conference championship game for the second consecutive year. The Tar Heels are currently first in the division with a record of 4-1.

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