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Good, Bad, and Ugly Report: FSU

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The T.J. Yates show made an appearance in Tallahassee as the much-maligned senior quarterback put his team on his back and led UNC to a thrilling 37-35 win over Florida State. Yates is now the school-record holder for a single game passing performance with 439 yards - and could have had nearly 500 if he had not overthrown Ryan Taylor at the end of the first half by a yard.

But beyond that, there is a lot to be said about the character of this team. Regardless of the source of the turmoil surrounding this team, those players who remain have shown the type of guts not seen in a Tar Heel team during some of the darker years of the program. And whether or not you agree with some of the calls by coordinators on either side of the ball, the fact remains that this UNC team has won a couple of games they would have lost in previous years.

With this as a backdrop, here is this week's GBU report:


T.J. Yates: What more can you say? Not only 439 yards, but on 24-35 passing. He now is the only Carolina QB to have two 400+ yard games in his career, and both are this season. He has thrown 15 TD passes and only 4 interceptions, and has 7 completions this season of over 50 yards. He has the two top passing performances in the ACC this season, and is now in the top-15 all-time career passing in the ACC. Yates HAS to be in the discussion for 1st-team all-ACC, right? Right?

Dwight Jones: Legit. No question about it. Jones hauled in eight catches for a career-high 233 yards and a TD. Again, he has to be in the 1st-team all-ACC discussion.

Hunter Furr: Way to answer the bell. It is an old adage in coaching that you need to be ready always because you never know when your number will be called, and the sophomore showed why with a game-high 27 yards on 3 runs in the game-winning drive.

Joshua Adams: Career-high five catches for 91 yards and a TD. This team needs a #2 receiver and if Jhey Boyd and Erik Highsmith don't want to be that guy, then it might as well be Adams.

Casey Barth: The kicking game has been a question mark, but Barth made three field goals, including a career-long 46-yarder and the game winner. He has also made 63 consecutive extra points. My apologies in advance for jinxing him next week. Only the kick out-of-bounds marred an otherwise great game for Barth.

Second-half defense: After giving up 28 points in the first half, the UNC defense settled in and allowed less than 100 yards to the 'Noles, with the only score coming after the botched punt snap.


Rushing performance: UNC running backs rushed for only 70 yards on 21 carries, and if you toss out Furr's contribution on the last drive, it's 43 yards on 18 carries. Amazing to think the offense scored 37 points with practically zero production on the ground.

Punting: This is an average grade. Obviously the bad snap that nearly cost the Tar Heels the game falls in the ugly category, but the coverage and net punting wasn't that bad. On five punt returns, FSU gained only two yards. C. J. Feagles' punts aren't that long, but they are being covered well and Feagles' net was actually better than FSU's.


Injuries: Unbelievable. One of the best stories in ACC football this season, Johnny White, is lost for the season with a broken collarbone. Shaun Draughn was also injured and his status is unknown. The temperature on Ryan Houston's redshirt is increasing - hope it doesn't burst into flames.

Penalties: UNC had 9 penalties for 56 yards, including one that nullified an interception.

And now the two hottest teams in the ACC will meet next Saturday in Chapel Hill. Virginia Tech has won 7 straight since starting 0-2 and losing to FCS James Madison. UNC, meanwhile, has won six of seven (losing only at Miami). The Tar Heels finally broke through and defeated the Hokies on the road last season, so hopefully that positive mojo will hold at home as well.