UNC’s win over Florida State in Tallahassee was a signature win for a program that has been desperately seeking one. For the second straight week, it took heroics in the last seconds to get the Heels there. Beating the Seminoles doesn’t guarantee UNC’s path back to the ACC Championship, but it does leave the door wide open for their return.
Here are three things we learned from the win over Florida State.
Stupid penalties may kill you...eventually
If Nick Weiler hadn’t been able to nail his 54-yard field goal and UNC lost the game, one of the biggest moments everyone would be talking about was the running into the kicker penalty on Corey Bell. The Tar Heels had managed to force the Seminoles to punt after the safety-that-wasn’t-but-should-have-been, and Bell let them off the hook when he toppled the kicker.
The penalty gave Florida State the first down and allowed them to continue their drive toward the end zone. It didn’t matter in this game, ultimately, aside from causing fans everywhere more stress than necessary. However, that is exactly the kind of penalty that costs you games. It very nearly did on Saturday, and it easily could going forward.
It feels like things have improved on the penalty front since the Georgia game, and some penalties are always going to be there. Big ones that can change the scope of the game so dramatically are dangerous, and Bell’s was very nearly disastrous for the Heels.
Don’t sleep on the importance of Elijah Hood
Even though T.J. Logan has been a bit more explosive than Hood so far this season, Hood plays such a crucial role in the offense. With him in the game on Saturday, the Heels were able to move the ball with ease against the Florida State defense. Once Hood left with an injury, the running game (and offense in general) started to sputter.
While Logan is able to succeed on the outside, Hood can plow his way through the middle more effectively. He is also strong in pass protection. It feels like Hood has been a bit overshadowed this season by the accomplishments of Logan, but his absence was definitely felt in the second half of the Florida State game.
Mitch Trubisky for Heisman
What does Trubisky need to do to get the national attention he deserves? The guy is throwing for 400 yards like it’s his job, throwing no interceptions ever, and leading his team on huge game-winning drives. Trubisky is even scoring himself!
Someone asked on Twitter Saturday if it was too soon to consider Trubisky the best quarterback UNC has had. It might be, but this guy is special. What he’s doing out there every Saturday is special, and it should be considered can’t-miss tv for anyone who is a fan of the Tar Heels.
There are tons of talented quarterbacks out there, and it’s unlikely that Trubisky is going to end up winning the Heisman. However, he should definitely be in the discussion right now. What he is doing is outstanding, and I think if he were doing it for a different team the coverage would be very different. It’s time to give this guy the respect he deserves.