When someone tells you who they are, you should believe them. UNC Football has told us who they are a few times already this season, and it’s nothing near the team that entered the season ranked in the top 10 — or ranked at all.
This afternoon’s 25-35 loss to Florida State wasn’t as close as the final score says it was, which is saying a lot when taking on a team that was 1-4 in your home stadium. The Tar Heels jumped out to a 10-0 lead after the first quarter of the game before allowing the Seminoles to hang three scores on them in the second. FSU never looked back from there.
Some of the damage was self-inflicted. The undisciplined Heels committed 12 penalties totaling 110 yards. They allowed Florida State to convert on seven of their ten third down attempts. Oh, and also another mobile quarterback proved to be simply too much for the game plan as Jordan Travis ran for two scores, threw for three more, and completed all but two of his pass attempts. Travis ran for 121 yards to add insult to injury, which was exactly equal to UNC’s running backs’ total if you exclude yards on the ground from Sam Howell.
Howell looked fairly mediocre throughout most of the game. He passed for 203 yards and two touchdowns with one interception, but Josh Downs was once again his only real reliable weapon in the receiving corps. Downs has done nothing but impress with nearly every chance he is given, but it’s way too easy for other teams when they know he is almost certainly going to be the target when the Tar Heels need yards down field.
It’s horribly frustrating to see a team with all of this talent perform so poorly against a team that came into today still in a real bad way despite last week’s win. The worst part of it is that there doesn’t seem to be any easy solution short of cleaning house and hoping that whatever emerges from that can do more with the talent on the roster. UNC is simply too talented to play this bad against competition they should be able to handle. The season doesn’t get easier from here, and it would be difficult to blame anyone for checking out after another disappointing loss that never felt particularly competitive after the first 15 minutes.
With the loss, Mack Brown remains winless against his alma mater.
Carolina will hope for better next weekend in Chapel Hill when they take on Miami.