Jacksonville Sports Day

FSU: Seminoles Knock Off No. 5 North Carolina

(Photo by Don Juan Moore/Character Lines)

TALLAHASSEE — The Seminoles upset No. 5 North Carolina 31-28 on Saturday night in an ACC showdown and first-year coach Mike Norvell’s initial “big win” at the school.

Florida State posted its first win as an unranked team versus an AP top-5 opponent since 2007 against No. 2 Boston College.

“There’s really no words for it. It’s so special because since Dec. 8, the first time I walked into that meeting room with my team and this group, every moment we tried to grow and improve, believing in what was coming. I tell our guys, the ultimate objective with every opportunity you get is to try to go out and be the best you” said Norvell.

FSU jumped out to a 31-7 lead, but the Tar Heels fought their way back. When the fourth quarter started, UNC had closed the gap and trailed 31-21.

The defense stopped North Carolina on downs on its final drive of the game to secure the victory. The Seeminoles limited the Tar Heels to 184 yards rushing – only 34 yards rushing in the second half.

Joshua Kaindoh intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown and a 24-0 Seminole lead. With two blocked punts in the game, FSU leads the nation with five blocked kicks.

“It was the greatest feeling I’ve ever felt in my life seeing the defense come up big like that,” FSU QB Jordan Travis said.

Travis completed eight passes for 191 yards and one touchdown and ran 16 times for a career-high 107 yards and two touchdowns. Running back La’Damian Webb rushed 12 times for a career-best 109 yards.

Travis has now scored four rushing touchdowns this season with at least one coming in three consecutive games.

FSU (2-3, 1-3 ACC) gave Norvell his first career ACC win and gave North Carolina (3-1, 3-1 ACC) its first loss of the season. The Seminoles’ victory also kept Florida State alumnus Mack Brown winless over the school where he played collegiately as a running back in 1972 and 1973 (0-10).

Florida State is on the road next week at Louisville for a noon kickoff.

GAME NOTES: Florida State’s 31 points were the most in a first half since scoring 56 first half points in a 77-6 thrashing of Delaware State on Nov. 18, 2017. It was the Seminoles’ most points in the first half of an ACC game since scoring 38 in the first two quarters of a 59-3 win over Syracuse on Nov. 16, 2013.

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