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Heel Tough Blog: Trench Report - Florida State

Last night Carolina had the chance to announce to the college football world that they have arrived, and were ready for the big time. After going into the half trailing 31-7, it was apparent that they weren’t ready for the national stage. Despite mounting a severe comeback, they fell just short 31-28 in Tallahassee to a 1-3 Seminole team that got its first signature win under new head coach Mike Norvell. Mack Brown has brought the program a long way in his second stint in Chapel Hill, but it was shown in the loss, how far they still have to go. Here’s how the trench units fared in last night’s contest:

Offensive Line:

The numbers on offense would suggest that the offensive line had a solid performance in a losing effort, but numbers can be misleading. Sure Carolina ran for 184 yards on 45 carries, and Sam Howell was able to throw for 374 yards, with 3 touchdowns but it was an uneven performance to say the least. Carolina was able to wear down the Seminoles in the run game, but had a difficult time giving Sam Howell consistent protection in the passing game. Howell was sacked 4 times last night, after only being sacked 3 times in the first three games of the seasons, and this wasn’t the best defensive line Carolina had played thus far. Penalties were once again an issue, as three different lineman were called for infractures. Carolina has to find more consistency at the left tackle position, as Asim Richards has been proven to be too inconsistent to warrant playing all the snaps at that position. Maybe Carolina experiments with moving Ezeudu to that spot, but finding a reliable left guard won’t be easy either.

Defensive Line:

This was probably the most disappointing performance by a position group last night. Florida State hasn’t had good offensive line play since Jameis Winston was under center for the Seminoles. That didn’t stop them from amassing 241 yards on the ground, on just 236 carries for an average of 6.7 yards per attempt. The Tar Heels had a hard time getting off blocks and making plays, and when they were in position to make plays, they simply didn’t make them. Raymond Vohasek returned, but his presence wasn’t as noticeable as it was in the Syracuse and Boston College games. The worry coming into the season was whether Carolina would be more effective stopping the run, and after the first two weeks it looked possible, but this team still has a lot of work to do in that category. Tomari Fox led the team in tackles with 9, as he continues to have an individual solid season. Vohasek recorded 3 total stops, with one tackle for loss but at this juncture, the Tar Heels need more from him to turn this around.

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