Seminoles knock off No. 5 Tar Heels

by Gary Shelton on October 18, 2020

in general

Sunday, 3 a.m.

Yes, it was shaky. Yes, they had white knuckles by the end.

But the FSU Seminoles won their first big game of the Mike Norvell era Saturday night, a 31-28 victory over fifth-ranked North Carolina in Tallahassee. For now, that's enough.

The Noles grabbed a 24-0 lead (31-7 at the half), but had to hold on to win a close game. FSU made a defensive stand late, forcing an incomplete pass with 35 seconds left when Sam Howell's pass fell incomplete on fourth and nine.

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For the night, Howell threw for 360 yards and three touchdowns.

But FSU's fast start held up. La'Damian Webb ran for 109 yards and Jordan Travis for 107 to lead the Seminoles.

"I believe in these guys," Norvell said. "I believe in our players. It wasn’t about North Carolina, it’s about us playing the best that we can play.”

Temple 39, USF 37: The quarterback couldn't hand the ball to the running back, and as a result, the USF Bulls handed a football game to the Temple Owls Saturday afternoon.

USF led the game 31-26 early in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jordan McCloud and running back Kelly Joiner botched a handoff at the USF 11. Temple's Arnold Ebiketie scooped up the ball and ran 11 yards for a go-ahead touchdown.

After another Temple touchdown, USF was able to score a touchdown with 1:33 to play on a one-yard run by by Leonard Parker. But Temple stopped the two-point conversion (a sweep by backup quarterback Noah Johnson) and held on for a 39-37 win.

“This one hurts," said USF coach Jeff Scott. "There’s a lot of guys hurting in that locker room right now. I just felt like our guys played their hearts out. Going down early in the first quarter, the guys came right back and continued to play. I felt like we had some momentum going in there at halftime with the blocked field goal.

"We found a way to get up and unfortunately just made some critical mistakes that you cannot make in that type of close ballgame and expect to win. This one hurts. The guys put a lot into it. I don’t like the result whatsoever. But, hey, we play again in six days, so we gotta be able to kind of flush this as we get back on the plane and head back tonight, and come back tomorrow ready to go and get ready for the next opportunity against Tulsa on Friday night.”

Scott took the blame for the missed two-pointer.

“It’s a play that we’d had success with in the past. Tried to do it a little different, and it didn’t work. That’s on me as a coach. We didn’t give our guys a chance on that play,” Scott said.

McCloud threw for three touchdowns on the day. He hit 15 of 26 passes for 182 yards. Temple's Anthony Russo was even better, throwing for 270 yards and four scores.

USF lost three fumbles and was penalized for 111 yards. Temple also had 32 first downs.

Miami 31, Pitt 19: D'Eriq King threw for four touchdowns as the Hurricanes beat Pitt.

But don't give all the credit to King.

The Miami defense was stellar in the victory, holding Pitt to 22 yards rushing and 300 yards of total offense. The Canes had three sacks and nine tackles for losses.

Pitt came into the game fourth nationally in total defense, second in rushing defense, second in team sacks and third in tackles for loss

Coming it, had been the Panthers' defense that got most of the talk. The Panthers were fourth in the nation in total defense, second in rushing defense, second in sacks and third in tackles for a loss


UM’s defense was fueled by end Quincy Roche, who had seven tackles (four for losses), a forced fumble, quarterback hurry and half a sack.

“We challenged them to be the best defense in the stadium and I thought they were,’’ UM coach Manny Diaz said. “Just our ability to constantly pin them back. It was a grind-it-out game.’’

Pitt didn’t have its starting quarterback, Kenny Pickett. His back-up, Joey Yellen, only had thrown three college passes. It also now has lost three straight games.

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