FSU football: Will ‘Noles defense look any better against North Carolina?

North Carolina Tar Heels Football
Florida State Seminoles Football
Saturday, Oct 17
7:30 PM
Tarheels -13.5

The FSU football defense is the biggest question mark going into Saturday night’s game against North Carolina. Is it possible they could look improved?

FSU football kept the Notre Dame game closer than most expected last week, but it was mostly because the offense took advantage of some Notre Dame miscues early.

The FSU defense has been under a ton of scrutiny as they have underperformed compared to preseason expectations.

After all, the entire starting defensive line returned, along with two starting linebackers, and a ton of experience in the secondary aside from Hamsah Nasirildeen.

Some of the issues seemed to be a lack of passion and desire from players in the first couple of games.

At least that part seems to have been fixed in the last six quarters, dating back to the second half against Jacksonville State.

However, the first half against Notre Dame saw them get gashed on the ground to the tune of the Fighting Irish averaging over 10 yards per play.

FSU gave up over 200 yards rushing in the first half and probably could have had 400 yards for the game if they hadn’t shut it down a bit in the second half to run some clock.

FSU did try to be more aggressive in the second half to slow them down, and North Carolina doesn’t have the offensive line Notre Dame does.

However, North Carolina has a great running attack and an RPO game with Sam Howell. They’ll likely look to put FSU’s linebackers in conflict with crossing routes and mismatches with its running backs out of the backfield.

FSU’s defensive line is going to have to start playing closer to expectations if things are going to change. However, the defensive tackles couldn’t even execute a proper stunt against Notre Dame last week.

Next: 3 Things To Lookout For Against North Carolina

It sounds like practices went well this week according to Mike Norvell. Here’s to hoping the defense finally shows up and takes some of the pressure off the FSU offense.