Photo courtesy of Florida State athletics
First-year Florida State head coach Mike Norvell notched his biggest win to date on Saturday.
Facing the No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels at Doak Campbell Stadium, the Seminoles raced to a 24-point lead before holding off Mack Brown’s team, 31-28. The victory is the first for FSU over a top-5 team in six years.
It was a total team effort, but there were some FSU players who shined above the rest. Handing out game balls this week are Fifth Quarter editors Cory Thorpe, Mike Ferguson and FSU writer Jacob Bunting.
Unanimous Game Ball: Jordan Travis, QB
Despite playing in noticeable pain for the critical parts of the contest, Jordan Travis again shined behind center for the Seminoles. Travis was just 8-for-19 passing, but averaged better than 10 yards per attempt. Travis finished with 191 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception. On the ground, Travis rushed for 107 yards and two scores on 16 carries.
Mike and Cory’s Game Ball: Joshua Kaindoh, DE
Although he was unable to record a sack, Joshua Kaindoh was a source of consistent pressure for the FSU defensive line. Kaindoh finished with just three tackles, but the biggest play came late in the first half when he picked off North Carolina quarterback Sam Howell and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown. It was FSU’s first non-offensive touchdown in two years.
Jacob’s Game Ball: Janarius Robinson, DE
After a sluggish start to the season, senior Janarius Robinson got on track for FSU on Saturday night. Against the Tar Heels, Robinson finished with three tackles — all for loss — to go with a team- and career-high two sacks. As a team, FSU totaled four sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Mike’s Game Ball: Ja’Khi Douglas, WR
It was a special teams play that set the tone for Florida State on Saturday. After stopping North Carolina on its opening possession, wide receiver Ja’Khi Douglas was able to block the ensuing punt from Ben Kiernan. The block gave FSU the ball inside the North Carolina 25-yard-line and the Seminoles proceeded to score on their first play from scrimmage to go ahead for good.
Cory and Jacob’s Game Ball: Alex Mastromanno, P
Australian native Alex Mastromanno had a solid night punting the ball for FSU. Mastromanno averaged nearly 43 yards per punt on five punts with a long of 47 yards. More importantly, he held North Carolina to just one return for nine yards.