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The Daily Tar Heel

Young, Injured 'Noles Mighty Task for UNC

Records: Florida State is 2-0, 1-0 in the ACC. North Carolina is 0-3, 0-1.

Series: Florida State leads 11-0-1.

Personnel: Florida State -- DB Jerome Carter (left elbow sprain) is probable; DE Charles Howard (hamstring) is probable; NG Travis Johnson (right ankle sprain) is questionable; FB Randy Golightly (Achilles) is out; DE Eric Powell (gunshot, lower back) is out; CB Leroy Smith (knee surgery) is out.

North Carolina -- OT Willie McNeill (sprained thumb) is probable; OT Greg Woofter (bruised ribs) is probable;

LB Clay Roberson (shoulder sprain) is questionable.

The key matchup: UNC has gotten very little going offensively thus far. Not the run. Not the pass. Not the scoring.

No. 6 Florida State is young, but that never seems to matter much, FSU reloads with the best of them. Their defenses also tend to be among the nation's stingiest.

Not that much has changed there.

Against Duke and Alabama-Birmingham, FSU's defense has forced 15 punts, allowed two touchdowns, given up 115 rushing yards and stopped 20 of 65 attempted running plays for no or negative yardage.

"They're not really hard to figure out," UNC coach John Bunting said. "They play football well."

The Tar Heels haven't played so well this year. UNC ranks next to last in the ACC in scoring offense, rushing offense and passing offense. That's good enough for dead last in total offense with 259 yards a game.

Looking for some sort of spark, Bunting plans to rotate quarterbacks Ronald Curry and Darian Durant after the game's first two series and take it from there.

"It's going to be hard to get into a good flow, especially against a team like Florida State," Curry said. "Your first two series may not be your greatest series, but that third or fourth one might be the one. So it's going to be hard for me to get into a rhythm, and it may be hard for Durant to get into a rhythm."

Final analysis/prediction: Some say that FSU doesn't pack the same punch as years past.

The Seminoles weren't overly impressive against Duke and UAB, and people wonder if this is their year to fall off the ACC throne.

They lost 15 starters from last year, including seven on offense. Now redshirt freshman Chris Rix generals Bobby Bowden's squad.

But it's a different type of team than Bowden is used to.

"They run two tight ends and one wide receiver sometimes," UNC defensive tackle Ryan Sims said. "They have a freshman quarterback, a backup running back. We have to take advantage of that."

The Tar Heels hope that the tribulations of the first quarter of the season will help them pull off an upset against FSU.

UNC had itself in position to win at Oklahoma and Texas already.

"We played two very good teams," UNC wideout Kory Bailey said. "We think we're more ready than we've been in past years."

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Still, getting a slumping offense off the ground isn't something easily done against the opportunistic Seminoles, whom the Tar Heels have never beaten.

"What they've done against Florida State has nothing to do with this program. This is a new program. I'm not going to predict a win, but I think we can win."

FSU might not be quite the same team it has been recently. However, UNC is.

Florida State 34, UNC 13

-- Compiled by Mike Ogle