The Tar Heels (5-3, 2-2 ACC) have persevered, perhaps even overachieved, considering the impact of an agent scandal and ongoing investigation into possible academic misconduct. Thirteen players have missed at least one game as a result. DT Marvin Austin, DE Robert Quinn and receiver, considered NFL-caliber, haven't and won't play at all. Sixteen others have missed time due to injuries, and a 17th, redshirt freshman CB Terry Shankle, is out after tearing his ACL last week. That has forced coach Butch Davis, who's under some fire, to rely on youngsters and projected backups. RB Johnny White, who had 21 carries for 143 yards over the past two years combined, has 713 yards, including 164 last week against Division I-AA William & Mary. Junior WR Dwight Jones, who had five catches for 21 yards entering this year, has given T.J. Yates a reliable target and has team highs of 32 catches, 483 yards and three touchdowns. Meanwhile on defense, safeties Da'Norris Searcy and Deunta Williams and CB Kendric Burney have returned from their NCAA suspensions in recent weeks.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR …
If this game is close entering the fourth quarter. The Tar Heels have outscored opponents by a combined 59-19 in the fourth. And only three teams — Miami, Clemson and Georgia Tech — have scored at all. FSU (6-2, 4-1) has outscored opponents 65-20 in the fourth.
Brian Landman, Times staff writer
No. 24 Florida State vs. North Carolina, 3:30, Ch. 28, 1040-AM