Offense: The offense made some questionable turnovers, but was able to move the ball well on certain drives. The unit still needs to improve in the red zone if the ‘Canes want to remain undefeated.
Quarterback: Despite the win, Brock Berlin still has a world of work to do. His three interceptions could have been costly if the defense didn’t keep bailing him out. The positives for Berlin were that he didn’t fumble any snaps, continued to spread the ball around the field (six different receivers had at least one catch), and engineered a nice scoring drive in the second quarter.
Running Back: Jarrett Payton had his finest game as a Hurricane, gaining 97 yards on 26 carries. He was a valuable weapon out of the backfield, hauling in a 14-yard touchdown catch, the ‘Canes’ only offensive touchdown. His fumble in the second quarter was his only mistake. Quad Hill had two catches as well.
Wide Receivers: Kellen Winslow had another great effort, with seven catches for 106 yards. He did have a costly fumble, however, and Ryan Moore was limited to one catch. Roscoe Parrish had two catches before getting injured from a viscous hit in the second quarter.
Offensive Line: A makeshift offensive line that is still coming together had its best performance against the Seminoles, opening up holes for Payton all game and protecting Berlin from harm. Berlin was never sacked and rarely hurried.
Defense: The entire unit came together in a crucial game and helped the Hurricanes overcome an inconsistent offense to shock their rivals.
Defensive Line: Chris Rix was never able to get comfortable, and the credit for that must go to the d-line. Thomas Carroll had a breakthrough game with a sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery, and was constantly in Rix’s face. Baraka Atkins, Vince Wilfork, and Orien Harris all had phenomenal games.
Linebackers: Seminole running back Greg Jones gained only 15 yards on 13 carries, and when an elite tailback has such poor numbers it means the linebackers must have had a great game. Jon Vilma, D.J. Williams, and Darrell McClover were all outstanding.
Secondary: With two interceptions and a touchdown, Sean Taylor deserves to be considered one of the best players in the nation and a shoo-in for the Thorpe Award. He could have easily had five picks. Greg Threat did a tremendous job filling in for the injured Maurice Sikes. There were a couple of big plays made by Florida State receivers, however.
Special Teams: Jon Peattie hit three out of four field goals, but missed a 22-yarder, which is inexcusable no matter what the weather is. The kickoffs and punting of Brian Monroe need plenty of work, as Mark Gent replaced him on kickoff duty in the second half. Jarrell Weaver’s punt block set up the Hurricanes’ first field goal.