--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals look to get back on track against a rival on Saturday. They play Florida State, one of the best historical teams in the ACC that has struggled in years past.
Florida State enters Cardinal Stadium with a record of 2-2. Their wins were against Samford and Northern Illinois. Both losses were against ACC opponents. The first, was a 24-3 blowout by Virginia Tech. The second was a 30-7 loss on the road to Syracuse.
Junior kicker Rick Aguayo is the top scorer on the team. He has 21 points, four from field goals and nine from extra points. The rest of the offense hasn’t been good for new head coach Willie Taggart. The Seminoles average 20.8 points per game, on just 373.5 yards.
The run game hasn’t been good. The ‘Noles only average 2.87 yards per carry. Cam Akers accounts for most of that, after rushing for 274 yards on 60 attempts. Jacques Patrick also hasn’t done a bad job, with 153 yards on 40 tries. Overall, the rushing unit has scored four touchdowns.
Five TDs were through the air. The receiving game is their strongest offensive unit, but is in the middle of the pack nationally. The Seminoles rank 43rd, with 270.8 yards per game. Freshman WR Tamorrion Terry has been a beast in the end zone, leading the team with three touchdowns. He also leads the team in yards per carry. Wideouts Keith Garvin and Nyqwan Murray have led the squad in receptions, and are almost even with yardage. They both have more than 17 receptions and 230 yards.
Most of the passes came from Deondre Francois, who is coming off a season-ending knee injury sustained in week one. Francois has excelled against non-ACC opponents, but hasn’t done well against the conference. He completed 63 of 102 attempts against the ACC for 763 yards, two touchdowns, and five interceptions.
Francois and Co. also haven’t had the best offensive line. The ‘Noles have allowed 37 tackles for loss, mostly against Virginia Tech, Syracuse, and Northern Illinois.
Much like the offense, the defense has been a Jekyll and Hyde affair. FSU has the 11th overall rushing defense, but the 108th passing defense. FSU allows 279 yards through the air, and 97.5 from the ground. They average 5.75 tackles for loss per game.
If Louisville can figure out the passing game, and stay aggressive on defense, then FSU could be a beatable opponent. The Cards have a 44.8 percent chance of winning, according to ESPN’s football power index. If they win, it may give the Cards momentum moving forward.