week 8: Louisville at florida state preview, prediction
By Mike Gilpatrick October 20th, 2017
Louisville K Blanton Creque kicks an extra point against Boston College on October 14th, 2017. The Cards ultimately lost the game, 45-42. Creque is almost perfect on special teams, making nine field goals, and 30 of 31 extra points. Photo by Seth Spalding, River City Cards
cards travel to Tallahassee hoping to prey on weak fsu offense
Florida State. Arguably one of Louisville’s biggest rivals, especially since joining the ACC. If both teams have done what the preseason predictions said, this game would be highly-touted, perhaps even during primetime.
Unfortunately, neither have. Both teams are having a down-year, Louisville because of defense, and FSU offense. The game will still be on ESPN, and is at noon.
Previewing the Seminoles
FSU’s dual-threat QB Deondre Francois went down with a patellar injury week one against Alabama. FSU’s offense hasn’t been the same. The Seminoles average 18.2 points per game, the majority coming from kicker Ricky Aguayo’s 41 points. Their leading touchdown scorer is WR Auden Tate, with five. Only two touchdowns have been on the ground, six from the air. They’re also turnover prone, with six interceptions and seven fumbles (three lost) in five games so far.
Their defense, on the other hand, is good. The Seminoles have not allowed more than 27 points in any contest thus far, and only allow 20.8 points per game. FSU has the 21st rushing defense, and 59th passing. They’ve recorded nine sacks so far. They’ve made three interceptions. Despite the four losses, they’ve kept the ball in the offense’s hand; the offense averages 32:03 time of possession. Derwin James and Matthew Thomas lead the team in tackles, with 29 and 27, respectively.
What to watch for
This game comes down to a great offense against a great defense. Something will have to give. With the game being on the road, and against a team out for revenge in a humiliating way, this will be the toughest game left on the schedule. Last week proved that Louisville can lose any game on the schedule, including FSU.
I see this game going two ways. The first, is Louisville goes on the road, and blows out Florida State. Jackson finds holes in their defense, and maintains the 38.1 ppg average, at least. Since Florida State has a down offense, Louisville’s defense prevails, learning from the mistakes of last week.
The second, is a shootout. The game is on the road; and Doak Campbell Stadium is a tough place to play. The last time Louisville was there, the Cards allowed 35 points in the second half to lose 41-21. Louisville’s defense again surrenders over 35 points to a dismal offense, and the offense does what it has almost every game.
Like Han Solo once said, I have a bad feeling about this.
Florida State doesn’t surrender many losses to Louisville. In fact, they’ve only surrendered three; and never back-to-back. Louisville also has only won once in Tallahassee, in 1952. The series history, in combination with Louisville’s current defensive shortfalls, just spells a long game for Louisville football. But hey, I’ve been wrong before.