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FSU pressure on Louisville’s Lamar Jackson: Something’s gotta give

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Which side has the edge?

NCAA Football: Mississippi at Florida State
Josh Sweat and DeMarcus Walker tackle Chad Kelly.
Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Last year, Florida State finished with 32 sacks, a respectable number tied for the 31st most in the country. The Seminoles’ top single-game sack totals — five — occurred twice, each time against a mobile quarterback: once against Treon Harris and Florida, and once against Saturday’s foe, the Louisville Cardinals, and QB Lamar Jackson.

Of course, everyone had a good day getting to those teams’ signal-callers. Seriously: the Cards conceded 44 sacks in 2015, and UF allowed 45. Those were the highest totals in the country last year. But so far this season, UL is protecting Jackson much more effectively, having allowed just one sack through its first two games.

But while Louisville has done better to keep Jackson upright, FSU has improved at getting its opponents’ QBs to the ground as well. In fact, only two teams have garnered more than the Seminoles’ nine sacks heading into week three. DeMarcus Walker leads the way with 4.5, Brian Burns has 2, Derrick Nnadi has 1, and Jacob Pugh has .5, with another sack being credited to the team. Speaking of Pugh, Jimbo Fisher commented recently about the diverse pass-rush looks Florida State can present among its defenders: “You can have him and (Josh) Sweat or him Sweat and (Brian) Burns or him, Sweat and DeMarcus Walker. Just inside, outside, different things you can do with him. It's really good.”

Of course, Sweat has yet to tally a sack this season. If there were ever a Saturday for him to break out and join the party, this would be it.