When the ‘Noles square off against Louisville on Saturday, it will be the 17th time the two teams have met since 1952, and the seventh time FSU will travel to Louisville, Kentucky in school history. in the previous 16 meetings, Florida State clearly has the edge on the Cardinals, owning a 14-2 overall record and a 4-1 mark in Louisville.
Nine previous times, Florida State has put up at least 40 points on the Cardinals, with the most recent being just last season when the ‘Noles came out victorious 41-21. In all, FSU averages 36.5 points per game, while only allowing an average of 12.2 points. In the teams six meetings from 1953 to 1980, Louisville did not score more than seven points, and was shutout four times. The longest win streak Florida State had over the opposition was a 12-game streak that ended in 2002.
In the four games since 2000, the ‘Noles have out gained Louisville in terms of yards per play each time. The Seminoles average 6.79 yards per play in that span while Louisville has been held to just an average of 5.54 yards per play. Florida State is 3-1 in those last four games. Even more recently, FSU has been a second half team, outscoring UL 35-10 and 35-14 in the second half of 2014 and 2015 respectively.
The teams matched up last season with current Louisville QB Lamar Jackson at the helm, as he will be in 2016. After coming into the game against the ‘Noles with 305 rushing yards in the previous two games, Jackson was just held to 32 yards on 19 attempts, and had his third lowest quarter back rating of the season despite throwing for more than 300 yards. He heads into Saturday’s game with 318 rushing yards and 697 passing yards in UL’s first two games of the season.
Florida State running back Dalvin Cook has faced Louisville two previous times in his career. As a freshman, the Miami native exploded for 110 yards on just 9 carries and two touchdowns. In 2015, he topped that mark, rushing for 163 yards on 22 attempts and two more touchdowns. On 39 total touches from the backfield, Cook averages 9.56 yards per touch against the Cardinals.
This will be the first time in the series’ history that Louisville will play FSU while ranked inside the AP top 25. As the No. 2 team in the country, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher is 8-1 and 28-3 when ranked inside the top-5.