Harlon Barnett wasn’t in Tallahassee over the past two years to witness a Lamar Jackson lead Louisville going scorched earth on FSU’s defense. That didn’t stop him from grinning ear to ear when he was asked if this defense is taking their trip to Louisville this weekend personally.
“I would think so. Yeah, absolutely,” Barnett said, baffled by Louisville’s scoring totals over the last two years. “To say a combined almost 100 points, wow. They’ll go up there fired up. We’ll be ready to go.”
Florida State’s current starting defense includes a lot of young players that weren’t on the field two years ago when Lamar Jackson produced the bulk of his Heisman highlights against the Seminoles. But players like Brian Burns and Demarcus Christmas? They remember. They remember being the number two team in the nation and getting embarrassed on national television in College Gameday’s game of the week.Those memories are not soon forgotten, and you have to think defensive end Brian Burns will have them in mind on Saturday.
Burns and the defensive line have been successful at getting pressure this year, but have lacked when it comes to finishing and actually sacking the quarterback. The line gets some help with the return of Demarcus Christmas this week, and Luckily for them, Lamar Jackson won’t be behind center on Saturday. Louisville has played two quarterbacks, Jawon Pass and Malik Cunningham, that have struggled early in the season, but the defense will have to be in sync to get the quarterbacks on the ground according to Barnett.
“Obviously we’d like the end result to be a sack, caused fumble, strip sack, or something like that,” Barnett said. “He (Burns) is getting back there, along with some other guys. We just need to hold up a little bit longer in the back end and allow those guys a chance to get there. So, it works together. They’ll start to come.”