Coming off the biggest (see: second) win of Mike Norvell’s career at Florida State, FSU looks to build on the offensive explosiveness and defensive line stoutness this Saturday against Louisville. Our trustworthy and possibly deranged staff has banded together to bring to you, dear reader, their individual insights and predictions for this ACC noon’er.
The thing that has impressed me most with Norvell’s team is that they haven’t quit. There’s been a lot of individual mistakes that have culminated in terrible group & unit play, but the thing I’ve never seen lacking is effort and intensity. I know that goes firmly in the “moral victories” rubric, but to me it is the predecessor to execution.
That said, UL is an interesting matchup for FSU. According to the advanced stats, they’re a top 20 offense and bottom 40 defense. So I’m immediately thinking Big 12 shoot-out.
UL under Scott Satterfield has and continues to be committed to outside zone running. They do this out of 12/21 personnel and from the Pistol formation. This is not a coincidence; the half-shotgun snap allows the RB to commit full-speed to the OZ run, as he can simply run full-speed to the mesh point without changing direction. This can give the RB that extra step needed to beat the edge, or at least drag the chasing defense so far outside that he can cut-back against an over-pursuing defense. But never mind, Kevin’s video explains this all and more entertainingly. Long story short, I think UL will shake FSU’s defense loose for some big cutbacks if the offense runs into problems.
That said, I really like our matchup against UL defense. I know they just performed well against an ND team that obliterated us for a half. But they blitzed like mad and forced ND to throw it in 25mph winds to great effect. But UL won’t have that element noon, which projects to be a mid-50s rain-free day with light winds.
I think the DL mans up again, and Travis does his thing.
Florida State 34, Louisville 29
I will let Ricobert1 have all the words and save mine for Monday’s episode of The Triple Option.
I made my thoughts known on this weeks opponent preview of The Seminole Wrap. Louisville is up and down, where are their heads at, and how will FSU handle at noon kick? These are some of the storylines I’m paying close attention to heading into the contest. Hawkins versus Dix is a battle worth watching along with Cunningham versus FSU secondary off of play action. Unfortunately, I don’t think FSU can drop back and throw well enough to keep up with ‘Ville.
Louisville 35, FSU 27
It won’t be pretty, but it’ll be fun!
FSU 26, Louisville 24
It feels almost foreign to be excited for a FSU football game based on the performance of their last game, but I’m hopeful that this team handles its follow-up to the UNC game with poise and confidence. I think the outcome ultimately hinges on the defense making enough stops, and I’m convinced the good guys will manage to make one more stop. Give me the ‘Noles in a one possession game.
FSU 31, Louisville 24
Part of getting 1% better is handling adversity and handling success; The ‘Noles will prove they can handle success. Player of the game? Cam Mcdonald.
FSU 31, Louisville 24
I have no idea. What ^ he said. FSU is getting better, but 1-4 Louisville is a five point favorite? Okay. This season isn’t about wins anyway, but I hope FSU can avoid the cliche letdown game. I think this game could go either way and is prime for wild shenanigans.
FSU 24, Louisville 23
This is the kind of soft-factor validation that will for sure hurt me by 2:36 p.m. tomorrow, but really, after hearing the way that both coaches and players spoke this week, I actually truly believe that the message of, “every play matters” and effort begets results has sunk in, and that taste of success in the first half against UNC balanced with the blegh of falling short in the second half instilled the perfect level of confidence in this team — they know they can do it, but they sure do know things can suck super quickly if they don’t. If Jordan Travis can stay healthy (and if the offensive line can, too) and the defense can manage to replicate its efforts from 50 percent of the game last week to at least 75 percent of the game, I have a lot of confidence in this team finding its groove heading into the bye.
Florida State 35, Louisville 26
I keep going back and forth on this one. Florida State showed signs of life against Notre Dame two weeks ago and used that momentum to spring the upset on North Carolina. The win was great but they really only did what they needed to do for a half. Granted UNC made some pretty nice plays in the second half and Jordan Travis was injured but still FSU showed that they might not be ready for prime time.
Louisville just narrowly lost to Notre Dame and at 1-4 their season is probably going to be determined by the game this week. Win and they see some hope and could scramble to a seven win season (their schedule was very front loaded), lose and the bottom could fall out. I think Satterfield is a quality head coach and I don’t think the team will quit though.
I don’t think FSU will quit either but I think there are more holes in FSU’s roster as opposed to Louisville’s. I think this game is really a coin flip. Who was more real to themselves last week? FSU’s winning against UNC on a strong first half or Louisville’s close lose to ND with the help from some wind?
Louisville 35, FSU 31
I really struggled with my pick on this game. I think it is a complete toss-up. Louisville is clearly not a typical 1-4 team, despite their struggles defensively. I think Florida State will have plenty of extended scoring drives Saturday and continue to run the football well.
But as they did last Saturday against Notre Dame, the Cardinals will limit possessions against the Noles. After surrendering over 500 yards last week, it remains to be seen whether the FSU defense will be able to contain Louisville’s ground game this afternoon.
A key stat in this game will be who runs the football more successfully between the two. I like this game to be an extremely close coinflip and to come down to the final possession.
Louisville 31, Florida State 30
By the middle of the 3rd quarter, this game will be in garbage time. The Cardinal fans will not be enjoying 50% off on their Papa John’s orders this weekend.
The Noles are going to roll like they haven’t rocked in 3 years. The defense will dominate UL’s offense, and our offense will have their way while playing 3 different QB’s. Lastly, the special teams will continue their Joe Wessel and the 1984 Noles inspired kick blocking magic.
The Florida State University 45, Louisville 21
For the third consecutive week I’m picking FSU to cover, but can they bring home some sod? It’s an interesting question. I haven’t been impressed with Louisville, even dating back to last year. Lots of folks praised Satterfield for improving the Cardinals win total from 2 to 8, but what was really accomplished? Louisville wasn’t as bad as a two-win team in 2018, they just flat out quit on Petrino. And last year’s wins mostly came against bad teams like Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, and NC State. Heck, Willie Taggart went 2-0 against UL, and now the Cardinals sit at just 1-4.
But at the same time, learning to win is a skill and I just don’t know if I am convinced that FSU has matured mentally to the point where they can put together three straight impressive performances (the ND performance was impressive, even in a loss). There are also questions about Travis’ health. If he is slowed, that could take some of the explosiveness out of the Seminole attack. But perhaps the biggest question mark is at kicker. Florida State has a real problem at placekicker and that almost cost the ‘Noles against UNC.
Ultimately, I see FSU coming out of the gates a little slow, but Travis makes the plays against his former team to get Florida State back in it. Unfortunately, the ‘Noles miss a kick that could have sent it into OT and come up just short.
Louisville 31, FSU 28