Saturday at noon on Sun Sports the Seminoles will be on the road to play the Louisville Cardinals.
Louisville is 1-4 on the year with a win against Western Kentucky and losses against Miami, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame.
FSU is 16-4 all time versus Louisville. Florida State has won the last two meetings including a 35-24 last season.
Observations from the last game
The defensive line played with relentless effort the whole game and it showed on the stat sheet. In the first four games of this season, FSU managed to get only 3 sacks, but against UNC the defense had 4 sacks to along with 4 tackles for loss and 4 more quarterback hurries.
Ladamian Webb, 109 yards, and Jordan Travis, 107 yards, were quite the rushing duo, but the offensive line, tight ends and receivers really improved their blocking to help Webb and Travis move the ball.
Even with all the improvements that were made, there are still lots of areas for this team to improve. The pre-snap penalties, personal fouls and receivers dropping passes are the first things that come to mind.
Florida State offense versus Louisville defense
This will be a huge game for Jordan Travis as he will be facing his former team in his third career start.
The Cardinals defense got hammered by Miami and Georgia Tech, but only gave up 12 points to Notre Dame. The Notre Dame game was kind of strange as the Irish only had seven possessions, 4 of which took at least 4 minutes.
The linebackers are the best position group on Louisville’s defense. Dorian Etheridge, CJ Avery, Monty Montgomery are the top three tacklers on the team and have accounted for 7 of the team’s 11 sacks. The big man in the middle of the Cards 3-4 defense is Jerad Goldwire, who has played well recently and may be a problem for center Maurice Smith.
After those four guys, the rest of the defense has plenty of experience but didn’t play very well until last weekend. I think the ‘Noles solid rushing duo of Travis and Webb will be able to move the ball and help score some points. The receivers on the outside will need to spread out the defense to help the running game even more.
Florida State defense versus Louisville offense
The Louisville offense features two explosive players in running back Javian Hawkins and shifty slot receiver Tutu Atwell. Quarterback Malik Cunningham has tight end Marshon Ford and receiver Dez Fitzpatrick at his disposal as well.
Hawkins is 2nd in the ACC with 519 yards rushing. He also is a receiving threat with 10 catches for 70 yards. Cunningham is more of a runner than a thrower, but when he’s in the red zone he likes to find his big target Marshon Ford.
Opposing tight ends have gashed the Seminoles all season, so hopefully we will see some improvement in this aspect of the defense. Freshman Stephen Dix and Travis Jay, along with Amari Gainer and Jaiden Lars-Woodbey, will be the main guys trying to stop Hawkins and Ford. Consistent pressure from the front four could alleviate some of the pressure that will be put on the safeties and linebackers.
Coach Norvell said that the special teams would be improved in his opening press conference and so far this season he has been right on the money. The only thing missing has been finding a consistent kicker. After Ryan Fitzgerald’s struggles this past weekend,I expect Parker Grothaus to get an opportunity versus Louisville. The Cardinals kicker James Turner has only missed one kick this season and it is was from over 50 yards.
Janarius Robinson and Steven Dix will need to play well for the Florida State defense and the interior offensive linemen Dontae Lucas, Maurice Smith and Baveon Johnson will be key for the FSU offense. I think they’ll get it done.
Florida State 35 Louisville 33.