TV Schedule: Saturday, October 17, 12:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Stadium: Bobby Bowden Field at Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla.
Line: Florida State (-7)
If you missed the matchup between these two last year, you missed a treat. The Louisville Cardinals gave the Florida State Seminoles all they could handle and actually sported a 24-7 lead in the third quarter. Then the wheels came off the wagon and the Seminoles dropped 35. Louisville would add a score late, but when the final tally was calculated, fans on both sides were looking at a 42-31 victory in favor of the guys from Tallahassee.
This time the two meet at Bobby Bowden field at Doak Campbell Stadium. Here’s what is known, so far, about Louisville. They’ve already started three quarterbacks this season. Between those three quarterbacks, they’ve tossed five touchdowns to seven interceptions and have completed 54.8 percent of their passes. The offensive line was one of the concerns coming into the season and hasn’t played consistently yet. But the unit gets a lot of credit for the fact that this team has put up 818 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground.
That may be inaccurate.
The credit may actually need to placed on the fact that this team is fortunate to have one of the more impressive stable of running backs in the ACC. They’re led by Lamar Jackson, who is averaging 6.6 yards a carry and has found the end zone five times. None of their receivers have more than 250 yards receiving, and their leading receiver in yardage has no touchdowns.
Here’s what is known about the Seminoles. They had an emotional game last week against their rivals from Miami. It turned out to be much closer than people thought it would be, but the guys in garnet and gold prevailed as expected. We also learned Dalvin Cook‘s hamstring is fine, as he tore up the turf for 222 yards and a 10.1 average per carry. Everett Golson hasn’t necessarily been dominant, but he doesn’t make mistakes with the ball either. He hasn’t thrown any interceptions and has completed 67 percent of his passes. Their field goal kicker is one of the best in the nation, and even though he’s missed both of his attempts from beyond 40 yards, he’s relatively automatic.
Louisville, though not one of the programs with household names, has one of the best front sevens in the conference. The Seminoles were predicted to be more dominant at the beginning of the season but have struggled to put away their last three opponents and should have had easy times with all three. They’ve developed a habit of allowing teams to hang around so the line is slim. Actually, it may be too slim.
Louisville will need to play flawlessly to win, but they haven’t shown they can do that. Expect the Seminoles to feed off the home crowd and walk away with about a 10-point victory.
Prediction: Florida State 31, Louisville 21