Posted on September 17, 2016, by Travis Pulver
Saturday’s game between No. 2 Florida State and No. 10 Louisville was a “prove it” game for both teams. Florida State did overcome a big deficit against Ole Miss but otherwise had only played a weak Charleston Southern team. Louisville had demolished the competition, but neither Charlotte or Syracuse provided (nor were expected to provide) much competition.
It had the makings of a great game. When you take two talented teams featuring Heisman contenders and have them play, the contest should be a great one—but it wasn’t. Lamar Jackson and Louisville both proved that they are indeed contenders with a 63-20 romp over the Florida State Seminoles.
Jackson wasted little time getting the Cardinals on the board. It took him six plays to drive the team down the field and for him to score his first rushing touchdown of the day to give the team an early 7-0 lead. Before the first half was over he scored three more (two rushing, one passing) as Louisville took a 35-10 lead into the half.
Most fan bases would be worried but not Florida State’s. Their team had fallen behind 28-6 against Ole Miss in the season opener, but then they responded with 33-unanswered points to take a 39-28 lead early in the fourth quarter of that game.
So if any team could overcome a massive deficit, their boys could do it. Head coach Jimbo Fisher has made some masterful halftime adjustments in the past–just not this time.
Louisville’s dominance continued in the second half with the defense forcing three “three and out” drives, a 69-yard punt return for a touchdown, and a one-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Smith that put the Cardinals up 49-10 with five minutes still to play in the third quarter.
With two high-powered offenses, the winner needed to have his defense show up more than the other team. Louisville outgained Florida Stat 530 yards to 284. Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois was 7-18 for the day with just 101 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He was also sacked nine times.
The 63-points is the most ever scored against Florida State. Louisville’s seven rushing touchdowns are also the most a Florida State defense has ever allowed.
Florida State’s Heisman contender, Dalvin Cook, only had 54-yards on 16 carries. Louisville’s contender, Lamar Jackson, accounted for 362 yards of offense (13-20 for 216 yards, one touchdown, and an interception; 17 carries for 146 yards and four touchdowns). Should Jackson go on to win the Heisman, he will be Louisville’s first (NCAA).
Jackson now has 18 touchdowns to his name (10 rushing, eight passing) after just three games.
As happy as Louisville fans have to be, they are probably not nearly as happy as fans of the Houston Cougars must be. Houston has been touted as a potential CFB Playoff team, but with few competitive teams on their schedule, they could find themselves on the outside looking in—even if they are undefeated.
However, should the Cougars take down another top 10 team—which Louisville will be when the new polls are released next week—their chance of making it in should be pretty good. At the same time, should Louisville win, they could have a good shot of making the CFB Playoffs as well (assuming they beat Clemson as well).