Welcome to what might just be an elimination game in the ACC Atlantic Division – and the first REALLY big conference game of the year. Check out the Florida State vs. Louisville fearless prediction and game preview.
Florida State (2-0) vs. Louisville (2-0) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, September 17th
Game Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
Why Florida State Will Win
Yeah, yeah, yeah, blowing out Charlotte and Syracuse was nice, and Lamar Jackson has been able to roam free and do anything he’s wanted, but Lamar, meet the Florida State defensive speed.
The Cardinal offense has been able to operate at will so far behind a line that’s allowed just one sack and two tackles for loss. Jackson’s mobility has had plenty to do with that. But now it has to deal with DeMarcus Walker and a Seminole line that’s spent the first two weeks renting out space in the backfield, taking over the Ole Miss game by getting to Chad Kelly time and again in the second half.
Louisville might be great, but it can’t screw up and pull off the win. So far this year the Cardinals are -3 in turnover margin with fumbling a major issue in the first two games. Considering the defensive pressure that’s coming, and with the Noles being a fantastic +6 so far – only losing one pick last week against Charleston Southern – UofL has to be perfect, and it probably won’t be.
Why Louisville Will Win
It’s been an underwhelming start for the Florida State offensive line. The overall results have been more than fine for an attack averaging 509 yards per game, but the running game has been just okay, Ole Miss and Charleston Southern combined for a way-too-many 15 tackles for loss and six sacks, and Louisville has the talent up front to keep Deondre Francois from getting comfortable.
While Francois has a chance to take control of the Heisman race with a great performance and a win, at home, this has to be Jackson’s moment.
It hasn’t been a one-man gang so far for the Cardinals, but it’s been close with Jackson leading the way for a ground game averaging over nine yards per carry, while also being perfectly in tune with a talented, veteran receiving corps.
He threw for 307 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 32 yards against the Noles in last year’s 41-21 loss, and now he’s better and he’s got a stronger team around him. If Louisville is going to pull this off, it’s because No. 8 might just be the best player on the field.
What’s Going To Happen?
It’s been the call starting about ten minutes after the Alabama national title confetti was being cleaned up off the University of Phoenix Stadium turf. After pumping up Louisville all offseason saying that this was going to be the statement moment on the way to a shocking run to the ACC championship, you think I’m abandoning it now?
Florida State is better. It’s the better team with more talent and more skill all across the board. The reloading job is done, the swagger is there, and the talent is in place to not only rise up and rock on the road, but do it in impressive fashion. If the Noles pull this off, consider the ACC championship over – Clemson isn’t winning in Tallahassee.
But after spending eight months waiting for this pick and this moment, it’ll be Louisville’s time. The defensive pressure will force Francois into the mistakes he hasn’t been making so far, while the Cardinal secondary and back seven will put the clamps down on the midrange third down throws the Noles have been living on.
Florida State vs. Louisville Prediction
Final Score: Louisville 34, Florida State 30
Line: Florida State -3.5, o/u: 65.5
ATS Confidence: 5: Vegas, Now – 1: Talk To Wife … 1
Must See Rating: 5: Hell or High Water – 1: This Is Us … 5