FINAL: Seminoles 16, Louisville 48
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The Florida State Seminoles are in search of back-to-back wins for the first time this season as they head to the Bluegrass state to take on the Louisville Cardinals.
The pieces of Mike Norvell’s offense finally seem to be coming together with Jordan Travis firmly establishing himself as the Seminoles' starting quarterback over the past three weeks. Saturday will also be a homecoming for Travis, who began his career at Louisville before transferring to FSU before the start of last season.
We’ve also seen La’Damian Webb seem to emerge as the heir-apparent to Cam Akers in the backfield after last week’s performance against North Carolina.
Of the ‘Noles 241 rushing yards last week, 216 came from the combined duo of Travis and Webb. And, while he didn’t find the end zone, Webb did average 9.1 yards on 12 attempts for 109 total yards - an FSU-best last week - including a personal long of 54 yards in the second half.
FSU’s rushing game couldn’t be coming at a better time, either, as the Louisville defense has surrendered more yards than it did the previous week for two straight games. After allowing 156 rushing yards in a loss to Pitt on September 26, the Cardinals then allowed 192 yards on the ground against Georgia Tech before being gashed for 232 yards against Notre Dame last week.
At the outset of the season, this appeared to be another potential top-10 opponent on the FSU schedule, but things have not gone well for the Cards this year. After a 14-point win against Western Kentucky to begin the year, Louisville has lost four straight and has allowed more than 40 points twice: once in a 47-34 loss against Miami and another in a 46-27 loss at Georgia Tech.
FSU comes into Saturday leading the all-time series against the Cards, 16-4, and has won two straight and four of the last six overall.
Below will be a running log of the game, as in years past: We’ll have score updates, analysis, stray observations and thoughts. It will be fun. For up-to-the-minute updates and analysis, be sure you’re following me, along with our Fletcher Keel who has today’s recap for us, and WCTV Sports on Twitter.
FINAL: Seminoles 16, Louisville 48
FSU scored on its first drive of the game, but it was all downhill from there.
Louisville outgains FSU 569-406.
Not a bad game offensively for FSU, which had 406 total yards, including 262 on the ground, but the Seminoles just had no answer for Louisville’s offense, particularly in the first half.
Thanks for joining us today. Fletcher Keel will have the game recap later. FSU is off next week and will be back on Nov. 7 when it hosts Pittsburgh at Doak Campbell Stadium.
4th Quarter: Seminoles 16, Louisville 48, 7:00 4th Quarter
Louisville has most of its offensive backups in now. Burkley gets a carry and takes it 41 yards to the FSU 12. Jawon Pass then looks for Watkins in the end zone. The pass is incomplete but pass interference is called on Woodie for the second time today to set up 1st-and-goal from the 2.
Atwell, who is still in, then gets a carry on a backward pass and scores from two yards out.
4th Quarter: Seminoles 16, Louisville 41, 14:15 4th Quarter
Louisville starts from its own 47.
The Cardinals go 32 yards on seven plays. Ford was open in the end zone but dropped the pass from Cunningham. Turner knocks in a 32-yard field goal.
END OF 3RD QUARTER: Seminoles 16, Louisville 38
Better defensive quarter for the Seminoles in the third but they are still down big heading into the final frame.
The Cardinals have outgained the Seminoles 513-316.
3rd Quarter: INTERCEPTION, Seminoles 16, Louisville 38
After the safety, Travis finds McDonald over the middle for an 18-yard game.
Travis is intercepted on the next play by Jack Fagot. Travis bought some time and extended the play. He threw it to Wilson short over the middle but it bounced off his hands into the air and right into Fagot’s arms.
3rd Quarter: Seminoles 16, Louisville 38, 2:01 3rd Quarter
Rice sacks Cunningham in the end zone for the safety. The Seminoles still have a very uphill battle to get back into this one, but that’s the first big play the defense has created al afternoon. Maybe that’s the spark they needed.
3rd Quarter: TURNOVER ON DOWNS: Seminoles 14, Louisville 38, 2:14 3rd Quarter
FSU catches a break on 3rd-and-12 as Montgomery gets flagged for a facemask while bringing Travis to the ground.
FSU then gets the run game going a bit with a 24-yard carry from Corbin and then a 16-yard run by Webb into the red zone.
Travis then finds Webb on a swing pass to the left for an eight-yard gain. Webb then carries for one-yard and Travis converts with his leg on 3rd-and-1 to bring up 1st-and-goal from the 9.
Toafili checks in at tailback and gets a carry for four yards. Travis on 3rd-and-goal goes with a shuffle pass to Corbin, who plunges his way forward to the 1, but Travis is stuffed on 4th-and-goal and Louisville takes over from the 1.
3rd Quarter: Seminoles 14, Louisville 38, 8:44 3rd Quarter
The FSU defense forces a three-and-out on Louisville’s first possession of the second half. It’s the Cardinals’ first punt of the game. The Seminoles start with the ball at their own 30, but then go three-and-out themselves.
Louisville starts its next drive from its own 22. On 3rd-and-7, Cunningham finds Hawkins for an eight-yard but he then fumbles the ball and it is recovered by Ford to move the chains. Missed opportunity there for the Seminoles.
Two plays later, Cunningham looks deep for Fitzpatrick down the right sideline and pass interference is called on Raymond Woodie to give the Cardinals first down at the 48. Hawkins carries for nine yards on the next play. Asante Samuel Jr. subs himself out and looks to be in some pain.
The Cardinals later convert on 3rd-and-1 with a 33-yard run to the right by Hawkins. Two plays later, Hawkins gets another carry and finds the end zone from 10 yards out. He’s now up to 172 yards rushing.
HALFTIME: SEMINOLES 14, LOUISVILLE 31
Parker Grothaus misses wide right from 50 yards. Louisville drives down the field and gives Turner a 52-yard chance but the kick is no good.
Louisville outgains Florida State 410(!)-232 and averages 13.2 yards per play. Malik Cunningham is 12-for-13 for 233 yards and two touchdowns. Hawkins has 115 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries.
Jordan Travis has been solid on the ground, rushing for 52 yards on seven carries but he’s just 7-for-20 through the air with 88 yards and a touchdown.
Louisville gets the ball to start the second half.
2nd Quarter: Seminoles 14, Louisville 31, 1:44 2nd Quarter
FSU’s defense forces a 3rd-and-6 from the FSU 43. But the Seminoles allow another big play on a third down.
Cunningham finds Ford underneath and he then runs takes it 43 yards for what was initially ruled a touchdown. The play was reviewed and overturned. Ford’s knee was down short of the goal line. Louisville instead gets 1st-and-goal from the 1.
Rice stops Hawkins for no gain on 1st-and-goal but the Cardinals then get called for an illegal block in the back to move them back to the 15.
FSU limits Louisville to a field goal, as Turner connects from 28 yards.
2nd Quarter: Seminoles 14, Louisville 28, 6:25 2nd Quarter
The Noles go 76 yards on 15 plays to cut the lead to two touchdowns.
Early in the drive, Travis on 3rd-and-8 fires a bullet across the middle to Warren Thompson for a first down to the FSU 41. Big conversion there to start the drive for FSU. Thompson limps off the field though.
Travis then converts on a 3rd-and-10, scrambling for a first down to the left sideline down to the Louisville 47.
La’Damian Webb then gets his first carries since the first drive of the game and powers ahead for a 14-yard gain, followed by an 18-yard run up the middle on the next play.
Corbin later gets a carry on 3rd-and-11 and picks up the first down on a nice hole up the middle.
The Seminoles are then forced into a tough 3rd-and-goal situation from the 9. Travis finds Young on the run for a five-yard gain to the Louisville 4 to bring up 4th-and-goal. Travis rolls out to the right and finds Wilson for the touchdown.
Nice response by the Semnoles on that drive. They desperately needed a score and they got one.
2nd Quarter: Seminoles 7, Louisville 28, 12:47 2nd Quarter
Louisville goes 68 yards on seven plays to extend its early lead. Four unanswered scoring drives for the Cardinals.
The Seminoles forced a 3rd-and-4 early in the Louisville drive but Cunningham found Smith on a quick slant for six yards to pick up the first down.
The Cardinals then backed themselves up to a 2nd-and-24 to their own 42, but on the next play Cunningham airs it out for Atwell who makes the catch and finds the end zone for a 58-yard score. Things unraveling early for the FSU defense.
END OF 1ST QUARTER: Seminoles 7, Louisville 21
It was a good start for FSU, who scored on its first drive of the game, but Louisville then scored three unanswered touchdowns to close out the first quarter with a two-touchdown lead.
The Cardinals had 225 yards of total offense in the quarter.
1st Quarter: Seminoles 7, Louisville 21, 2:54 1st Quarter
Louisville starts its drive from the 5 but an 11-yard carry by Hawkins gives the Cardinals a first down to the 17.
Cunningham then finds Fitzpatrick on a screen pass for a 10-yard gain and a late hit out of bounds is called on Gant to add 15 yards and move the Cardinals down to the 42.
The next play, Cunningham looks for Hawkins on a screen pass. The pass was incomplete but another FSU penalty. Holding is called on Briggs to give the Cardinals another first down to the FSU 48.
Cunningham then creates a big play with his legs as he picks up 35 yards on a scramble all the way to the FSU 13.
Cunningham then finds Pfeifer for a 13-yard touchdown pass rolling out to his left. Add a roughing the passer penalty that will be enforced on the kickoff. Louisville’s offense is on a roll right now.
1st Quarter: Louisville 14, Seminoles 7
Lousiville forces a three-and-out on FSU’s next possession, and Lousiville needs just one play to find the end zone for the second time in as many drives.
Hawkins takes the handoff to the right and had nowhere to go but then bounced it back to the left side and just ran by the entire Seminoles defense for a 70-yard touchdown run. Hawkins is as fast as advertised.
1st Quarter: Seminoles 7, Louisville 7, 8:37 1st Quarter
It was a good start for the FSU defense, forcing two modest gains to bring up a 3rd-and-8 but then Cunningham finds his best receiver, Tutu Atwell, for a 66-yard gain to the FSU 9 to bring up 1st-and-goal.
On the next play, Hawkins gets the edge out to the left and finds the end zone.
4-play, 77-yard scoring drive for the Cardinals.
1st Quarter: Seminoles 7, Louisville 0, 12:30 1st Quarter
Good start for the Seminoles, who 65 yards in seven plays to take an early 7-0 lead. The opening kick goes out of bounds, giving FSU good field position at the 35 to start.
Travis rolls to the right on the first play from scrimmage and finds his tight end Cam McDonald open for 30 yards.
Travis later converts on a 3rd-and-4 with a 16-yard run to the Cardinals 16. He had to evade a couple of rushers to do so.
Then Travis on 3rd-and-5 from the Lousiville 8 bobbles the snap and retreats a few yards back to collect the ball and he somehow maneuvers his way to the left past the entire Cardinals defense for the score. Unbelievable play to cap off the scoring drive.
The Seminoles are surprisingly a six-point underdog against 1-4 Louisville just before kickoff. The Cardinals took No. 3 Notre Dame to the wire last week, losing 12-7 to the Irish in South Bend.
Jordan Travis, as expected, is taking the first-team snaps at quarterback with Tate Rodemaker taking snaps with the second team and true freshman Chubba Purdy getting the reps with the third-team offense during warmups. James Blackman is sick and did not travel with the team, but his illness is not COVID-related.
Another interesting development. It looks like Parker Grothaus will have the placekicker duties today instead of Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald missed two field goals inside of 40 yards last week against UNC.
Ontaria Wilson carries the sledgehammer today for the Seminoles.
Florida State will receive the opening kickoff.
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