By: Pat Mueller | WCTV Eyewitness Sports
September 21, 2019
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A win for the home team today would mark a huge milestone at Doak Campbell Stadium. If the Florida State Seminoles are victorious over the Louisville Cardinals, it would be the program's 300th win all time at Doak.
Technically, the Seminoles already boast a 307-100-4 record as the home team, but that includes their home games played on Centennial Field between 1947 and 1949.
An FSU win would also tick some more minor achievements off the squad's checklist: A .500 record and the first ACC win of the season.
On the flip side, Louisville is looking for their first ACC win in 672 days. The Cardinals went 0-8 in conference play last season. Louisville is 2-1 so far this season, with back-to-back wins against in-state foes Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky. Their lone loss came week one against No. 7 Notre Dame, a game where they stuck around in the first half.
Anyway, we've got a 3:30 p.m. kickoff and we'll have all the action for you: Below, you'll find a running live blog with play-by-play, analysis and reaction to accompany our live tweeting over on the WCTV Sports account.
You can watch the game starting at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.
FINAL: FSU - 35, Louisville - 24
In typical 2019 Florida State Football fashion, this game was a tale of two halves. The Seminoles started out guns-a-blazing: They were up 21-0 at the end of the first quarter!
The FSU defense was stout until the very end of the first half. From the :44 mark of the second quarter, to the 14:22 mark of the fourth quarter, Louisville scored 24 unanswered points.
During that time frame, FSU's offense was anemic and Aguayo missed two kicks. On the day, the defense forced six three and outs and had five sacks. However, allowing big plays and committing dumb penalties in certain scenarios allowed Louisville to claw back.
There's no denying FSU has shown potential, but they've yet to bring their A game for a full 60 minutes this season.
The Seminoles are now 2-2 and have earned their first ACC win of the season. This victory marks the 300th in program history at Doak Campbell Stadium.
End of 4th quarter: FSU - 35, Louisville - 24
Louisville needs a miracle here. FSU's front seven brought the heat, getting sacks on consecutive plays to start the drive.
Louisville converted the 3rd and 22 with a long run and catch following a screen. Cunningham completed two more passes to bring the Cardinals to the FSU 39-yard line, but there just wasn't enough time on the clock.
Cunningham spiked the ball with four seconds left, but they're down two scores. The effort in the second half was incredible, but FSU managed to come out of this one alive.
FSU forced a strip sack on the final play, allowing for some comedic relief for Seminole fans as they watched players try to snag a holy roller.
FINAL: FSU - 35, Louisville - 24.
4th Quarter 1:37 FSU - 35, Louisville - 24
FSU forced a Louisville three and out for the sixth time today. A Louisville face mask penalty on the punt return gave FSU beautiful field position, just inside Cardinal territory.
A quick, nine-yard rush from Akers and a 13-yard completion to Terry brought the Seminoles to the Cardinal 24-yard line with about 4:30 left on the clock.
Akers escaped from a gang of Louisville defenders in the backfield to turn a 2nd and 13 into a more manageable 3rd and 5 for the Seminoles. His elusiveness is a huge asset for the Seminoles every time he touches the ball.
The Seminoles completed a nine-yard pass to Matthews to make it 1st and goal.
After a three-yard Akers rush, Louisville took its first timeout of the second half. The Seminoles face 2nd and goal from the seven-yard line with 2:48 left in the game.
Louisville used its last two timeouts after back-to-back rushes from Akers. It's 4th and goal for FSU from the one-yard line.
Aguayo was brought out to chip-in the kick, but Louisville was called for roughing the kicker, giving FSU an automatic first down from the one.
On 2nd and goal, Akers waltzed into the end zone with ease to extend FSU's lead. That's his third on the day.
Score: FSU - 35, Louisville - 24, 1:37 left in the game.
4th Quarter 7:25: FSU - 28, Louisville - 24
FSU took the lead back in a hurry, thanks to some huge plays through the air.
On a 2nd and 20, Hornibrook hooked up with D.J. Matthews on a post route to move the chains.
Two plays later, Hornibrook winded up and found a wide open Tamorrion Terry on the right side of the field for a 60-yard touchdown.
It was insane who wide open Terry was. You could even call it scary. Louisville's defensive coordinator is likely having an aneurism at the moment.
Score: FSU - 28, Louisville - 24, with 7:25 left in the game.
4th Quarter 9:39: Louisville 24 - FSU 21
Louisville was driving down the field with ease, until QB Malik Cunningham made his biggest mistake of the afternoon. He sailed a pass over his receiver's head deep into the claws of FSU's secondary, where Cyrus Fagan snagged it.
FSU takes over from their own 13-yard line.
4th Quarter 13:05: Louisville 24 - FSU 21
FSU just had its second three and out of the day, and it came at a horrible time. The story of FSU's season has been the second half struggles. That narrative is only growing stronger today.
The Cardinals shooed the Seminoles off the field just as fast as they scored on their last drive: 1:17 ran off the clock during FSU's three and out.
Now, the Cardinals have a chance to extend their lead.
4th Quarter 14:22: Louisville 24 - FSU 21
In the blink of an eye, Louisville snatched the lead.
A 74-yard TD pass to Dez Fitzpatrick put the Cardinals ahead of FSU early in the fourth quarter.
Thought the last drive was fast? This time around, the Cardinals went 85 yards in just three plays, and only 1:09 came off the clock.
Score: Louisville - 24, FSU - 21, 14:22 left in the game.
End of 3rd Quarter: FSU 21 - Louisville 17
FSU's response to Louisville's swift TD drive was lackluster. Hornibrook felt pressure on multiple plays, and ball carriers were stopped before they could get a head of steam rolling.
With 31 seconds to go, Louisville ended the quarter with a seven-yard run from Javian Hawkins. They'll start the final quarter from their own 22-yard line.
3rd Quarter 1:57: FSU 21 - Louisville 17
After a huge 48-yard pass to Marshon Ford, Cunningham punched it in from four yards out to give Louisville their second TD of the day.
The play was reviewed because the ball moved after Cunningham crossed the plane, but it was upheld.
Louisville wasted no time on this drive. It took them just 2:44 to run 7 plays for 76 yards down FSU's throat. After that Cardinal touchdown, it's a one possession game again.
Score: FSU - 21, Louisville - 17.
3rd Quarter 4:41: FSU 21 - Louisville 10
A sloppy snap to Hornibrook while in Cardinal territory led to a 16-yard loss for FSU, forcing the Seminoles to settle for a field goal after what looked like a promising drive.
Unfortunately, kicker Ricky Aguayo missed his third kick of the day. This time, it was from 41 yards out. Before today, Aguayo was perfect on the season.
Now, he's 3/6 from the field in 2019.
3rd Quarter 7:55: FSU 21 - Louisville 10
Louisville rolled right down the field on this drive. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they couldn't reach the end zone.
The Cardinals made it to midfield with ease as they converted a first down on a 14-yard completion to Atwell. Two carries from Hall, one for nine yards and the other for five, brought Louisville to FSU's 37-yard line.
On a 2nd and 5, Cunningham was pressured out of the pocket, rolled to his right and then threw a deep ball to Keion Wakefield in the end zone. Carlos Becker interfered with Wakefield to prevent a touchdown.
The penalty brought the Cardinals into the red zone.
A false start on a 3rd and 1 from FSU's nine-yard line gave the Seminoles a chance to stop the Cardinals. FSU stopped Cunningham in his tracks, forcing Louisville to kick a field goal.
Blanton Creque converted the 30-yard kick.
Score: FSU - 21, Louisville - 10.
3rd Quarter 11:28: FSU 21 - Louisville 7
After he was sacked on a 2nd and 8 play, James Blackman was down on the field and appeared to be in pain. He was able to walk off the field with some help, and he was immediately taken to the training tent on the sideline.
Alex Hornibrook is back in at QB for FSU. The Seminoles were unable to convert the 3rd and 12 following the Blackman injury.
3rd Quarter 13:21: FSU 21 - Louisville 7
Louisville opened up the second half with a quick three and out.
The Cardinals had a 3rd and 1 opportunity after back-to-back rushes, but a false start brought that momentum to a screeching halt. On the ensuing 3rd and 6, Justin Marshall couldn't adjust to Cunningham's deep throw, so it fell incomplete.
The Seminoles have the ball on their 25-yard line.
HALFTIME: FSU 21 - Louisville 7
After coming out with a scorching, 21-0 start, FSU cooled down in the second quarter. The Seminoles' three drives in the 2nd quarter ended with a punt and two missed field goals. Instead of stomping on the Cardinals' windpipe, FSU kept Louisville alive.
Louisville struggled on offense for the majority of the first half. But, the Cardinals found new life in their final drive of the second quarter. After running a fake punt on 4th and 8, Louisville transformed that momentum into a 16-play, 66-yard drive, knocking off 6:22 from the clock.
Considering the fact the second half has been when FSU has played its poorest this season, the Seminoles are at a crossroads.
Will Taggart's halftime adjustments make them return to their first quarter form, or will they fall apart like they have in their other contests in 2019?
Anyway, here are some halftime stats for y'all:
Blackman (FSU): 11/14, 127 yards
Hornibrook (FSU): 3/5, 80 yards, 1 TD
Cunningham (UL): 8/16, 65 yards, 1 TD
Akers (FSU): 13 carries, 49 yards, 2 TDs
Hawkins (UL): 10 carries, 19 yards
Helton (FSU): 5 catches, 76 yards, 1 TD
Fitzpatrick (UL): 4 catches, 30 yards
Atwell (UL): 2 catches, 7 yards, 1 TD
End of 2nd quarter, FSU 21 - Louisville 7
Hornibrook is back in for FSU's final drive of the half. After three quick plays, he brought the Seminoles to the Cardinals' 30-yard line with 10 seconds left to play.
After an incomplete pass, Aguayo missed a 47-yard field goal to end the half.
Halftime score: FSU - 21, Louisville - 7
2nd Quarter, 0:44: FSU 21 - Louisville 7
Louisvilles just had its most successful drive of the day: 16 plays, 66-yards with 6:22 time of possession. After converting a 4th and 8 on a gutsy fake-punt call, Louisville continued to drive down the field, with help from an 18-yard completion to Jordan Davis.
FSU nearly intercepted a batted pass on 2nd and 10 from the Seminole 13-yard line. The Cardinals continued the drive after a holding penalty brought them to FSU's six-yard line.
Louisville used their first timeout of the day, then scored right out of it on a nine-yard TD pass to Tutu Atwell.
2nd Quarter, 7:06: FSU 21 - Louisville 0
After a nine play, 40-yard drive, the Seminoles have nothing to show for it. Kicker Ricky Aguayo missed a 51-yard field goal.
Aguayo is now 3/4 on field goal attempts in 2019.
2nd Quarter, 9:53: FSU 21 - Louisville 0
Three plays later, and the Cardinals are punting again. This is the fourth Louisville punt of the first half. Additionally, the Cardinals failed to convert on a 4th down in the 1st quarter, giving them five drives on the day with zero points to show for it.
2nd Quarter, 10:52: FSU 21 - Louisville 0
Blackman got tattooed on FSU's opening play of the 2nd quarter, losing yardage on a Louisville sack. Louisville shutdown a run play on 2nd, forcing a 3rd and long for FSU. A tunnel screen for Harrison picked up six yards for FSU, not enough for a first down.
Louisville has the ball again from their own 23-yard line.
2nd Quarter, 13:00: FSU 21 - Louisville 0
Louisville started the second quarter with back-to-back rushes. On a 3rd and two, the Seminoles sniffed a run play out immediately and tackled Hall for a loss, forcing a 4th and four.
Louisville's punt went out of bounds at the FSU 24-yard line, giving the Seminoles a long way to go to the endzone.
End of 1st Quarter: FSU 21 - Louisville 0
After dropping the kickoff, Louisville started with the worst field position possible: Starting at your own one-yard line.
With such an advantageous position, the FSU defense forced a swift three and out.
After a pitiful, 31-yard punt, FSU starts its drive from the Louisville 39-yard line.
QB James Blackman is back in the game for this drive. His first play was an 11-yard slant to D.J. Matthews.
Back-to-back false starts from the FSU O-line nearly killed this drive, until the refs stepped in again. Louisville was called for pass interference on a 2nd and 19 pass that looked like a sure TD.
After an 18-yard completion to Ontaria Wilson, Akers slammed the ball into the endzone to get his second TD of the day.
Score: FSU 21- Louisville 0, end of the first quarter.
1st Quarter, 2:48: FSU 14 - Louisville 0
SOUND. THE. HORN.
Just two plays after QB Alex Hornibrook subbed in for FSU, the Seminoles scored on a 44-yard passing play. Hornibrook hit an open Keyshawn Helton on a short route, then he did all the hard work.
Score: 14-0, FSU with 2:48 left in the first.
1st Quarter, 3:13: FSU 7 - Louisville 0
Wow. FSU dodged a bullet there.
If it weren't for an illegal block in the back, the Cardinals would've hit pay dirt on a kickoff return touchdown. Instead, Louisville started their drive from the 26-yard line.
On a 3rd and three, the Cardinals easily converted with a dinky bubble route from Hassan Hall out of the backfield. Following that, FSU got its first sack of the day from Marvin Wilson.
Somehow, Louisville converted a 3rd and 14 after QB Malik Cunningham did his best Houdini impression during a 16-yard scramble. Louisville rushed the ball three times in a row, gaining only 7 along the way.
On the ensuing 4th and three, the Seminoles forced a turnover on downs after quickly getting to Cunningham.
1st Quarter, 9:11: FSU 7 - Louisville 0
After an eight play, 73-yard drive, FSU has drawn first blood.
On this drive's first play from FSU's own 27-yard line, Blackman made a nice decision to pull it on the read option, gaining 9 yards. That set up a 2nd and 1 pass play that Tre'shaun Harrison caught for a 29-yard gain (which came mostly after the catch).
A couple plays later, FSU entered the red zone for the first time today after a 17-yard rush by Tre' McKitty.
Finally, an Akers rush up the gut from the one-yard line gave FSU its first score of the day. FSU up 7-0 with 9:11 left in the first quarter.
1st Quarter, 11:30: FSU 0 - Louisville 0
Louisville's first drive didn't last long. The Seminoles forced a quick three and out after two run plays for minimal gain and an incomplete pass.
FSU takes over now from their own 27-yard line.
1st Quarter, 12:55: FSU 0 - Louisville 0
Florida State started with great field position as Louisville sent the opening kick out of bounds. On his first carry of the day, Cam Akers gained 17 yards, bringing the Seminoles across midfield.
The Seminoles went for it on 4th and 2 from the Louisville 26, but failed to convert.
The first drive had its moments, and I don't blame Willie Taggart for going for it when they were running the ball so well to start the drive.
Louisville's first drive didn't last long. The Seminoles forced a quick three and out after two run plays for minimal gain and an incomplete pass.
Louisville won the toss and deferred. Florida State will receive the first half kickoff.
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