Coming into Thursday’s game with the Louisville Cardinals, Florida State is tabbed as a 3.5 favorite on the road. It seems that every big game for the Seminoles has come with controversy in 2014. This week, the hoopla was over whether running back Karlos Williams would be suspended. According to Sportsline.com, Jimbo Fisher and the Seminoles have already stated that he would be playing in the game.
Everybody knows about Florida State and the nation’s leading winning streak at 23 games. However, there’s been very little fanfare for the Louisville Cardinals in their first season of ACC play. Part of the reason is that Louisville already lost a pair of tough games by a combined eight points. Louisville is two possessions away from being a top 5 team.
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While the media may have not been giving Louisville a lot of credit, the college football playoff committee is well aware of their accomplishments. The Seminoles came in at No.2, and it was understood that Florida State would be close to the top, but Louisville dropped in at No.25. It was perfect timing for Thursday night’s match up.
Bobby Petrino is known for his offensive prowess, but it’s been the defense that has carried the Louisville Cardinals this season. For a Florida State offense that has struggled to run the ball this season, facing the No.1 rushing defense is not the remedy to cure the ground game. However, the Seminoles can’t become a one dimensional passing team either. Louisville boasts the 10th best pass defense, only giving up 177 yards per game. Those numbers make Louisville the best defense in the country.
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In both of Louisville’s losses, they only gave up 23 points. If Louisville completes the upset, it’s likely that the game will be played under 30 points. The Cardinals have only reached 30 points twice in ACC play. The only game that Florida State didn’t reach the 30 point mark was in the Clemson game when Jameis Winston didn’t play. Otherwise, the Seminoles have been pretty good in the scoring department.
There will be great receiving match ups in this game with the return of Devante Parker from a foot injury. Parker will try to prove he is every bit the equal of Rashad Greene. Still, it could be the other receivers that have to make winning plays if the stars get taken away.
The prevailing thought is that Florida State can’t afford to lose a game and make the college football playoffs. It’s tough to say that when the season hasn’t played out, but there seems like there would be a ground swell for other teams to make the postseason playoffs.