It was supposed to be the game of the weekend. Florida State vs. Louisville. Deondre Francois vs. Lamar Jackson . Jimbo Fisher vs. Bobby Petrino. The early season battle for ACC supremacy.
The truth: I expected Louisville to win this game, seeing as it was at home and they would have the crowd behind them.
The lie: I expected the Cardinals to win by 43 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I watched the game all the way up until a little after the midway point in the third quarter – the score was 49-10 when I changed the channel – and from everything I saw (in the actual game and the highlights), Louisville dominated right from the get-go and never let their foot off the gas pedal. They gave FSU so much more than they could handle, both on the offensive side of the ball and defensively. When the final score came out to 63-20, there was only one thing that popped into my head:
Is FSU really not a good football team, or does Louisville have something special going on this year?
One could seemingly argue either to be true, depending on their perspective. I’ll try to be fair and look at both sides, as well as give my own take as to what I believe is the answer to this question.
Side One: FSU is bad.
Saturday’s loss is not the fault of redshirt freshman quarterback Deondre Francois. Instead, it fall on.. well, just about EVERYONE ELSE.
The offensive line gave him no time to set up and make effective throws. Dalvin Cook literally did nothing to relieve the pressure on Francois, and really hasn’t gotten it going this year the way he has in years past is somewhat concerning. And I understand stud sophomore safety Derwin James was a major loss heading into this game, but one player doesn’t make the difference when your team loses by 43 points. The fact that Famous Jameis wasn’t there to make an impassioned halftime speech is just the icing on the cake.
Jimbo Fisher is an excellent head coach, but he is going to need more out of everyone besides his QB if he expects to win games like this.
Side Two: Louisville is just that good.
There have always been duel-threat QB’s across college football, but perhaps there has never been anyone quite as athletic at the position as Lamar Jackson (relative to his size). On top of the arm, he has the moves of a running back and the vertical of a top-flight wide receiver. If you don’t believe me, just look at Michael Vick’s Twitter account.
However, this Cardinals team is more than just Jackson. They have a plethora of good running backs and receivers who can make plays in the open field, which makes Jackson’s job so much easier. Additionally, this is a stellar defense that is capable of making major plays on a consistent basis, led by stellar linebacker Devonte Fields. They were in Florida State’s backfield all day long, and limited what has the potential to be a really good offense to just 20 points.
Plus, Bobby Petrino is a really good coach… you know, when he isn’t getting into motorcycle accidents with his mistress.
The Truth: In reality, it’s my belief that the biggest factor in this game’s outcome is……..
Louisville is just that good.
This Florida State team just beat a very good Ole Miss team 2 weeks ago (and I don’t care if Ole Miss is 1-2 – they gave Alabama an incredible game).They are loaded with top-end recruits across all recruiting classes – that can’t just mean nothing, right?
Plus, there’s something different about Lamar Jackson. I understand we’ve seen the likes of Cam Newton and Braxton Miller dominate the college game with their duel-threat capabilities, but there has never been anyone who you could call flat-out unstoppable. 18 total TDs in his first three games is absolutely incredible, and if he continues at this pace, he’s going to run away with the Heisman trophy.
Watch out CFB Playoff: Louisville is here, and they’re coming for you.
Cover Photo via YouTube