The fist big matchup of the season in College Football will put the No. 2 ranked Florida State Seminoles against No. 10 ranked Louisville Cardinals. This is CFB at it’s finest here. The Seminoles are looking to solidify their position as one of College Football’s best teams and the Cardinals are on a mission to prove there is more to the school than basketball.
Let’s throw the rankings out the window for a moment and focus on the players at hand. The Seminoles will throw freshmen QB, Deondre Francois and his 681 yards and 5 TDs against the Cardinals to face a pass defense that has given up 227 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. The Cardinals allow 84 yards per game on the ground and will look to put the clamps on Dalvin Cook and the Seminoles ground attack.
If there is one weakness the Seminoles have it’s on the defensive side but most damages was due to their season-opening win against Mississippi. The Noles must contain Lamar Jackson and Brandon Radcliff if they are to keep their playoff hopes alive. If Francios, Cook, and Travis Rudolph can somehow get a rhythm going early they will force the Cardinals to abandon the run and make Jackson beat them with his arm.
The Cardinals are more than a one-man team as they will throw a heavy dose of Radcliff and Jamari Staples but the defense is what may cause the issues for the Noles. The Cardinals, if they can stop Cook it will force Francois to air it out. He has the arm and smarts to get it done but that secondary of the Cardinals is not to be taken lightly. If Chucky Williams can manage to get into the backfield and disrupt the Noles plans this could be a long game for Jimbo Fischer and Co.
The Noles will counter with a defense that despite giving up heavy yardage has a bend but don’t break philosophy. If Jackson is expecting a cake walk, he better think again. The Noles are sack masters, with Brian Burns and DeMarcus Walker, combined they have 6.5 between them. The Noles will score quick and plenty which will force their opposition to air it. When doing so it will set the stage for the secondary to make a play. Derwin James should blanket Staples hoping to at least shut down one side of the field and take away an important part of the offense.
If the Noles can contain Jackson and make him one-dimensional they have a shot at silencing the doubters concerning their ranking. If the Cardinals can manage to stay in the face of Francois that have a great chance of positioning themselves for later down the road. This will be a battle of wills but in my honest opinion, I see the Noles coming out on top.