The Daily Nole

FSU at Louisville: Gameday Primer

Damon Herota/FSU athletics

Second-ranked Florida State plays on the road for the first time this season as the Seminoles visit No. 10 Louisville in the first match-up of teams ranked in the AP top 10 this season. The contest kicks off at noon and will air on ABC.

The highly-anticipated match-up is headlined by the two quarterbacks. Deondre Francois has been outstanding thus far for Florida State with five touchdown passes in two games while Louisville’s Lamar Jackson has put up ungodly numbers, averaging more than 500 yards per game and 11 yards per pass attempt to go with 13 total touchdowns. Dalvin Cook, FSU’s junior running back, looks to build off a 2-touchdown effort in last week’s win over Charleston Southern.

Both teams rank in the top 15 nationally in scoring offense and both are giving up 21 points per game on defense, although the Seminoles could be without two key pieces in safety Derwin James, who will miss the game, and Josh Sweat, a defensive end who injured his knee at practice Thursday. His status is not known. Fellow defensive end DeMarcus Walker leads the nation with 4.5 sacks while for Louisville, the linebacking corps of Keith Kelsey, Devonte Fields, Stacy Thomas and James Hearns is probably the best FSU will see this season.

Quick Hits

  • Saturday’s game in Louisville is just the 13th match-up of top-10 teams since Florida State joined the ACC in 1992. Nine of those contests have featured the Seminoles.
  • As a head coach, Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher is 5-3 in contests between teams ranked in the top 10 in the AP Poll. Louisville’s Bobby Petrino is 3-3.
    FSU is 5-1 in ACC openers under head coach Jimbo Fisher. The lone loss came at Clemson in 2011 by a 35-30 score.
  • Florida State will be looking to beat two ranked teams in the first three weeks for the first time since 2005. That year, the Seminoles beat No. 9 Miami to open the year and No. 17 Boston College less than two weeks later.
  • FSU will be looking to start 3-0 for the fifth straight year. The Seminoles haven’t started 3-0 in five straight years since doing so from 1993 to 1997.

Good Times, Bad Times

All-Time Series: Florida State leads 14-2.
Good Times:Among the 14 wins over Louisville, Florida State has pitched five shutouts. The most recent was in 2000 when the Seminoles blanked Louisville, 31-0 in Tallahassee.

FSU opened the 1970 season with a 9-7 win in the closest game in the series. David Snell returned a punt 71 yards for FSU’s only touchdown. Dan Whitehurst blocked a field goal in the final minute to preserve the win.

On Oct. 30, 2014, Florida State completed what at the time was its biggest comeback in 20 years, rallying from 21 points down to beat the Cardinals. Jameis Winston passed for 401 yards and three touchdowns in the victory while Dalvin Cook, then a freshman, rushed for 110 yards and two scores, including the 38-yard touchdown with 3:46 to play that put the Seminoles ahead for good. FSU topped the Cardinals, 42-31.

Bad Times: Louisville took the first meeting between the teams in 1952, blasting the Seminoles in Tallahassee by a score of 41-14. FSU however, would win the next 12 meetings.

On a Thursday night in 2002, Louisville upset fifth-ranked Florida State in overtime, 26-20. FSU quarterback Chris Rix was intercepted on the first play of overtime by Louisville’s Anthony Floyd. On the Cardinals’ first offensive play of overtime, Henry Miller put the game away with a 25-yard touchdown run.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Here are all the TDN articles related to Florida State’s highly-anticipated ACC opener against Louisville:

FSU Football: A First Look at Louisville
Why Lamar Jackson Will Come Back Down to Earth vs. FSU
Can FSU Continue Offensive Success Against Louisville?
Preview: Top 10 Match-up Against Louisville Looms for FSU
By the Numbers: How FSU’s Fisher, Louisville’s Petrino Have Fared in Top-10 Contests
Staff Predictions for FSU-Louisville
FSU-Louisville: Five Things to Watch

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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