No. 2 FSU Football plays at No. 10 Louisville on Saturday afternoon. Let’s all just buckle in.
It could be one of the college football season’s greatest games, pitting star Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson against an athletic Seminoles defense. On the other side of the ball, Florida State has elite running back Dalvin Cook to stress the Louisville defense in what could turn out to be quite the ACC back-and-forth.
This is the first ACC game for Florida State and the second for Louisville. The Noles got a big win against Ole Miss in Week 1 and cruised past undermanned FCS Charleston Southern in Week 2. Louisville destroyed Charlotte in its opener and then beat Syracuse, with Jackson playing a starring role in both games.
Neither team has looked stoppable so far, but someone’s about to be a measly 2-1. The winner has an inside track on the ACC Atlantic, though both still have dates against dangerous but struggling Clemson.
Some pregame reading: Jackson has emerged as a serious Heisman candidate, which surprises a lot of us but not people who’ve known him a long time. Bill Connelly’s got three keys to the game, and Louisville’s going all out to honor Muhammad Ali. This is going to be a great afternoon of football.
How to watch, FSU Football stream and listen
TV: Noon ET, ESPN.
Radio: FSU and Louisville
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Florida State opened as a 4.5-point favorite.
Make friends: Noles fans, check out SB Nation’s Tomahawk Nation. Louisville folks, here’s Card Chronicle.
Live Stream: College Football Live Stream Free
Three big things to know
1. Florida State has to replace Derwin James. The Noles’ All-American candidate safety is a jack of all trades in the defensive backfield, but he’s out for more than a month after undergoing meniscus surgery. Fellow sophomore A.J. Westbrook sits behind James on FSU’s two-deep and should see an expanded role. Everyone on Florida State’s depth chart has talent, but nobody else is James. He’s a significant loss.
2. What can FSU do about Lamar? Jackson has been the deadliest running quarterback in the country through two weeks, but Florida State’s had recent success against mobile signal-callers. Ole Miss’ Chad Kelly is a strong runner, but Florida State mostly took his legs out of the game when it played the Rebels two weeks ago. One key for FSU? Defensive ends DeMarcus Walker and Josh Sweat can’t pass rush themselves out of position and leave open edge running lanes.
3. Louisville’s going to be rocking. This is a home game for the Cardinals, with shiny chrome helmets and all. It’s easily the program’s biggest game in Bobby Petrino’s second stint at the school, which started in 2014. Cardinal Stadium will be bumping, and this will be as true a road game as any team plays all year. Someone’s going to get a marquee victory.
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