A new week, yet the same fate for the ‘Noles as Florida State falls to 0-4 for the first time since 1974.
Once again, Florida State players and fans fell victim to an upsetting Saturday. Although many of you may have not expected anything more than the poor result the ‘Noles were gifted at home. Saturday’s matchup in Doak Campbell Stadium ended with Louisville (3-1, 1-0 ACC) beating Florida State (0-4, 0-2 ACC) 31-23 . The ‘Noles continue to draw a blank in the win column.
Florida State’s defense looked locked in to start the game after Louisville was left with a 3rd and 9 on their first drive. However, the good start was quickly gone after the Cardinals converted on a 10 yard reception. Louisville followed that play with a 59 yard touchdown pass from Malik Cunningham to a wide open Cardinal receiver deep in the middle of the field.
With McKenzie Milton at the helm of the Seminole offense, the ‘Noles followed the Cardinal score with a 3 and out, which seemed to be the story of nearly the entire first half for Florida State. Much like the last two games, the ‘Noles struggled greatly with offensive play calling and consistency in the first half.
After a 53 yard punt from the FSU 12-yard line, Louisville took over from their own 45, nearly in striking distance. Florida State’s defense had multiple chances to get off the field, however the Cardinals converted on two 3rd downs during their second drive, and ended up coming away with a 44 yard field goal by James Turner.
The ‘Noles offense looked like they might be able to get something going after a 15 yard completion by McKenzie Milton to Malik McClain on a 3rd and 9. Yet, the drive was stopped short once again after a pass to an open Camren McDonald was overthrown by McKenzie Milton.
Louisville took over up 10-0 and nearing FSU territory once again. The defense needed to step up for Florida State, but, as I’m sure you could assume, that did not happen. The Cardinals were again able to convert on two 3rd downs and the Seminoles could not get off the field. Malik Cunningham capped off the 10 play, 51 yard drive with a 4 yard touchdown rush. Florida State now trailed 17-0 with 3:35 left in the 1st quarter.
Head Coach Mike Norvell needed to do something to get the offense going on this drive, or the game could already be too far gone. He did just that after a good looking drive for the ‘Noles. A 22 yard completion to Camren McDonald, aided by an extra 15 yards after a personal foul by the Cardinals, put Florida State on their opponents’ side of the field for the first time. The Seminoles were able to capitalize on the big play as Treshaun Ward scored on a 20 yard run that had a beautiful play design.
However, Louisville responded with a score of their own on a long 15 play, 82 yard drive that lasted 6:43.
After being on the field for nearly seven minutes, the Seminole defense needed a break. But the offense did not come through as the ensuing drive was a three and out and Louisville took back over at their own 34.
Shocking to nobody, Louisville took that drive and capitalized with another score after a 21 yard touchdown pass from Malik Cunningham to Jordan Watkins. Leaving just under two minutes for Florida State’s offense to score.
The offense was able to get something going and end the drive with a 23 yard touchdown pass from McKenzie Milton to Andrew Parchment. Ending the half down 31-13 after a missed extra point by Ryan Fitzgerald.
However, the ‘Noles did not give up and came out of the break with a huge 75 yard touchdown run by Jashaun Corbin on just the second play of the half. Florida State was back within two possessions and seemingly with a little bit of momentum.
The defense was able to finally find its footing in the second half as they did not allow a single score. An extremely impressive turnaround after the beating they took in the first half. All of a sudden, Florida State found themselves in position to tie the game with 1:51 left to go. Unfortunately for the ‘Noles, the offense couldn’t seem to make enough plays to complete the comeback and the game was over after a McKenzie Milton interception.
Florida State remains winless on the season and it looks like it will continue to be a long rest of the year.