Another Saturday, another loss for Florida State (0-4, 0-2 ACC), this time at the hands of Louisville (3-1, 1-0 ACC). The Cardinals got off to a quick start and, despite some resistance from the Seminoles in the second half, pulled out a 31-23 win inside of Doak Campbell Stadium.
FSU will remain winless through the month of September, starting 0-4 for the first time since 1974. That was 47 long years ago. At this point, the college football season is starting to blend together for most Seminole fans.
I provide my weekly three thoughts on Florida State below.
1. Florida State still has some fight left
This game got off to a pretty tough start for Florida State. The Seminoles trailed 17-0 at the end of the first quarter and 31-7 with a few minutes remaining in the opening half. Once again, you were sitting there thinking that this team would fold and this game was already over.
Instead, we saw FSU show some fight for the first time since its comeback against Notre Dame. The two-minute offense went right down the field as the half came to a close. McKenzie Milton found Andrew Parchment in traffic for a 23-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 31-13 at the break.
The 'Noles got the ball to start the third quarter and struck quickly as Jashaun Corbin went up the middle for 75-yards on the second play of the drive. The defense came back with a strong effort, holding Louisville scoreless throughout the second half.
Unfortunately, it just didn't end up being enough. FSU had a chance to tie the game on the last drive of regulation but Milton was intercepted on a deep throw to Parchment. From there, Louisville was able to kneel this one out.
2. The passing defense continues to disappoint
Through four games, there's been one common denominator that we've seen from the defense in each match-up. The passing defense gets consistently torched by the opposition.
Saturday was no different as Malik Cunningham routinely found open receivers over the middle and deep down the field. Cunningham finished the game 25/39 for 264 passing yards and a season-high two touchdown passes.
The first two plays of the day basically echoed how Florida State's defense has performed up to this point. On third down, with a chance to get off the field on the first drive of the game, defensive back Jarvis Brownlee was burned over the middle for a first down. On the next play, Meiko Dotson surrendered a 56-yard touchdown to Tyler Harrell.
Louisville would go on to convert eight of ten times on third down in the first half with the majority of those conversions coming through the air.
3. There's still a lot of time remaining in the 2021 season
I know, Florida State is 0-4 and it feels like it's past the time to start panicking. However, it's important to remember that we've still got two-thirds of the season remaining. It's certainly possible that this team has already written its identity and is what it is but there is a lot of time left to change things.
It HAS to start next week with a mediocre Syracuse coming into Tallahassee. The Orange are one of the worst teams in the ACC and present an opportunity to begin righting the ship. However, If FSU drops to 0-5 with a road trip to North Carolina on the docket, this season could truly go off the rails, more so than it already has.
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