Louisville Routs Florida State for First ACC Win of 2020

MatthewMcGavic

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Louisville's quest for their first conference win of the season is finally complete, and it was done in spectacular fashion.

Playing their first home game in over a month, the Cardinals were able to snap their four-game losing streak behind a 48-16 blowout victory over the Florida State Seminoles to secure their first ACC victory of 2020.

Their efforts were led primarily by a spectacular performance from running back Javian Hawkins. The redshirt sophomore ran for 174 yards on just 16 carries, scoring three touchdowns in the process for the first time in his collegiate career.

The offense as a whole, who had been struggling to find their rhythm for most of the season, put up 569 yards of total offense on just 61 plays to average 9.3 yards per play.

On the other side of the ball, Louisville's secondary gave FSU quarterback Jordan Travis fits all day, as the former Louisville transfer completed just 14 of his 32 passing attempts for just 141 yards and one touchdown. While the visiting 'Noles did accumulate 406 yards of offense, they could only muster 5.0 yards per play and were just 7-18 on third down.

The Seminoles opened up the game's scoring with a 15-yard rushing touchdown from Travis, but it was the Cardinals who owned much of the first half of play. Louisville scored on their first five drives of the game, accumulating 410 yards of offense before halftime and at one point scoring 28 unanswered points.

Hawkins was responsible for Louisville's first two scores on the day, including an incredible 70-yard touchdown on the first play of Louisville's second drive where he had to flip the field.

The Cardinals also had an efficient passing attack during their 28-point first half run, as quarterback Malik Cunningham completed 12 of his 13 first half pass attempts for 233 yards. This also included 13-yard and 58-yard touchdowns to both tight end Ean Pfeifer & wide receiver Tutu Atwell, respectively.

Cunningham finished the game with 278 yards on 16 of 24 passing, and Atwell led all receivers with 129 yards - his 10th career 100-yard game.

Florida State broke Louisville's run with a 4-yard touchdown pass on the goal line to Ontaria Wilson, although the 'Noles had to go for it on fourth down to get it. A 28-yard field goal from James Turner on the next drive would make it a three-score game heading into the half.

While offense was the name of the game, the defense had some key moments in the second half that helped put the game away. After Hawkins scored his third touchdown of the day, they bent but didn't break as they denied Seminoles on a 4th down goal line stand. While they were able to sack Cunningham for a safety when Louisville took over, safety Jack Fagot secured a tip drill interception on the ensuing FSU drive.

Even in garbage time, Louisville still was able to hold their own. Backup QB Chubby Purdy, who flipped from Louisville to FSU on last year's national signing day, completed none of his nine passing attempts.

Adding insult to injury in the fourth quarter, James Turner drilled a 39-yard field goal for his second of the day, and Atwell took a 2-yard backwards throw from Jawon Pass for a score on the ground as well as through the air.

Louisville will be back in action next weekend, taking on the Virginia Tech Hokies on Halloween at Cardinal Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on the ACC Network.

(Photo of Malik Cunningham: Melina Myers/USA TODAY Sports)

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