FSU-Louisville Preview & Prediction

by | Sep 28, 2018 | News

Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Who am I?

Wait, this guy’s not John Cooper! Who is this idiot and what does he know about football?

I hear the questions…so Hi! I’m the new guy here. My name’s Cory, and I’m taking over the editing work for John’s posts. Hopefully, over the last week or so, you’ve noticed that John’s writing has gotten REALLY good all of a sudden. Otherwise, here’s a little about me:

My first FSU game was in utero – yeah, before I was born. My mother went to FSU, my father to Alabama. I’ve lived through Bowden, Stallings, DuBose, Franchione, Shula, Saban, and Jimbo. I was there at the ’07 game where Xavier Lee ripped ‘Bama apart (rooting for FSU, of course). I’ve been there through The Lost Decade (including the 30-0 game against Wake – I was in the stands wanting Jeff Bowden’s resignation). I’ve been there for Alabama from the days of Shaun Alexander and Andrew Zow to the formation of the Bama Dynasty. So I’ve been a fan as long as I can remember. But I’m first and always an FSU fan. I never played football, but I’m learning more about the nuts and bolts of football the longer I watch.

Can you just get to the game preview already?

Yeah, that’s about all I need to say about me, isn’t it….

The Game

FSU v. Louisville

  • Louisville, Kentucky
  • 3:30 Eastern, ESPN2
  • FSU -6.5, O/U 45.5
  • FSU: 57th F/+ (112th Offensive S&P, 17th Defensive S&P)
  • Louisville: 84th F/+ (109th Offensive S&P, 57th Devensive S&P)
  • Last Games:
    • FSU: Win vs. NIU, 37-19
    • Louisville: Loss vs. UVA, 27-3

When FSU’s on Offense

As John has written in a couple of pieces this week, we should hope to see some gains in the Jet Sweep game as well as some looks in Max Protection. Willie Taggart’s USF & Oregon teams ran jet motion often as a part of the offense, so the better we can block these up, the more dynamic the offense will be. On pass plays, look for some max protect looks, as Virginia used these to help bolster their own O-Line.

A new wrinkle in last week’s game was the introduction of plays from the Pistol formation. This look wasn’t featured previously, but it was run against NIU with good success.

Louisville has only 2 defenders who have registered more than 1 sack in their 4 games – Junior Tackle G.G. Robinson and Freshman End Jarrett Jackson, who also has a Forced Fumble to his credit. Also keep an eye on Defensive End Tabarius Peterson, who has had 3 TFL and is 2nd on the team in total tackles.

At linebacker, Freshman Nick Okeke has 16 tackles, tied for 3rd on the team, while Sophomore C.J. Avery adds 13 tackles and one of the team’s 2 INTs.

In the secondary, Senior Corner Cornelius Sturghill leads the team with 2 PBUs. Also keep on the lookout for Senior Safety Dee Smith, who leads the team in tackles.

Louisville does not force many turnovers, only having given the ball back to their offense in this manner 3 times.

When FSU’s on Defense

Louisville has started 2 Quarterbacks this season – Jawon Pass and Malik Cunningham. Cunningham has the dubious distinction of also being the Cardinals’ leading rusher with 209 yards on 43 carries, only 3 of those being sacks. He’s also been more accurate in the air than Pass, completing 64.7% of passes as compared to Pass’ 50.7%. Pass has thrown for 454 yards and 2 touchdowns; however, he has also been intercepted 5 times. Cunningham has only thrown for 198 yards and 1 touchdown, but has only thrown 1 interception. Expect to see both get substantial playing time in this game, as Bobby Petrino hasn’t yet announced a starter.

At Runningback, Dae Williams has run for 71 yards and 2 touchdowns on 22 carries. He is the only tailback to have played in all four contests this season.

Through the air, Sophomore Dez Fitzpatrick has caught 10 balls to lead the team, and trails Senior teammate Jaylen Smith by only 1 yard for the team lead, with 123 receiving yards. Sophomore Tight End Kemari Averett scored twice in the team’s kickoff game against Alabama, but has been held without a catch since.

In what could be another ugly game, Louisville has only scored 3 combined points in the first half against FBS opponents, and is only averaging 17 points per contest in total. Look for our defense to continue what they started against NIU – making a bad offense look bad.

Other Factors

Both teams are roughly equal in numbers of penalties and penalty yardage. Both punters are within a yard of each other in average punt distance. Louisville’s kicker has made all 4 Field Goals attempted, but with a career long of 48.

Score Predictions

John Cooper: 28-24 FSU.

Cory Thorpe: 27-24 FSU. Defense finally gets some turnover luck on its side and an otherwise anemic offense is helped by short fields. A late score by Louisville makes this game look closer than it was played.