The Florida State Seminoles are set to do battle with the Louisville Cardinals this Saturday. Both Teams come into the contest in a position neither thought they would be in.
The Noles come into the game at just 2-3, while the Cardinals, off an OT loss at home, are 4-3. And, what many thought pre-season would be 3:30 or 8 o clock a fight for to clash with Clemson for the Atlantic Division Championship is now a noon survival game.
Last season, when these teams met, Lamar Jackson was already on the Heisman radar with highlights, but when it was over, it made him the runaway front-runner. Florida State was banged up after just two weeks, it didn’t bring the A-game energy out of the locker-room, and Jackson ran for four scores and threw for another, as Louisville showed up big in a 63-20 dominating performance.
This season is a different story.
Sure Derwin James is back for FSU on defense, and Lamar Jackson’s numbers are still impressive, but the team results haven’t been there. Jackson has done everything in his power to carry his team with 26 combined TDs in seven games, but after getting outscored by Boston College in a shootout, the Cards are now desperate for a win.
The Noles haven’t been able to get the ball rolling either. Starting vs. Alabama can do that, but losing your best offensive player doesn’t help either. The Seminole offense is struggling without QB Deondre Francois, the defense also hasn’t been as good as expected or as it needs to be, and it’s been a rough run in a 2-3 start.
What looked to be a mini Playoff game a few months ago is now by default, an elimination game for the ACC Division Crown. On top of that, it also seems to be a game where the loser may have an outside chance to miss out on a bowl game.
Different season, indeed.