One of the premier games in college football this weekend features an ACC clash between the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles and No. 10 Louisville Cardinals. The Seminoles will travel to Louisville, Kentucky, looking to push their record to 3-0 following a 45-34 victory over the Ole Miss Rebels to start the season and a 52-8 win over Charleston Southern last week.
The Cardinals will also enter the game looking to reach the 3-0 mark after they defeated the Charlotte 49ers 70-14 to open the year and followed it up with a 62-28 dismantling of the Syracuse Orange last week. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is averaging 348.5 passing yards and 159 rushing yards through two games with 13 total touchdowns scored.
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) September 16, 2016
This colossal matchup will go a long way in determining which ACC team will have the best opportunity to reach the College Football Playoff. In addition to Florida State and Lousiville, only Clemson seems to have a legitimate shot of contending for the National Championship out of the ACC.
Here are five reasons why I believe the Florida State Seminoles will defeat the Louisville Cardinals on the road this weekend.
1. Dalvin Cook
Cook is a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and is one of the best backs in all of college football, along with Christian McCaffrey and Leonard Fournette. Although he’s gotten off to a bit of a slow start this season, Cook has a tendency to play his best in big games, and there won’t be many bigger games this year for the Seminoles than this one.
2. Speed On Defense
The biggest reasons for Jackson’s big numbers this have been his speed and elusiveness. While that may be enough to dominate defenses like Charlotte and Syracuse, the Seminoles will produce a much more difficult task for Jackson. Despite the absence of safety Derwin James, Florida State is still loaded with pro prospects on its defense, which will create problems for Jackson.
3. Jimbo Fisher
Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops has earned the nickname “Big Game Bob” for all of his victories in important games throughout his career, but one could argue that Jimbo Fisher has been just as impressive over a shorter period of time. In Fisher’s seven seasons, the Seminoles are 70-14 and haven’t finished a season ranked lower than 23rd in the AP poll. Fisher has also led Florida State to four straight New Year’s Six Bowls.
4. Playmakers At Wide Receiver
Kermit Whitfield, Travis Rudolph, and Jesus Wilson combined for 18 receptions, 260 yards, and two touchdowns in Florida State’s victory over Louisville in 2015. Those three guys are back again this year and have a better quarterback throwing them the ball in Deondre Francois as opposed to Everett Golson who largely struggled last season. That being said, Golson threw for 372 yards, three touchdowns, and zero interceptions against the Cardinals in 2015.
5. Deondre Francois
How did the ACC end up with perhaps the best QB group in the country? Wins over the SEC in recruiting, to start. https://t.co/JtyKN3NQfI
— Andrea Adelson (@aadelsonESPN) September 14, 2016
In a previous Inquisitr report titled “Florida State Seminoles: 5 Reasons Why Deondre Francois Will Win Heisman,” there were several reasons given as to why this redshirt freshman quarterback has a shot to win the Heisman Trophy in 2016. I won’t ruin the piece for you before you get a chance to read it, but it does speak to the ceiling of Francois’ talent.
Through two games in 2016, Francois is completing a whopping 69 percent of his throws and averaging 340.5 yards passing per game and throwing five touchdowns. The dual-threat quarterback has done most of his damage from the pocket, but I expect him to use his legs more against the Cardinals.
If you don’t have anything to do on Saturday at 12 p.m. ET, find a television and watch Florida State and Louisville duke it out in what should one of the most exciting games of the weekend.
[Featured Image by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]