BOZICH | Three-touchdown hole no problem as Florida State pops L - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Three-touchdown hole no problem as Florida State pops Louisville, 42-31

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Louisville halfback Michael Dyer scored three touchdowns against Florida State. Louisville halfback Michael Dyer scored three touchdowns against Florida State.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Three-and-out on Florida State's 42-31, rousing comeback victory from a three-touchdown hole to beat Louisville Thursday night at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium:

1. They went at it for 60 minutes, back-and-forth, up-and-down, in-and-out, pound, pound, pound. Nobody was willing to flinch.

Florida State, ranked second, was determined to show that it absolutely belongs in the group of four teams that will be invited to the first college football playoff. Some critics are skeptical of FSU. This looked like the Seminoles last difficult game and opportunity change a few minds.

Louisville was driven just as relentlessly to prove that the Cardinals could beat a top-five team, something many believed the Cards were capable of before this season began.

There was another motivator: The Cards (6-3) wanted to show they're a remarkably different team now that receiver DeVante Parker and halfback Michael Dyer have gotten well and been plugged into Bobby Petrino's offense.

In the beginning it was all Louisville. The Cards sprinted to a 21-0 lead – and that was after they were stopped on their first series after charging to the FSU 1-yard line.

"Along the sidelines we really thought we were going to win," U of L defensive back Charles Gaines said.

Then it was all Seminoles. Inspired by a touchdown they scored on their final series of the first half, the Seminoles scored three more touchdowns in the next 20 minutes. That gave Florida State 28 points, which is more points that any team had scored on Louisville this season.

They were not finished. Not at all. FSU finished with 574 yards, 374 in the second half, and beat the Cardinals with 35 points in the second half, 21 in the fourth quarter. FSU gained more yards in the second half than Louisville had allowed in an entire game this season.

In the end the Cards were beaten by Florida State's talented freshman class -- a quarterback Jameis Winston. Three FSU true freshmen scored four touchdowns. The go-ahead score came from  Dalvin Cook, listed as the third-team halfback on the FSU depth chart. He rolled 38 yards off right tackle with 3:46 to play to put the visitors ahead, 35-31.

They added a knockout score 95 seconds later on a 35-yard pass from Winston to Freddie Stevenson.

Despite the marvelous play of Parker, eight catches for 214 yards, and Dyer, 134 yards rushing and three touchdowns, Louisville could not score enough points to match the FSU offensive machine.

"That was a tough loss," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. "We got ahead of them. We had a lot of opportunities. You have to give Florida State a lot of credit for them being able to make plays when the pressure was on.

"It's still a situation where we're working to get better ... we just couldn't score enough points to win the game."

2. Prior to their second-half meltdown, the Louisville defense continued its ball-hawking streak. The Cards have intercepted at least one pass in all nine games this season, 18 total. The Cards intercepted three balls thrown by Winston, winner of the 2013 Heisman Trophy.

Linebacker James Burgess Jr. made the first pick, his third of the season, at the Louisville 49 in the second quarter. Not bad for a guy whose name was misspelled – Bugress – on the high-tech gray jerseys Louisville wore against FSU.

Then it was time for safety Gerod Holliman. His pick, also in the second quarter, was his ninth. Holliman was not finished. He also intercepted Winston's first pass of the second half – although he fumbled the back to the Seminoles after Winston poked it away from him.

The only other player who has more than five interceptions is Senquez Golson of Ole Miss. Holliman did not intercept any passes while playing in 14 games as a freshman and sophomore.

But the play Holliman will likely remember from this game was an interception on a tipped ball that he dropped near midfield early in the fourth quarter. One play later Winston delivered a 47-yard touchdown strike to freshman Ermon Lane. That put the Seminoles ahead, 28-24.

3. College football does not rank high on the things to do list in New England, but Louisville heads to Chestnut Hill, Mass., to play Boston College Nov. 8. It will be Louisville's final Atlantic Coast Conference game before the Cardinals close the season against Notre Dame and Kentucky. Louisville is 4-3 in league play.

How good is Boston College?

The Eagles can become bowl eligible by defeating Virginia Tech this weekend. They have a home win over Southern California and a road win over North Carolina State.

But BC has scheduled wisely, beating Main and UMass. The Eagles have also been beaten at home three times, once by Pittsburgh. Louisville cannot let the Florida State loss linger.

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