BOZICH & CRAWFORD | Louisville 35, Florida State 14, halftime thoughts
Eric Crawford and Rick Bozich weigh in with a few halftime thoughts, with No. 10 Louisville leading No. 2 Florida State 35-10.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It’s halftime at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Time for some observations.
First, the obvious disclaimer. Anyone who wants to draw any final conclusions hasn’t watched Florida State for very long. They are Houdini-esque. But today, they trail Louisville 35-10 at halftime. Today, Batman is on strapped to the lumber saw and inching toward it, and escape may be more difficult than ever.
The Cardinals have been virtually unstoppable. If you wondered how Lamar Jackson would fare against one of college football’s top rated teams, you can stop. He has rushed for 94 yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries -- and those stats also absorb a couple of stats.
He has remained the Greatest Show on Turf in the first half, but against this team, the second-half is key.
Some thoughts from Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford.
ERIC CRAWFORD: It’s gone about as well as Louisville could’ve hoped, and maybe a little better. First, Jackson looks fast even against FSU. For that matter, so does Brandon Radcliff, who I thought might be ready to break out a big game, and he has. He’s carried 9 times for 76 yards.
Louisville’s defense has given up a little, but has won the third-down battle and made some big plays, especially a second-quarter fumble recovery that helped spark Louisville to building the margin we see at halftime.
Florida State, of course, is a massive second-half team. But I’ll be surprised if we see a second-half letdown from Louisville.
A lot of Louisville’s players, especially on defense, have been stinging since last year’s second-half meltdown in Tallahassee. A lot of the work they’ve done in the offseason, and all through preseason camp, has been geared toward playing well in the half of football that is about to be played.
The first series is huge. Florida State gets the ball. Expect a lot of good Jimbo Fisher adjustments.
Keys for Louisville will be to take care of the ball, and to keep running it. They’ve run for 195 yards in the first half against Florida State.
RICK BOZICH: The Heisman Trophy ceremony has been set for 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Downtown Athletic Club in downtown Manhattan.
My advice to the guy in New York City: Reserve at least one seat for University of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson
All he did in the first 30 minutes against Florida State Saturday was lead Louisville to four touchdowns, running for three and passing for another.
He pushed the Cardinals to a 35-10 lead as U of L outgained the visitors, 375-142.
“We were really in good shape, 14-10, and we gave up a long pass,” FSU coach Jimbo Fisher told ESPN’s Samantha Ponder before running to the locker room at halftime.
“We lost our poise a little bit. We’ve got to regroup and come back in the second half … We had some shots early open. We just didn’t protect.”
No typo. The Cards have outscored Charlotte, Syracuse and Florida State, 126-31 in the first half of three games this season.
Yes, Bobby Petrino’s team will have to maintain the pace. They led FSU, 7-6, at halftime last season — and lost by 20. The Cards led FSU, 21-7, in Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium — and lost by 11.
If this season is as indeed as different as it appears to be, the Cardinals will play the final 30 minutes with as much sass and determination as they played the first 30.
Florida State looks confused — and injured. Louisville looks focused and as crisp on defense as the Cards are on offense. This was domination.
Starting fast has not been an issue for Bobby Petrino’s Louisville football team.
Not while the Cards won their first two games this season. Not when the Cards have played Florida State during their first two seasons in the ACC.
Louisville needed 2 minutes and 57 seconds to score against Charlotte. The Cards blew past Syracuse to score in 16 seconds.
What would it be against Florida State?
Easier than it was against Charlotte, if you can believe that — and if you have been watching Lamar Jackson play this season you can.
Don’t look away. Louisville needed only six plays to dance 75 yards against the FSU defense, propelled by a 30-yard run by Brandon Radcliff as well as a 32-yard pass to Jaylen Smith.
They didn’t let up. The Cards turned seven first-half possessions into five touchdowns, one punt and one missed field goal.
For Florida State, the only good news is the Seminoles will get the ball to start the second half.
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