College Football Saturday: Two young Florida State teams host Louisville today in Tallahassee. – Sports Talk Florida
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) – Louisville coach Scott Satterfield still has modest steps to take as he rebuilds the Cardinals’ football schedule after an emotional win over UCF last week.
One would be to win back-to-back matches against an FBS team for the first time since Satterfield’s first season in 2019.
Mike Norvell of Florida State would simply settle for a win.
They are two of the youngest teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Louisville (2-1, 0-0) after a 42-35 win over UCF, looks to build on its momentum when the teams meet on Saturday; Florida State (0-3, 0-1) is looking to recover from a disappointing start.
The Seminoles made six turnovers and were penalized seven times in a 35-14 loss to Wake Forest, falling to 0-3 for the first time since the late Bobby Bowden’s first season in 1976.
“We have to go through some painful times,” said Norvell. ” It’s a challenge. We are a young team. We have guys who are placed in positions where, with all the right intentions, are learning tough, tough lessons that they haven’t gone through. And for us, we cannot let the pain of some of our failures go to waste.
“We have to learn the lessons and we have to apply the lessons. “
Florida State has 23 true or redshirt freshmen among the 54 players in its offensive and defensive depth chart. This represents 42.6% of the players in rotation, and that does not take into account the freshmen in the red shirts who are kickers, gamblers or returlers.
Louisville has 70 freshmen and 13 sophomores on its roster of 115 players (72% are underclass students). But the Cardinals have a leader in quarterback Malik Cunningham, who has completed 61.2 percent of his passes and has six rushing touchdowns in three games. Cunningham is just one behind the FBS leaders in rushed touchdowns.
“He’s obviously a great runner, and he just puts a lot of pressure on the defenses,” Satterfield said. “We will see as the season progresses if we can use it in this racing game. I also don’t want him to execute it sometimes. He is not a running back. He’s a quarterback. We want to take advantage of it when it presents itself.
A few other things to know when the state of Florida welcomes Louisville:
SACK’S RETURN FROM ATTACK
Florida State had just nine sacks in nine games in 2020 but has already racked up 12 sacks this fall. The Seminoles revitalized the pass rush in large part thanks to transfers like Jermaine Johnson, a former Georgia defensive end who has 28 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and five sacks.
Louisville tight end Marshon Ford caught eight passes for a career-high 100 yards against UCF. Ford is the Cardinals’ first tight end to reach the 100-yard mark since Cole Hikutini in 2016.
SOLD OUT IN FRONT
Florida State has played three different offensive starting lineups in three games. But tackle Robert Scott and center Maurice Smith have practiced, and Norvell said “the trend is in the right direction” that the Seminoles will have the returning linemen for the Louisville game.
MISTAKES ADD ON
Sometimes the statistics can be misleading. But not for the Seminoles. Florida State’s mistakes add up and contribute to its early season struggles. The Seminoles lead the FBS in turnovers (10) and are 118th on penalties with 27 (for 233 yards).
Louisville averages 165 yards on the ground – combining offensive and defensive states. The Cardinals give up almost as many rushing yards (162) as they produce in their rushing attack (168).
More AP College Football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25. Sign up for the AP College Football Newsletter: https://apnews.com/cfbtop25