Cardinal Football

Florida State 35 – Louisville 24: Cards Claw Back But Can’t Close

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The nonconference season is over and ACC play has begun as the Cards faced Florida State.

And while the Cards scored 24 straight points in a valiant comeback effort, they ultimately came up short again the Seminoles 35-24.

The Florida State game has traditionally been a pivotal matchup in Louisville’s season. Last year’s loss in the closing minutes was one of the first indications that something might seriously be wrong here. And who can forget the historic 2016 contest when Lamar Jackson and the Cards stomped the Seminoles worse than they had ever been stomped before.

This season’s Florida State team has been struggling mightily. They were 1-2 on the season with their lone win being a miracle unto itself. It’s widely believed that FSU head coach Willie Taggartt may very well be coaching for his job.

With Jawon Pass still injured, Satterfield started Malik Cunningham for the second game in a row.

Things did not start very well for the Cards. Florida State scored three touchdowns in the first quarter alone.

Louisville’s defense was able to stop the Seminoles for the rest of the half, but their offense couldn’t respond until the last minute of the second quarter on a nine-yard touchdown pass to Tutu Atwell. Atwell caught three touchdown passes last week against Western Kentucky, but had dropped a few passes in the first half of this game.

FSU drove down the field and got within field goal range in the closing seconds of the half, but missed their second field goal of the game and  the halftime score stayed 21-7.

The Seminoles had been outscored in the second half 69-24 going into this game, so Louisville was looking to turn the tables in the final two quarters.

And turntables did turntable as the Cards scored the first points of the second half on a Blanton Creque field goal. They scored again of a four-yard run by Cunningham in the closing minutes of the third quarter to get within four points of the Seminoles.

Louisville gained their first lead of the game in the opening minute of the fourth quarter on a 74-yard pass to Dez Fitzpatrick to go up 24-21.

The Cards weren’t out of the woods yet, however. Cunningham threw a red zone interception that allowed FSU to drive down the field and regain the lead on a 60-yard touchdown pass with seven minutes left to go in the game.

The Seminoles scored another touchdown with 90 seconds left to put the game away.

Cunningham completed 16 of his 26 passes for 286 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed a touchdown.

Hassan Hall was the Card’s leading rusher, gaining 57 yards on 11 carries.

Den Fitzpatrick caught 7 passes for 133 yards and a touchdowns to lead the team. Tutu Atwell also caught a touchdown pass.

Louisville falls to 2-2 on the season (0-1 ACC). Florida State moves to 2-2 for the year (1-1 ACC).

There’s still plenty of games left in the year, but conference wins may be hard to come by and the Cards may struggle to get bowl eligible.

Louisville returns home to continue ACC play against Boston College on October 5. 

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