In what might be the Game of the Day in college football on Saturday, the Florida State Seminoles take on the surging Louisville Cardinals. I told you before the season started that Louisville is going to flirt with the top 10 this season, and that Lamar Jackson is going to flourish. Thus far, both arguments have come up golden only a couple of weeks into the year. This is definitely Louisville’s Game of the Year, because if they can knock off the Seminoles, then voters are going to have to give the Cardinals a ton of respect. Because let’s be honest, the only teams Louisville have beaten is Charlotte and Syracuse.
The verdict is still out on them. Nevertheless, they did what they had to do against Charlotte and Syracuse, routing them in convincing fashion. In Week 1 they dispatched the 49ers by a score of 70-14, and then took care of Syracuse last Friday night, 62-28. While there were other teams struggling against inferior competition, Louisville was rolling them up.
This is one big day of college football action, as we get this great game early in the afternoon, and then tonight its Ohio State and Oklahoma in Norman. I want to get the day started off well, so let’s get to it and pick a winner in Louisville. A win today for the Cardinals would be their biggest win in over a decade. Their basketball program is on the map, and a win on Saturday would put their football program on the map as well.
I expect Lamar Jackson to do his thing, but in this one I think the Cards are going to need more than him. Louisville survived with him going nuts on Charlotte and Syracuse. Today they will need a boost from their defense as well. There hasn’t been many bad things to say about the defense, but Florida State will be the first dangerous offense they play in 2016. Jackson is going to throw a punch, and Deondre Francois is going to look for the haymaker on Saturday. This is a contest of the youngest and best college football quarterbacks. It’s going to be a glimpse into college football this season and the future as well. Jackson and Francois are going to be names you hear often in the coming years.
Florida State Seminoles vs Louisville Cardinals NCAAF Betting Odds:
Florida State -1(-110)
vs. Louisville +1(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Florida State vs. Louisville Pick:
There seemed to be a turning point, if you want to call it that this early in the season, during the Ole Miss game in the second-half. After getting blown away through the first two quarters of play, Florida State erased a 28-13 Ole Miss lead pretty quickly in the 3rd quarter. The end result was a 45-34 win for the Noles. In college football, every game including early matchups are important, so in a way it was a much needed win for the Seminoles. Depending on how the rest of college football shakes out, I see them having room for only 1 loss to reach the playoff. They have a small margin for error now, whereas if they lost it would have been razor thin.
Both offenses have been clicking with Jackson and Francois at the controls. If Lamar Jackson floors the Florida State Seminoles, you will start to hear his name in Heisman talks. Against Charlotte and Syracuse, Jackson totalled 697 yards passing, with 7 touchdowns and 1 interception. On the ground, Jackson ran for 319 yards, an average of 159 yards rushing. He also chipped in with an additional 6 touchdowns on his legs. Now do it against a team like Florida State, and everyone will respect what he’s done. In the other corner, Francois looked like a five-year veteran leading the offense against Ole Miss. He threw for 419 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 59 yards rushing. The storyline of this game is going to Jackson vs Francois, who in a lot of ways, are similar quarterbacks. Both are dynamic players that can make plays on their own accord.
Florida State controls their own destiny, as they are second in the country. A loss today would slide them the board. The Seminoles’ offense put up 45 points on Ole Miss, and then 52 on Charles Southern. I find it difficult to believe that either defense is going to be able to slow these offenses down. This game will come down to limiting the turnovers, which quarterback is going to play the best game. It’s hard for me to go against Francois, but it’s hard for me to go against Jackson. With that said, they should be able to steal the show and put up points on the board. This should be an entertaining game with plenty of points.
PICK: OVER 67 POINTS (-110)