FSU football suffered its worst defeat in history against Louisville on September 17. What would happen if the two teams squared off right now?
It’s a great question right? The two teams appeared to go in opposite directions as the season went on.
The ‘Noles went on to win their last five games of the season, including an upset win over No. 6 Michigan in the Orange Bowl.
Louisville lost heir last three games including a 20 point loss against LSU in the Citrus Bowl.
If you’ll recall there was a modest uproar when FSU football was chosen over Louisville for the Orange Bowl selection. It looks like the committee made the right decision after all.
LSU’s defense dominated Louisville, holding them to 220 yards while sacking Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson eight times. There’s no telling what Michigan’s defense would have done.
In hindsight, there were a lot of factors that contributed to that embarrassing FSU loss to Louisville (on my birthday nonetheless).
- First game without Derwin James
- First true road game
- Was third game in less than two weeks
- Josh Sweat and Derrick Nnadi were not 100 percent
- FSU defense has little to no experience at key positions
Those all sound like excuses, but they were real factors. There’s no question Louisville was the better team on THAT day. They destroyed FSU and I give them full credit, but I wonder what would happen if they played today?
That defense that played in September is not the same defense that took the field last week against Michigan. That FSU offense isn’t the same offense that took the field the third game of the season.
In fact, FSU finished the season with the No. 2 rated offense in the nation according to S&P + metrics. The FSU defense finished No. 10 in the nation.
It’s hard to fathom that they were No. 77 in the nation just a few weeks ago.
Louisville finished the season with the No. 10 offense and the No. 19 defense according to the same metric. However, FSU played the tougher schedule of the two teams.
FSU closed as a slight favorite on the road against Louisville in September. Would they be the favorite again despite the 43 point loss earlier in the season based on how the two teams finished the season?
I think so and for good reason. The FSU defense that played Michigan and even Clemson probably bottles up Lamar Jackson a bit better, similar to how FSU did in 2015.
The current FSU offense would certainly score more than 17 points. At the very least the game would be a pick’em in my opinion.
How would you see this matchup playing out if the two teams played today?