FSU football will have their biggest game this season when they travel to Louisville Friday night.
It’s the biggest game because it’s the next game on the schedule, but they need a win to avoid undoing all of the goodwill captured from the LSU win.
I wrote three things to look for in the Louisville/UCF game Friday:
- Can Louisville stop the run at all?
- The play of Malik Cunningham
- Will Louisville lay down at the first sign of adversity?
I think we learned more about the limitations of UCF’s offense than anything else about Louisville’s defense. Once Louisville figured out UCF’s quarterback couldn’t throw the ball, that changed everything for both teams. However, despite that, UCF hurt themselves with 11 penalties for 111 yards, missed a field goal, and only had 131 passing yards. UCF averaged 5.5 yards per rush, but a lot of their production came from UCF’s QB running.
Malik Cunningham was solid overall, doing most of his damage with his legs on 17 carries for 121 yards and one touchdown. He scored on a 43-yard scamper, but he was only 14 of 29 for 201 yards through the air, with no touchdowns or interceptions.
Louisville didn’t fold at the first sign of adversity. Louisville scored a TD on their first possession, and UCF answered on their first possession. However, Louisville missed a field goal, and UCF went up 14-7, and led 14-7 at halftime before Louisville’s defense locked down UCF’s limited offense and found a way to get it done in the second half.
Overall, Louisville doesn’t look like a well-coached team through two games. They had 12 penalties for 98 yards Friday night. If UCF could have thrown the ball successfully, I’m not sure Louisville would have had an answer. Offensively, Louisville doesn’t have the wide receivers they had last year, and the only running threat aside from the QB is Tiyon Evans. It feels like if teams can keep Cunningham in the pocket and make him beat you with his arm, they don’t have the receivers that can consistently do that this year. FSU’s offense has developed enough of a passing attack that they should be able to score on this Louisville defense.