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Tuesday Evening Cardinal News And Notes

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Will Gardner jerseys and pumpkin naps: that's how Carson Osborn tailgates.

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I_medium Spread Check: Florida State by 3.5.

I_medium The Karlos Williams saga continues to get weirder and more disturbing down in Tallahassee.

As mentioned yesterday, Williams -- FSU's starting running back -- is being investigated for an alleged domestic battery. Hours after Florida State's emotional victory over Notre Dame on Oct. 24, Williams' pregnant girlfriend posted the following on Facebook:

The attorney for Williams' girlfriend is now asking for the Tallahassee Police Department to drop its investigation into this matter.

News also broke Monday night that Williams was listed on a Tallahassee Police Department incident report from June which linked him to an armed robbery.

He was listed as an associate, meaning he was known to the person who was eventually arrested for the crime, Daravius Lawrence, then 17. Lawrence, now 18, according to a probable cause affidavit, was arrested in July and charged as an adult. The details of that case were not immediately available to the Tallahassee Democrat on Monday.

Northway said TPD got little cooperation from Williams in that case.

Northway said police set up a time to talk with Williams at the police station, but Williams never showed up. They then tried to call him, and he never answered his phone. Eventually, Northway said, they got in touch with his girlfriend who said the two had a lawyer and did not want to talk to police.

The state attorney, Northway said, decided to charge Lawrence without speaking to Williams.

Tallahassee attorney Tim Jansen says he is representing Williams. He declined to comment.

Something doesn't add up here. By the sound of this report, Williams was linked to an armed robbery, refused to cooperate in any way with the Tallahassee Police Department when they tried to talk with him about it, and then the TPD was pretty much like, "okay cool, we'll just move on then."

It's all really bizarre and you just have to hope that there's more to the story than there appears to be.

All that said...

Well all right.

I_medium Here's the complete injury report for FSU heading into Thursday night:

  • Karlos Williams, RB, police investigation, WILL play
  • Mario Pender, RB, ankle, out
  • Ukeme Eligwe, LB, foot, out
  • EJ Levenberry, LB, unspecified, out
  • Jacob Pugh, LB, concussion, out
  • Demarcus Christmas, DT, ankle, out
  • Austin Barron, C, arm, out
  • I_medium Tomorrow is ACC basketball media day in Charlotte, which means we'll find out where the Cards are picked to finish in their ACC debut (probably second) and whether or not Montrezl Harrell is the ACC preseason Player of the Year (decent chance). Wayne Blackshear and Trez will speak with the media from 9:36-9:47 a.m., and Rick Pitino will be at the podium from 2:52-3:04 p.m.

    You'll be able to watch a live stream of the entire event (which lasts from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.) right here on CC.

    I_medium Suffice it to say, the Louisville defense has bought into what Todd Grantham is selling.

    "This offseason, I've never seen a group of guys work so hard," said Burgess, who added 10 pounds. "Everyone wanted to buy into the coaching schemes, understand what they were being taught and apply it to the field." 

    When August rolled around, Grantham realized he might have a pretty stellar group on his hands. 

    Louisville remains the No. 1 total defense in the nation in 2014 and is actually giving up fewer total yards per game and fewer rushing yards per game than a year ago while playing a more difficult ACC schedule. 

    The Cards also are averaging more sacks per game than last season and more turnovers per game as well. Impressive improvements considering all the new starters, all the position changes and the scheme change. 

    "You never know what we're going to hit you with," Burgess said. "We have so many disguises, so many different play calls ... we have one of the most difficult playbooks, and that's what makes us so great on defense because we all understand what we're being taught every other week and why we're doing it." 

    Players also have embraced Grantham and his "rowdy" personality. "I love playing for him. I wish I could play for him for five more years," Burgess said. 

    So it turns out, Grantham knows how to coach -- though he is above screaming, "Told you so!"

    "As a coach, you always have pride in your work," Grantham said. "The thing I always want our players to do, I want them to play hard, I want them to play fast, and play aggressive. We've been able to get our guys to play to their ability and play with that identity we talked about. That's the beauty of coaching. That's the fun part."

    I_medium CBS' college hoops writers have Louisville as high as No. 4 (Jon Rothstein) and as low as No. 17 (Doug Gottlieb) in their preseason rankings. Gottlieb was the only member of the six-person panel who did not have the Cards in the top 10.

    I_medium Former U of L students Nick Jacoby and Heath Hawkins tell Jeff Greer about tearing down the goalposts after the FSU win in 2002 and carrying one of them back to their fraternity house.

    I_medium Everyone seems to have Florida State on upset watch, and ESPN is no different.

    Thursday night

    No. 2 Florida State (7-0, 4-0) at Louisville (6-2, 4-2), 7:30 p.m., ESPN. Line: Florida State by 3.5. Many believe this is the toughest game remaining on the schedule for the Noles. There are several reasons for that. Louisville brings the No. 1 defense in the nation to the game, a group that is holding opponents to 14.6 points per game. Not only have the Cards kept scoring down, they rank No. 1 in the nation in rushing defense, No. 2 in interceptions (15), No. 7 in sacks (29). Safe to say Louisville will be coming after Jameis Winston early and often. But do the Cards have enough offense with receiver DeVante Parker back in the mix to pull the upset?

    I_medium NBC does not have Terry Rozier anywhere in its list of the best off-guards in college hoops.

    I_medium Time well spent.

    I_medium Ken Pomeroy serves up some thoughts on his preseason rankings, which have Louisville at No. 3.

    I_medium Florida State's defensive front is thankful that they won't be going up against yet another dual threat quarterback on Thursday night.

    As well as Louisville has rushed the passer, it has been equally bad in protecting its own. The Cardinals rank 121st -- seven spots from last -- in sacks allowed. Two weeks ago, Louisville made a shuffle along its offensive line by inserting Aaron Epps at right tackle. 

    The Seminoles are not the dynamic pass-rushing defense they were the last few seasons, but coach Jimbo Fisher said he is seeing improvements. In their last game against Notre Dame, the defense sacked Everett Golson three times. 

    Louisville quarterback Will Gardner offers some relief to a Florida State defense that has been assigned with stopping dual-threat quarterbacks much of the season. Of the Seminoles' seven games, five were against mobile quarterbacks. 

    "It's definitely good to go against somebody you don't have to worry about chasing around all the time and you get to pin your ears back a little and rush the passer," said defensive end Mario Edwards Jr., who, like Mauldin, could be a first-round pick next spring.

    I_medium The FSU coaching staff has had nothing but high praise for the Cardinal defense all week.

    I_medium The SB Nation NBA folks made fun of the 76ers horrendous opening night roster, which apparently includes Lancaster Gordon.

    I_medium Video of Jimbo Fisher's complete comments following Tuesday night's practice can be viewed here:

    I_medium Rick Pitino's team checks in at No. 9 on USA Today's preseason countdown.

    I_medium You should plan on getting to the stadium as early as possible on Thursday.

    A large Future Farmers of America convention event at the Kentucky Exposition Center, racing at Churchill Downs and normal evening traffic on Thursday will add to the congestion in the vicinity of the stadium. The reserved parking lots surrounding the stadium will open at 2:30 p.m. for tailgaters attending the matchup with the nation's second-ranked team.

    Regular traffic patterns for game days will not change. Drivers should cooperate with the police directing traffic. U of L students who regularly park at the stadium on weekdays will be parking at an alternate location on Thursday.

    Also...

    While Halloween falls on Friday evening and fans may wish to be festive, costumes may be worn to the game but masks will not be permitted.

    I would assume (and hope) that there will be exceptions to this pretty strange rule.

    I_medium The official FSU football podcast talks about the Louisville game.

    I_medium The amount of people saying stuff like this is starting to worry me.

    Strangely, I'd feel a whole lot better if we could get one prominent national dude to come out and say that Louisville has absolutely zero chance against FSU...And then rip on the bird masks or Hot Hot or something.

    I_medium Adam Himmelsbach talks about DeVante Parker's long road back to the field.

    I_medium ESPN lists three reasons why both Louisville and Florida State will win. You know, separate of one another.

    I_medium And finally, beat FSU.