It is you (oh yeah)/ It is you, you (oh yeah)/ It is you (oh yeah)/Cause a pressure drop, oh pressure/ Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you/ I say a pressure drop, oh pressure/ Oh yeah pressure drop a drop on you/I say when it drops, oh you gonna feel it/ Know that you were doing wrong. — Toots & the Maytals
Florida State's players and coaches certainly were. Florida State fans were also. They thinned out way early. Jimbo Fisher was more than a bit stunned during his post game comments.
As were, to be frank, the U of L players, a justifiably confidant bunch, but who said they never expected anything like this.
Nor did even the most optimistic Cardinal fans.
So, yeah, the Cardinal faithful are reveling in a joyous tizzy. Gobsmacked.
The biggest loss ever by a second ranked team. Florida State's biggest L ever in the ACC.
The Cardinals pressure dropped the Seminoles.
Louisville 63, formerly #2 Florida State 20.
As TV announcer Chris Fowler said, “It wasn’t that close.”
* * * * *
I now come to praise the Question Marks.
??????, come on down. Offensive Line, James Quick, Special Teams, Defense and Lamar Jackson on a Showcase Big Stage with kleig lights spotlighting his every move.
O Line. First to be praised here. Tobijah Hughley, whom I’ve criticized from pillar to post for too long now. Called a great game. Played a great game. As did his fellow starters Geron Christian, Khalil Hunter, Kiola Mahoni and Lukayus McNeil.
I’m sure there are some subs who also excelled, but, to be honest, I didn’t chart the O Line subs. My apologies to you. You may not be named, but you are appreciated.
The Seminoles vaunted D, with loads of starters and lettermen returning, garnered but a single sack, and a couple TFLs. And picked that underthrown pass in the endzone. None of consequence.
When Lamar Jackson and Brandon Radcliff were working their magic on the ground, it was thanks to opportunities provided by the OL. More often than not, there were wide holes and area to maneuver beyond the scrimmage line. Thank you, O Line.
How good did they play?
These were the first words out of LJ’s mouth at the post game press conference: “The offensive line? A+. Have to be an A+.”
(Plus the gang displayed some serious swagger. During a timeout before scoring the fourth Cardinal touchdown, the lineman went over, surrounded the Seminoles’ defensive huddle, and eavesdropped. Firing up Florida State so much, Louisville scored easily on the next play.)
James Quick. Finally, on the biggest stage, the game we’ve been waiting for from the highest ranked U of L recruit ever.
7 catches on 7 balls thrown his way. For 122 yards.
Including that monumental grab between his knees on the sideline for a 44 yard gain. It had former coach Lee Corso aghast, holding his hands by his head in amazement.
Special Teams. Up 35-10 at the half, then holding Florida State to 3 and out in the first possession after the break, Jaire Alexander broke off a 69 yard punt return for six. He got great blocks from Zykiesis Cannon and Alphonso Carter.
They did it again later. Alexander returned another for 51 yards. It would have been six, had JA not suffered a cramp during the return, which he admitted gave him heavy legs.
Defense. Todd Grantham’s D played mean. They gave up NO big plays. As in Zero. They held the Seminoles to 284 total yards, and 124 of those came late in the fourth against the Cardinal bench with the game well well well in hand.
The Cards registered five sacks (Harvey-Clemons, Fields, Brown, Hearns and Greenard), and nine TFLs. The secondary knocked down 5 passes. The rushers forced five QB hurries. Plus the guys in red nabbed a pick and a fumble recovery.
Lamar Jackson. Louisville’s phenom QB rated his game a D. And, to be fair to the kid, it didn’t seem like false modesty. He learned to be tough on himself from his mom.
But, as Lee Corso would say, “Not so fast, my friend.”
In the air: 13/20. 216 yards. 162.2 rating. 1 TD.
On the ground: 17 rushes. 158 yards. 4 TDs.
In the huddle: Leadership by excellence and example.
* * * * *
Bobby Petrino and his staff had an incredible game plan, perfect preparation. During a week when the whole city was beside itself with anticipation and nervous energy, the coaches had the team, ready, focused and vicious. The Cardinals made Florida State, the second ranked team in the land, look as meek as Charlotte and Syracuse. Essentially, they broke the Seminoles.
Even when the visitors closed the gap to 14-10, The. Seminoles. Were. Never. In. The. Game
Louisville immediately responded with a 79 yard TD drive, making it 21-10. Then tallied again. And again. For the 35-10 halftime advantage. (Actually U of L responded with 49 straight points, before giving up a garbage TD and FG late.)
Brandon Radcliff. How much has LJ’s running prowess opened things up for BR? A lot.
14 carries. 118 yards. A TD.
The Cards cut down on penalties. 5 for 56 lost yards.
* * * * *
So, yeah, I ‘m stunned, just like most Cardinal fans.
The W, the manner of victory, are beyond what we ever could have fantasized. The Cards are The Story this college football Saturday.
I’m inclined to hyperbole, to pull out the big words to express my feelings.
I shall refrain. For the truth is, as much as this win is a culmination of a long climb, it is hopefully just the beginning.
As marvelous as Lamar Jackson has been performing, he still misses on long balls more than he should. Though better, his decision making on power options still needs maturing. But, hey, until he gets that stuff in order, he’s performing at a level rarely if ever seen before in the history of the game.
I am worried about Marshall, even though the Thundering Herd gave up 65 Saturday to Akron, while scoring but 38.
But it’s a classic trap game. The Herd have bested U of L four times in a row. And how can the Cards not be looking ahead for the battle at Clemson? Huntington will be a test of this team’s maturity.
But, ya know, 63-20.
I’ll leave you with this to dance beneath the diamond sky.
— Seedy K