The Louisville defense found a way to slow down an explosive Notre Dame offense last weekend but they now get to face an offense figuring things out. Mike Norvell took over at Florida State this year and he finally got his first win over an FBS team last weekend when they knocked off North Carolina. Norvell’s offenses are known for putting up a lot of yards and a lot of points and last week they looked like a team that can get things going when they don’t make mistakes.
Jordan Travis has shown flashes of his potential for three years now but the redshirt sophomore has finally been handed the keys to an offense. He looks like the same guy that Louisville fans saw promise with as a freshman while also showing good growth as a passer. Travis is a running QB and he has really good speed and elusiveness. The big change this year has been his ability to make plays with his arm even though he’s still been inconsistent.
Travis has been dynamic at times as a runner and his penchant to look for the big play has worked out for the most part as a passer. Travis will take chances to push the ball down the field and he’s had some success doing so. Louisville has to do something that no one has been able to so far. They have to force Travis to beat them with his arm and his arm only. If he gets going as a runner, I’m not sure UofL will have much success.
FSU has been using a committee at Running Back this year and they’ve had mixed results. La’Damien Webb has been the most consistent runner so far and he finished the UNC game with 94 yards, including a 53 yarder in the second half. Lawrance Toafili is the other back that I think we’ll see this weekend. He hasn’t been getting many carries but he looked really solid against Miami a few weeks ago. Jashaun Corbin is getting a lot of snaps but he’s been lining up in different spots and hasn’t been as effective as the other two backs.
Louisville has to slow down this running game and turn this into a game where FSU has to pass to win. Getting these Running Backs under control is really important because, as we saw in the Notre Dame game, allowing them to get 5-6 yards leads to sustained drives and points.
It feels like I say this every year but FSU has a bunch of speed at Wide Receiver and they haven’t done a great job utilizing that speed yet. They are coming off of a game where they finally started to hit big plays and Jordan Travis is a big factor in that. Travis extends plays with his legs and the staff also does a good job designing plays off of his running ability. Ontario Wilson got open for a big 58 yard catch last week and Keyshawn Helton had an impressive catch on a 39 yard throw. With Tamorrion Terry possibly out again with an injury, FSU has to find some consistency here. Louisville also has to be mindful of Cam McDonald at Tight End.
Florida State’s offensive line has still struggled this year but they played well against UNC last week with FSU being able to stay out of “must pass” situations. FSU got the lead early and from that point they focused on running the football with a few shots down the field once UNC started to stack the box. All of this put FSU’s line in good shape because they didn’t have to pass block against a defense with their ears pinned back and when they did run the ball, FSU mixed things up and kept UNC off balance.
This line isn’t where it needs to be but if FSU keeps things close, UofL won’t likely be able to take advantage of their deficiencies. They need to force the issue when it comes to stopping the run and put them in passing situations. That is where this line struggles.