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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Beat FSU.

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—Spread check: Louisville by 4.5.

—NoleGameday has three bold Florida State predictions for Saturday’s game at Cardinal Stadium.

—FSU’s defensive numbers for the season are bad, but the ‘Noles have been solid defensively in the first half of games recently.

3. Can Florida State defense pull off another strong first half against Louisville?

In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Florida State’s defense outscored North Carolina the first 28 minutes of game-time 7-0 when defensive end Joshua Kaindoh picked off Howell and took it to the house.

FSU completely turned the tables on what anybody expected heading into the game. UNC still ended up with 558 total yards and 27 first downs, but the last time the defense had a start like that Jimbo Fisher was roaming the sidelines half a decade ago.

A frequent feat during the glory days of Bobby Bowden and the dynasty years, Florida State last held an ACC opponent scoreless for the first 28 minutes of a game in 2016.

In what seems like a lifetime ago, junior running back Dalvin Cook passed Warrick Dunn to become FSU’s all-time leading rusher when defensive lineman Demarcus Walker and company shut out Syracuse the first 29 minutes in the first half of a 45-14 win.

Syracuse wasn’t a great team that season by any stretch (4-8 in 2016), and certainly weren’t ranked anywhere near No. 5 in the country like UNC was this past weekend. You would have to go back even further to find the last time a Seminole defense limited an upper-tier offense or even a ranked opponent like the Tar Heels for nearly an entire half.

The most recent first-28-minute shutout over a ranked opponent was the famed 27-2 smackdown in Gainesville over Florida in 2015.

Just like the offenses’ revitalization against Jacksonville State, or the goal-line stand by the defense at the end of the Notre Dame game, holding a potent offense like North Carolina’s scoreless for a lengthy stretch is again another huge bright side despite the gaudy stats UNC accumulated in the second half.

Those who follow the program were cautiously optimistic that these positive developments were signs of the team turning a corner, but pessimists could point out that the Gamecocks are a member of the FCS, or that the Fighting Irish were just going through the motions at the end of the game that was already decided.

However, these silver linings keep piling up one after another in the ever-improving murky sky of a program Norvell inherited in December. It’s looking less and less optimistic but rather just realisticto absorb these stretches of top-notch performances from units on the 2020 team and take them as what they are: great signs from a first-year head coach and his staff already making a significant impact on the quality of the team.

—The CJ’s Shannon Russell writes about how Jae’Lyn Withers’ redshirt season prepared him for “big things” ahead.

—Sunday is Senior Day for the 13th-ranked Louisville women’s soccer team. The Cards will host Notre Dame at 1:30 in a match that will be carried live on the ACC Network.

—Emina Ekic might be the best this program has ever seen.

—Because of inclement weather, the start time for today’s men’s soccer match between Louisville and Pittsburgh was moved to 1 p.m.

—Louisville Report looks at the tale of the tape between the Cards and Florida State before ultimately predicting a 31-28 U of L victory.

—In his pseudo head coaching debut, Brian Brohm won’t have the services of former Trinity star Rondale Moore against Iowa.

—Cool Will Smith cartoon from Marc Murphy:

—Jerry Smith is the guest on the latest episode of the Life in Basketball podcast.

—GoIowaAwesome says pregame flyovers are lame and pointless.

—I’ve always thought that the percentage of people who could immediately spot the difference between a very expensive bottle of wine and an average bottle of wine probably hovers in the 1-5% range.

There is a 100 percent chance Mrs. CC and I would have pounded the 2K bottle of wine with zero clue that anything was awry.

—EuroHoops.net has a quick summary of a recent Kyle Kuric interview with a Spanish news outlet about the five years since he discovered he had a brain tumor.

—Cardinal Strong answers some Louisville-FSU questions over on Tomahawk Nation.

—Like Division-I athletes, junior college athletes won’t have this season count against their overall college eligibility. That means U of L signee El Ellis has the potential to be a Cardinal for three years instead one. That’s big.

—Florida State heads to Louisville looking to maintain its forward progress, while U of L is simply trying to create some.

—The CJ has three things the Cards must do in order to snap their four-game losing streak.

—I think 2016 has to be the answer, but I know Keith disagrees.

—Transfers are having a large impact on Louisville’s 2020 season so far.

—Clark County High School all-purpose back Azariah Israel is headed to Louisville as a preferred walk-on.

—The tradition of Syracuse basketball fans standing and clapping until the Orange score their first points of the game dates back to 1977.

—Coming from Liberty, Kei’Trel Clark said Bryan Brown and Shadon Brown being in positions of power on the U of L coaching staff was the first thing he noticed about Louisville.

—The new Louisville Slugger Museum downtown Louisville outlet store is open.

—Vince Tyra and Mitch Barnhart have agreed to extend the Louisville-Kentucky football series through the 2030 season.

Here’s a look at the dates and locations for the next decade of the Battle for the Governor’s Cup:

Nov. 27, 2021 — Louisville
Nov. 26, 2022 — Lexington
Nov. 25, 2023 — Louisville
Nov. 30, 2024 — Lexington
Nov. 29, 2025 — Louisville
Nov. 28, 2026 — Lexington
Nov. 27, 2027 — Louisville
Nov. 25, 2028 — Lexington
Nov. 24, 2029 — Louisville
Nov. 30, 2030 — Lexington

The other big takeaway here is now the football and men’s basketball games will no longer be played in the same city every year.

I’m very good with this. Hosting both games in the same year was fine when they were four months apart, less so now that they’re more like four weeks apart.

—Our FSU preview podcast is here.

—Not a bad week.

—U of L is now selling shirts for next week’s Blackout game against Virginia Tech.

—And finally, beat Florida State. Do it for the douche walk-ons who tried to fight Ryan McMahon back in February.