Louisville
Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (13) carries against LSU safety Jay Ward (5) in the second half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. Florida State won 24-23. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

FSU Opens ACC Play Against Louisville

Following a bye week, the Florida State Seminoles (2-0) look to continue their undefeated season against the Louisville Cardinals Friday night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The Cardinals (1-1) will be playing their first home game of the season following a 20-14 bounce back victory over UCF, this past weekend.

The Quarterback Battle

Two high-profile ACC quarterbacks will be looking to lead their squads to victory. FSU quarterback Jordan Travis looks like he’s made major strides to improve his passing in the offseason. His decision making will have to be sharp against a stout Louisville defense. Their secondary only allowed 131 yards through the air, last week. Travis has always been mobile, and his ability to escape the pass rush and throw on the run could prove troublesome for the Cardinals.

On the other sideline, veteran QB Malik Cunningham looks to start off the Cardinals’ home schedule on a high note. While his passing statistics have been underwhelming so far in the 2022 season, Cunningham is a consistent rushing threat. He has blazing speed and can score from anywhere on the field. His play style is reminiscent of another past Louisville player: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. He will look to use his legs early and often.

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Keys to Victory

For Florida State, the biggest struggle is going to be containing Cunningham’s scrambles. He put up running back numbers on the ground against UCF, rushing 17 times for 121 yards and a touchdown. However, he has yet to throw a passing touchdown this season. If FSU’s edge rushers can contain and spy him on third downs, Louisville’s offense will likely sputter.

If the Cardinals want to win this game, they are going to have to control the line of scrimmage. Cunningham’s arm is a bit inconsistent, but they will not have as many long passing situations if they can rush for decent yardage on first and second downs. If the Cardinals can dictate the pace of the game on offense and tire out the Seminoles’ defensive line, they are going to be difficult to stop.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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