Florida State Seminoles running back Trey Benson (3) rushes with the ball during the first half against the Florida Gators at Steve Spurrier Field at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, FL on Saturday, November 25, 2023. [Matt Pendleton/Gainesville Sun]

FSU Set to Take on Louisville in ACC Championship

Losing star quarterback Jordan Travis has done anything but derail the FSU Seminoles.

After Travis went down against North Alabama, the rest of the team stepped up to take down the Lions 58-13 to remain perfect on the season. But they didn’t stop there.

The Noles marched into enemy territory on rivalry weekend to face a struggling Florida Gators team in one of the most hostile environments in college football. Despite a 12-7 deficit at the half, the FSU defense stepped up to keep the Gators out of the end zone in the second half. And with the help of three Trey Benson touchdowns, the Noles won the Sunshine State Showdown 24-15.

Currently, the Seminoles have a grasp on the fourth playoff spot, but a victory over Louisville will be their chance to prove they’ve earned it. It’s not going to be an easy feat, though. The Cardinals come into this meeting ranked 14th in the AP Polls after falling to in-state rival Kentucky last week. Louisville is a 10-2 team with its other loss coming from conference rival Pitt.

Despite losing to two unranked teams, the Cardinals should not be overlooked as they downed a 10th ranked Notre Dame squad and and shut out a once-20th-ranked Duke team.

What’s at Stake

For FSU, a trip to the CFP for the first time since 2014.

For the Cardinals, bragging rights?

With a win, Louisville will take home their first ever ACC title and become the first team to take down the undefeated Noles.

Let’s talk hypotheticals for a minute.

Say the Seminoles lose to the Cardinals. A loss doesn’t necessarily mean their playoff hopes are over. Washington currently sits at third in the CFP rankings, but will rematch with Oregon in the Pac-12 championship. Earlier in the season, the Huskies narrowly beat the Ducks, so if the Ducks can pull off a win in the rematch, FSU could still find their way in with a loss. But this isn’t the only scenario that could put a one loss Seminoles team in the post season.

Second-ranked Georgia is set to take on eighth-ranked Alabama in the SEC title game. If the Crimson Tide can pull off the upset over the defending national champions, things could get interesting.

Key Matchup

The Louisville defense vs. Trey Benson.

The running back leads the team in TDs with 14 and has four multiple-touchdown games so far this season. Most recently, he rushed for 95 yards and three scores against the Gators defense last week.

But the Louisville defense has been stout, holding a high-scoring Fighting Irish team to just 20 points and shutting out Duke. Without QB1 on the field, it will be in the hands of Benson to step up and become a playmaker in this game.

https://twitter.com/LouisvilleFB/status/1730006224543023261

When and Where

The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. EST Saturday from Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

https://twitter.com/FSUFootball/status/1730246573161152857

About Shelby Hickman

Shelby Hickman is a student at the University of Florida studying journalism with a specialization in sports and media.

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