Louisville didn’t look like a team that lost four straight games. The Cardinals came out of the gate swinging, scoring on five straight drives to open the game, and handled Florida State, 48-16 on Saturday.
Malik Cunningham threw for 278 yards and Louisville ran for 291 yards, accumulating 563 offensive yards. It is the most allowed by FSU’s defense this season.
“That’s a talented and explosive offense that we faced and we didn’t do much to slow them down today,” coach Mike Norvell said. “Just not a performance that’s reflective of what I expected and obviously we got a lot of work to do within our program and we have to continue to learn from these lessons.
FSU fell to 2-4, 1-4 ACC and lost a lot of momentum coming off the win over No. 5 UNC. Now the Seminoles go into the bye week. Next up is a home game with Pittsburgh on Nov. 7.
“I didn’t have the team prepared to play to the level that they are capable of today,” Norvell said. “That goes on me. It will be corrected. And we’ll continue to grow and move forward.”
Louisville (2-4, 1-4) effectively put the game away early with four touchdowns and a field goal on its first five drives.
Jordan Travis completed 14 of 32 passes for 141 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Travis connected with Ontaria Wilson on a 4-yard TD pass in the second quarter. But rushing lanes were limited for Travis, who ran 12 times for 47 yards and a 15-yard touchdown on FSU’s first drive.
FSU ran 40 times for a season-best 265 yards, averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Lawrance Toafili had six carries for 76 yards, including a 49-yard run. La’Damian Webb had nine carries for 74 yards.
The Seminoles ran for 263 yards against Jacksonville State.
Freshman quarterback Chubba Purdy saw his first college playing time, going 0 for 9 on FSU’s final drive.
Wilson caught a team-high five passes for 27 yards. But FSU’s passing game was ineffective, in part due to numerous drops.
The Seminoles gave up 569 yards to Louisville, the most they have allowed this year. FSU gave up 558 offensive yards vs. UNC, 554 offensive yards at Notre Dame and 517 offensive yards at Miami.
Louisville had five big plays of 15 or more passing yards for a total of 209 yards, including pass plays of 66, 58 and 42. The Cardinals also had eight big rushing plays for 220 rushing yards, including Javian Hawkins’ 70-yard touchdown.
Louisville had 410 offensive yards in the first half, with 325 coming on big “chunk” plays. Four passing plays went for 189 yards, while five rushing plays went for 136 yards.
The Cardinals had an absurd 233 receiving yards (19.4 yards per reception) in the first half. Louisville also averaged 9.8 yards per carry.
When FSU was stopped on the goal line, Louisville took over on downs in the third quarter. Quarterback Malik Cunningham was wrapped up in the end zone by Emmett Rice for a safety, making the score 38-16 Louisville.
Rice led FSU with eight tackles and had the team’s only sack. Dennis Briggs forced a fumble.
Alex Mastromanno averaged 40.6 yards on five punts.
Parker Grothaus missed a 50-yard field-goal attempt in the second quarter.
Quarterback James Blackman and receivers coach Ron Dugans did not travel, Norvell said.
FSU was penalized 11 times for 104 yards. The Seminoles have 10 or more penalties in four games, while it’s the third time FSU has had more than 100 yards of penalties.
Louisville averaged 8.03 yards per play in the 2016 game against FSU. The Cardinals averaged 9.3 yards per play on Saturday.