Lessons learned in Louisville's loss to Florida State

11/02/2014 07:02 PM

For nearly two quarters, everything was going Louisville’s way against Florida State. The Cards were up 21-0 and an upset looked imminent.

But a touchdown towards the end of the first half opened up the flood gates, and the Seminoles began to pour it on at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

From that point forward, the nation’s number two team meant business and finished the game on a 42-10 scoring run. Yes, the UofL football team was “in it” for the majority of the contest, but once FSU got rolling it felt as though the outcome was inevitable.

The Cards’ defense, which looked great early on with interception after interception and big stop after big stop, could not find itself in the second half. Senior defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin said the team got comfortable and settled. That much looked obvious. What was not obvious was why the team seemingly never adjusted on either side of the ball.

Maybe Jameis Winston is just that good, because the 2013 Heisman trophy winner could not miss after an early third quarter interception.

Maybe the Florida State offensive coaches were ready for everything in the second half, so no UofL counter punch was going to work.

Maybe the Seminoles defense, which looked pedestrian while giving up early touchdowns, figured out how to slow down DeVante Parker, Michael Dyer and the Cards’ offense.

Problems were aplenty as Louisville shot itself in the foot time after time. And if you are going to upset the defending national champions, you need to play a clean game. The Cards did not do that and as a result they were on the wrong side of a 42-31 final score.

What was clear in the locker room though is that there was no finger pointing. The offense did not blame the defense for giving up touchdown after touchdown. Likewise, the defense did not cast blame on the offense for constant three-and-outs.

Even in defeat, Louisville showed that it can play with the ACC’s elite. Next up is Boston College, but one has to wonder if maybe, just maybe, the Cards can shock Notre Dame in South Bend in a few weeks.

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