Louisville football: Stock report post Florida State

Hassan Hall #19 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Hassan Hall #19 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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uofl football; louisville football; louisville depth chart 2019
SYRACUSE, NY – NOVEMBER 09: Anthony Johnson #27 of the Louisville Cardinals and Chandler Jones #2 react to Jones being called for pass interference during the third quarter against the Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome on November 9, 2018 in Syracuse, New York. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) /

Stock up: Dez Fitzpatrick

We begin with Dez Fitzpatrick because, after a week where we said Fitz’s stock was as low as it’s ever been, he had a tremendous game.

It was discussed it ad nauseum leading up to the FSU game, but if Louisville stood any chance against future competition, the Cards would have to spread the ball around in the passing game- particularly to their outside guys Seth Dawkins and Fitzpatrick.

It was apparent right away that the coaching staff was going to heavily incorporate Fitzpatrick into the gameplan, and it finally paid off in a major way when Fitzpatrick made an impressive 74-yard touchdown catch while blanketed by Asante Samuel Jr.

“Dez FitzGERALD!”

Fitzpatrick came up just one yard shy of his career-high for receiving yards in a game with 133 yards on 7 receptions and was hands-down Louisville’s most impressive player on either side of the ball.

He was graded as the second-best outside wide receiver by Pro Football Focus, but more importantly, he appears to be establishing a bit of a rhythm in Louisville’s new offense- which is huge going forward.

Stock down: Louisville secondary play

As high as we have been on Louisville’s secondary thus far in 2019, they regressed big-time against the Florida State passing offense.

We said the secondary stock was up last week, but it didn’t even plateau after their performance in Tallahassee. The Cards’ defense took a big-time dip and oftentimes looked confused or out of position against FSU’s spread hurry-up attack.

I don’t think Louisville’s back four are as bad as they looked on Saturday, but FSU’s tempo created tons of mismatches and busted plays against Louisville’s youthful squad. They allowed 76 percent completion rate and 382 yards to FSU’s QB duo.

I have to expose my own cold take from last week in which I correctly predicted that the Seminoles were not putting up a smokescreen and would actually be playing back-up grad transfer Alex Hornibrook, but I incorrectly predicted that he would be a flop. The Wisconsin transfer went 15-for-20 and threw for 255 yards and two scores in place of starter James Blackman.

Part of the reason I thought FSU was better served without Hornibrook was that he wasn’t a huge deep ball threat and he didn’t seem to fit FSU’s hurry-up scheme, which would fall right into Louisville’s strength- their secondary play.

However, Hornibrook proved to be deadly accurate, throwing multiple balls perfectly downfield and hitting receivers in stride for a handful of long plays and two huge touchdowns.

Going forward, Louisville is going to have to figure out how to deal with depth issues in the secondary.