Three plays cost Louisville the game
A lot happens throughout a 60-minute college football game. Both Florida State and Louisville made good plays, bad plays and spectacular plays on Saturday. But I think you can pin Louisville’s loss on three specific events. Maybe if one of these would’ve gone differently the narrative could be way different for this team going forward.
Malik Cunningham’s near red zone interception was a backbreaker. On a promising drive that was going to end up in at least a field goal, Florida State capitalized on an overthrown pass from Malik to get the ball back with no damage done. Louisville had every single ounce of momentum and that moment and it shifted very quickly.
The infamous cornerback blitz that’s had everyone talking post-game was the real killer though. The Cardinal defense had been incredible, allowing zero points through over 35 consecutive minutes of game time at that point. But with Florida State on their own 40, the entire left side of the field blitzed. Hornibrook recognized it immediately and threw for what was seriously the most effortless 60-yard touchdown I have ever seen.
This was a major bummer, given that they virtually weren’t moving the ball at all at that point. A free seven points would turn out to be enough for the Seminoles.
The third play came on the last truly competitive play of the game. The Louisville defense forced a field goal instead of touchdown to get the offense back on the field down seven. It was time to see Malik Cunningham in the two-minute offense with a chance at greatness on the road. But an egregious roughing the kicker extended the drive for Florida State and effectively ended the game. This play was very unnecessary, given that a blocked kick wouldn’t have made that much of a difference.
The Cardinals would’ve still needed a touchdown and still needed 85-plus yards to accomplish such, given that they were down four. But the roughing the kicker penalty came well after the field goal was made and the Seminoles were left with no choice but to accept, and in turn, win the game. Cam Akers calmly walked in for a two-yard touchdown wrapping this one up.