Jordan Travis, Quarterback
Jordan Travis is the obvious polarizing figure in this game because of his ties with Louisville football.
Travis was a highly regarded prospect who was seen as the next up-and-comer for Bobby Petrino and the Cardinals prior to the 2018 season. However, only a couple of games into the season rumors began circulating that Travis was looking to transfer out of the program.
After briefly appearing as a true freshman third-string, Travis opted to transfer during the last week of October. In an exit interview with Cardinal Sports Zone, Travis revealed that he was… Less than thrilled with his short stint in Louisville– So much so that he opted to get out of dodge as quickly as possible.
Almost exactly two years later, Travis finds himself in a situation where he appears much more comfortable as the starter for a Florida State squad coming off its biggest win of the post-Jimbo Fisher era.
Now, in his second start ever, Travis will find himself back in Cardinal Stadium trying to guide the Seminoles to another big-time win.
On the outset, it’s easy to see why fans would be terrified of facing a player who wanted nothing to do with the former coaching staff coming off of a massive win where he threw for 191 yards and a touchdown and accounted for 107 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground. That’s a big-time game from a relatively inexperienced player making his first start in prime-time.
However, taking a deeper dive into Travis’ performance against the Tar Heels reveals that there are both positives and negative takeaways from his performance.
On the positive side, Travis was a heady leader for the Seminoles. A lot had to go their way to spring the big upset, and it started with Travis coming out and straight up making plays with his feet. Florida State rode the momentum of Travis’ legs to a 31-7 halftime lead.
Travis’ ability to dance outside the pocket and extend plays led to some massive chunk yardage gains that completely changed the dynamic of Florida State’s offense. The same dynamic playmaking ability that had Louisville football fans high on him in 2018 is what was saw on full display last weekend. 107 yards on 16 carries with a long of only 23 yards is a fantastic performance from any ball-carrier– Let alone a raw quarterback.
But Travis is just that- raw- and a major concern, if you are a Florida State fan, is his lack of ability to extend drives.
Florida State got off to a fantastic start against UNC, but bear in mind that Seminoles benefited from a blocked punt and a pick-six in the first half.
Overall, FSU had 12 drives and 8 ended in a punt, turnover, or missed field goal. Travis finished the game with 191 yards passing, but he was 8 for 19 (42 percent) and benefited from chunk passing plays that went for 36, 58, 39, and 33 yards. Travis finished the game with a 67.9 QBR. For comparison’s sake, Louisville Malik Cunningham has received criticism for a game on Saturday in which he went 16 for 19 (84 percent) and finished with a 93.9 QBR.
What the Cardinals have to keep at bay is Travis’ big-play ability. If they can do that, perhaps he isn’t as scary as we’d be led to believe.