When the Cards joined the ACC in 2014 Florida State was coming off a National Championship over Auburn in the 2013 and had their Heisman Trophy Quarterback coming back for his junior year. When it was announced that Louisville would take Maryland’s place in the Atlantic Division many fans took a look directly at Florida State as the gold standard of the division. The Noles had won 4 of 5 Atlantic Division championships with Jimbo Fisher, won a Peach, Bowl, Orange Bowl, and a National Championship. Clemson was not the Clemson as we know it today.
Unfortunately the new ACC Scheduling agreement moves the Louisville/Florida State away from an annual game as the conference has scrapped divisions. After this season, UofL won’t play the Seminoles until 2025.
2014: #2 Florida State at #25 Louisville (42-31 FSU)
When Florida State came to town in 2014 for that 1st game in the ACC Series, everyone hoped that Louisville could pull off an epic upset similar to what happened during the 2002 game when the remnants of Hurricane Isidore dumped unheard of amounts of rain at Cardinal Stadium and the Louisville area.
As it happened, the Cards got out to a blistering start. A 71-yard pass from Will Gardner to DeVante Parker was the opening play of the game. Michael Dyer had 134 yards rushing & 3 Touchdowns, Will Gardner added 330 passing, DeVante Parker had 214 yards receiving. Gerod Holliman had 2 INTs, James Burgess added an INT.
But despite Jameis Winston trying to throw about 5 more interceptions throughout the course of the game, Florida State erased a 21-0 1st half lead. It started with a flukey Karlos Williams FSU fumble that was returned in the endzone by Nick O’Leary. And then the offense that Louisville had in the 1st half, was much more difficult in the 2nd half.
It was still improbable though, Gerod Holliman intercepted the first play of the 2nd half for FSU… but the Cards just got a FG. Then it began to rain big plays from FSU. 68 yard reception for Travis Rudolph for a TD, a 40 yard Davlin Cook run for a TD.
AND THEN Jameis Winston threw a pass so poorly two Louisville defenders ran into each other trying to intercept it, knocking each other down and the ball landing safely in the hands of Ermon Lane as the result of the collision for an easy TD to take the lead.
Louisville would go on to answer with a huge play to DeVante Parker and a nice sequence in the red zone for a Michael Dyer TD to take a 31-28 lead with 9:20 remaining in the 4th quarter.
After FSU & Louisville traded punts, Florida State got great field position and in one play, Dalvin Cook rushed for 38 yards and a TD to take the ultimate lead at 35-31 with 3:46 remaining in the game. Freddie Stevenson would tack on another TD to push the final score to 42-31.
2015: Louisville at #11 Florida State (41-21 FSU)
Freshman Lamar Jackson started this game. Louisville actually began 2015 0-3 and was able to finish its season at 8-5. But the Cards went into Doak Campbell stadium just 2-3 and took its last loss before a 4 game winning streak for the young Cardinal Football team.
Louisville actually took a 7-3 lead with 2:20 in the 1st quarter and then reclaimed the lead with 9:08 left in the 3rd quarter at 14-13. But ultimately Lamar’s inexperience against a good FSU defense stalled the Cards and UofL was not able to keep up with Everett Golson, Travis Rudolph and Dalvin Cook.
2016: #2 Florida State at #10 Louisville (63-20 Louisville)
Every Louisville fan remembers this game. It’s a moment in time. The 2016 match-up marked the moment that Louisville had a legitimate Heisman contender for the 1st time in its history, the 1st time the program had ever hosted College GameDay, and a win over the #2 team in the nation.
A noon start, College GameDay ended in the stadium with Lee Corso putting on the Cardinal Head. The stadium and the Cardinals were ready to pounce and they did early and often. Brandon Radcliff got things started with a 30-yard run to start the game. A Jaylen Smith reception from Lamar Jackson nearly scored and by the time Lamar ran in to move the game to 7-0 Cardinal Stadium was single organism of euphoria.
From there it was an avalanche. Lamar to Reggie for 24, Bad Rad for 20, Lamar for 14 and a TD. 14-0.
Lamar for 16, Lamar to James Quick for 30, Lamar for 10, Lamar for 9. Jeremy Smith TD.
Jaire Alexander fumble recovery.
Lamar for 13, Jaylen Smith TD.
Lamar to Quick for 16, Lamar to Cole Hikutini for 9. Lamar to Quick for 44. Lamar TD.
It was 35-10 at halftime. And when the 3rd quarter began with a FSU punt and a Jaire Alexander punt return for a TD everyone knew that Dalvin Cook and FSU were not going to be able to mount a comeback like they had seen in 2014. The rout was on. Showtime was ordered off the sideline and Louisville was on its way to playoff discussion for the 1st time in its history.
2017: Louisville at Florida State (31-28 Louisville)
Lamar was back, but like most things in 2017 it wasn’t as easy. The Cards were able to pull off the win but this was a back and forth game that would leave the Noles kicking themselves.
Lamar started things off for the Cards with a 22-yard run for a TD. 7-0, UofL.
A methodical drive by James Blackman, Cam Akers, and Jacques Patrick got the Noles on the board to tie it. 7-7.
We played almost an entire half of football with just two scores when with 4:08 remaining Lamar Jackson fumbled and it was returned for a FSU TD. 14-7, FSU.
But Lamar would answer right before halftime (1:04) with a 26-yard pass TD to Seth Dawkins to even things up. 14-14.
FSU would open the 3rd quarter with a 44-yard missed FG. Louisville would take the good field position and a 51-yard Lamar Jackson score would take the lead back for UofL 21-14.
A James Blackman INT to Trumaine Washington on the very next play would give the Cards great field position again and Dae Williams would push the lead to 28-14 after a 25-yard TD run. 28-14, UofL.
Florida State then NEEDED a score. And they grinded out a 14-play, 74 yard drive that had the ball for nearly 7 minutes that ended with a touchdown with 13:21 left in the game. 28-21 UofL.
After a 3 & out and a punt from Louisville, James Blackman orchestrated a really nice drive to tie the game. Blackman to Nyquan Murray for 22, Auden Tate for 16 and ultimately back to Murray for a 20 yard TD. What was once a 14 point advantage for Louisville was now all erased and in a tie game. 28-28.
Louisville would drive the ball into scoring territory but would stall at the FSU 27 and go for it on 4th down with 4:38 to go in the game…… they got stopped…. FSU took over. It felt like a loss.
FSU drove the ball all the way to the 21 yard line and everything looked like they were setting up to win the game…..And then!!!! James Blackman fumbled and Henry Famurewa recovered giving the ball back to the Cards with 2:05 left in the game.
Louisville still had to go the length of the field. But Lamar hit Jaylen Smith, a Reggie Bonnafon 15 yard run, Lamar hit Charles Standberry for 9, Lamar ran for 15 and it was a 13 yard pass to Traveon Samuel that would put the Cards into field goal range…. BLANTON CREQUE HIT IT. 31-28, 5 seconds left. Cards win.
2018: Florida State at Louisville (28-24 Florida State)
Look I don’t want to spend a lot of time on anything regarding the 2018 season and I doubt FSU does either, but the reality is that this particular game was a good one during bad seasons for both programs.
To put it all in a nutshell Louisville led the game 24-21 and had the ball with 2 minutes to play in the 4th quarter on 1st & 10 and in scoring position from the 21 yard line. The Cards could have run the ball 3 times and burned up a serious amount of clock and kicked a field goal with Blanton Creque to go up 27-21 with little to no time left.
As it happen, Bobby Petrino called a pass, Jawon Pass was intercepted. FSU got the ball back and scored in 33 seconds (Brian Van Gorder Defense). Petrino threw Jawon Pass under the bus, lost the locker room and then lost his job 6 weeks later. An epic unraveling.
2019: Louisville at Florida State (35-24 Florida State)
The final score doesn’t indicate how interesting this game actually was.
Louisville got off to an abysmal start trailing 21-0. Malik Cunningham was not seeing the offense and wasn’t letting go of the ball. His coaches were all over him because as they said, “The plays are there.”
Just before halftime a fake punt run by Tabarius Peterson shook the Cards out of their funk and extended a drive over midfield with 3:29 left in the 2nd quarter.
A big time play to Jordan Davis and a TD pass to Tutu Atwell got the Cards on the board to go into halftime trailing 21-7.
A decent drive in the 3rd quarter netted a FG and then FSU missed a Field Goal to make the game 21-10 FSU. And that’s when Malik started playing good football with 4:24 to go in the 3rd quarter, ultimately hitting Marshon Ford for 48 and then running it in himself to make the score 21-17.
After a 3&OUT from FSU, Malik hit Dez Fitzpatrick on an improbable and acrobatic catch along the sideline for 74 yards and a TD to take a 24-21 lead completing the comeback.
Unfortunately that’s where the magic ended for Louisville. UofL would force another 3&OUT and UofL was DRIVING in scoring territory again when Malik Cunningham overthrew WR Keion Wakefield into the waiting arms of Cyrus Fagan.
With possession Alex Hornibrook threw a 60 yard TD to Tamorrion Terry to take the lead back. On the play Anthony Johnson (now with Virginia) got a mixed signal from the Louisville sideline as he was the far side corner and blitzed from his cornerback position. It was a fatal error with Hornibrook easily throwing to Terry and Terry running to the endzone. GAME OVER.
2020: Florida State at Louisville (48-16 Louisville)
2020 was weird for everyone and it was also out of place for this series where there really haven’t been that many ‘handrides’ at the end of games.
Louisville dominated the game, FSU moved the ball but failed to score despite opening the game with a TD and leading 7-0.
Louisville would mount a 28-7 lead. Javian Hawkins had a huge day with 174 yards and 3 TDs. Tutu Atwell had 129 yards receiving and a TD. It was just a rout.
The highlight of the game for Louisville fans was former Cardinal commit and signing day flipper coming into the game to a chorus of boos and going 0 for 9. Purdy is at Nebraska now.
2021: Louisville at Florida State (31-23 Louisville)
Like so many games in this series 2021 saw a pretty significant comeback. This time it was FSU’s comeback bid coming up short.
The Cards started the game with a LONG TD to Tyler Harrell. A 3&OUT by FSU followed a UofL FG and it was quickly 10-0 in favor of UofL.
Feeling the pressure the Seminoles went for it at midfield on 4th and 4 and failed to convert. Louisville made FSU pay with a 10 play, 51 yard drive that was just methodical to the endzone.
But FSU with McKenzie Milton found a rhythm and by the time their drive ended to start the 2nd quarter Treshaun Ward ran 20 yards into the endzone to make it 17-7.
But Louisville’s hot start wasn’t over yet. A 15-play, 82 yard drive with a lot of Malik Cunningham and the Louisville Running Backs pushed the lead to 24-7 after a Malik Cunningham TD. Louisville would then push the lead even further out to 31-7 after a similar possession this time a 10-play 66 yard drive with the TD coming from Cunningham to Jordan Watkins for 21 yards.
But those were the last points Louisville would score. Florida State before halftime would get to 31-13 after a Andrew Parchment receiving TD. And then FSU would open the 3rd quarter with a very fast score on a 75-yard Jashaun Corbin run making the score 31-20.
This was dangerous territory but the Louisville defense tightened up. FSU missed a FG, turned the ball over on downs, made a FG and ultimately a last possession bid came to a halt when Kei’Trel Clark made an interception to end the game and stop the FSU comeback.