Yards Rank
FSU Passing Offense 316.7 14th
UofL Passing Defense 177 10th

Florida State can throw the football.  No surprise, the Seminoles have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner at Quarterback in Jameis Winston.  In these stats it is a side note that Jameis did not play against Clemson, a game in which FSU threw for 304 yards. That game is notable because Clemson’s passing defense is ranked a tad higher than Louisville’s and also saw Florida State have ZERO success on the ground (gained just 13 yards) and were forced to try and win the game through the air……considering Louisville’s rushing defense, we’ll probably see the same thing on Thursday night.

Florida State has thrown for over 300 yards in 5 of 6 games vs. FBS schools and have surpassed EVERY opponents average yardage allowed this season.  The Seminoles have been throwing for 104 yards MORE than what opponents typically allow during a season or gain over 151% during a given game.  THAT is impressive.

Passing Defense Florida State Gained vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
Oklahoma St 282.1 370 87.9 131.16%
Clemson 167.3 304 136.7 181.71%
NC State 206.9 365 158.1 176.41%
Wake Forest 179.8 304 124.2 169.08%
Syracuse 227.9 317 89.1 139.10%
Notre Dame 242.9 273 30.1 112.39%
Average 104.35 151.64%

Louisville has been very effective as well against Passing Offenses. Currently the 10th best pass defense team in the nation, Louisville has limited every opponent except for one under its season average through the air.  Syracuse was able to eek out a 3 yard difference as the loner overachiever against the Cardinal defense (a game in which the Orange abandoned the running game).

The Cards have held passing offenses to 56 yards LESS than the average or 75% of the usual output.

Passing Offense Louisville Allowed vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
Miami (FL) 242.4 174 -68.4 71.78%
Virginia 241.6 171 -70.6 70.78%
FIU 179.8 117 -62.8 65.07%
Wake Forest 179 122 -57 68.16%
Syracuse 197.8 201 3.2 101.62%
Clemson 291.3 157 -134.3 53.90%
NC State 225.5 223 -2.5 98.89%
Average -56.06 75.74%

THIS is the big disparity coming into the game. Who wins out?  FSU’s passing offense is explosive with Jameis Winston at the controls with Rashad Greene as an outstanding wide receiver.  Louisville has the nation’s leader in INTs in Gerod Holliman to go along with Safety James Sample who has been the biggest surprise of 2014.  Terell Floyd was recently moved back to his more natural Corner spot with the return of Jermaine Reve at NICKEL, and Quarterbacks have basically ignored Charles Gaines’ side of the field throughout the season in fear of testing him.

Something has to give in this match-up.  Right now the statistical information suggests that Florida State will be able to gain 239-281 yards through the air.  That is a big gap, and is the biggest gap of these breakdowns.  Can Louisville limit the FSU passing attack?  Or will FSU move the ball as it usually does against the Cardinals?

In the offense vs. defense match-ups this is the one to watch the most.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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