Florida State tops Louisville for first ACC title since 2014

Florida State tops Louisville for first ACC title since 2014
Courtesy: ESPN

With Brock Glenn as their backup quarterback, No. 4 Florida State defeated Louisville 16–6 on Saturday night to win the ACC title, which the Seminoles hope would guarantee them a position in the College Football Playoffs.

Coach Mike Norvell of Florida State stated, “I don’t think there is a conversation,” at his news conference following the game. This is a team that deserves it. This group has proven they deserve it. This is a group that has continually demonstrated its ability to succeed by turning up.

even without Jordan Travis, a seasoned starter who is sidelined for the whole season due to a leg injury. Even without backup Tate Rodemaker, who was out for the game on Saturday due to a concussion.

Without them, Glenn got the start and performed like a true freshman who had just started school in January, completing 8 of 21 passes for 55 yards, which is the second-fewest in a 20-year conference championship victory. Despite this, Florida State triumphed despite the loss of its two best quarterbacks to win its first ACC championship since 2014; it was a great moment for Norvell, who took over the team in 2020 and brought it back to its feet.

The effort put in by the entire squad to bring the program to this point is demonstrated by the fact that Florida State won this championship without Travis, a team leader who was crucial to the turnaround. The audience chanted “F-S-U!” as the last seconds passed.

“We just beat a top-15 team with a true freshman quarterback,” Norvell stated. As if that were unimportant. I don’t give a damn about what other people think. We prevail. I have faith in this group. I have faith in their abilities. I think highly of them.

Therefore, I don’t really give a damn about what other people think. I know who I coach, and since they have been doing this for the past four years, they will go after whatever they can get. I can assure you that they will not disappoint when the next chance arises.

Will the playoff committee find that sufficient? Commissioner Jim Phillips of the ACC stated that he thinks it ought to be.
“Finishing the regular season undefeated and now winning the ACC football championship game is a historic feat,” Phillips stated on ESPN.

Florida State is unquestionably one of the top four teams in the nation and deserves to be in the College Football Playoffs. History demonstrates that Power 5 undefeated champions like Florida State are routinely honored by the CFP committee. FSU and the ACC as a whole have had a tremendous season, and we have complete faith in the committee. We anticipate that FSU will be named one of the four best and most worthy teams among the teams that made it to the playoffs.

On Saturday, the Seminoles’ offense had trouble moving the ball. The Wildcat run by backup running back Lawrance Toafili, who finished with a game-high 118 yards and a touchdown to provide the Seminoles the much-needed spark, proved to be its most successful play. According to Norvell, the Wildcat package was added toward the end of the week in an effort to outmaneuver a strong run defense.

“I was just trying to be ready for my moment, trying to make it happen if it needed to be done,” Toafili stated.

The committee might look at the Seminoles’ defensive performance in this game, even though all the attention will be on the quarterback and whether Florida State is good enough at that position to deserve a playoff spot, even though Rodemaker is anticipated to be fully healthy for the bowl game. For the majority of the game, Florida State was overwhelming the Louisville offensive line and choking them. In stopping one of the top rushing teams in the ACC, the Seminoles finished with a season-high seven sacks, 14 tackles for loss, five quarterback hurries, and nine pass breakups.

During pregame warmups, a Louisville assistant mentioned that defensive tackle Braden Fiske was the guy they were most worried about. Fiske finished with nine tackles, a career-high three sacks, 4.5 tackles for loss, and two quarterback hurries.

“I’ve just been waiting for my opportunity to come,” Fiske stated. I anticipated it. I was eager for the chance, and when it materialized, it was there.

Fiske stated, that 13-0 speaks for itself when asked why he thought Florida State ought to qualify for the playoffs. I will disclose no more than what I have been asked to. If you’re going to talk about the finest teams, 13-0 is one of them; I’ll let them decide.”

With 19 straight victories, Florida State is second in the nation only to Washington (20).

Louisville had opportunities, but it did not seize them. Jack Plummer, a sixth-year starter, had a terrible game, misfiring receivers on 14 of 36 passes for 111 yards and one interception.

Louisville got the ball inside the Florida State 15-yard line twice in the second half. The Cards missed two touchdown opportunities. Louisville went down to the 7 the first time, but the Cardinals had to settle for a field goal after Jamari Thrash was tackled for a 9-yard loss. Alex Mastromanno, the punter, was under pressure the second time around and had to dive to the ground in order to cover up the ball. This put Louisville in a wonderful position. Louisville’s first drive ended when Tatum Bethune intercepted Plummer in the end zone, as Florida State led by 12.

The Louisville defense also had its share of chances. Louisville missed two interceptions that would have given the offense excellent field position inside the Florida State 30 during the same drive in the third quarter when the Seminoles were leading 10-0. Ben Perry and Jaylin Alderman both had possession of the ball, but they were unable to hold onto it.

With just five turnovers so far this season, Florida State leads the nation in this category. The Seminoles managed to keep the ball out of their hands despite having a rookie quarterback. In back-to-back games, Florida State has given up minus yardage in the fourth quarter, making them the only team to accomplish so in at least 20 years.

As a result, the ACC champions are currently forced to wait. A Power 5 champion who is unbeaten has never missed a playoff game. With two victories over SEC opponents, Florida State finished 13-0 despite playing with a third-string quarterback. In addition to making a strong statement on Saturday night, the defense also proved it last week when they defeated Florida.

Michael Alford, the athletic director of Florida State, told ESPN that “we can stack our defense up against any offense in the nation.” And our offensive will be ready if we have a month to prepare. We play the game for this reason. If not, then let’s do away with the committee and just sit around and see who the oddsmakers choose. For they will seriously undermine the credibility of the CFP if they omit FSU.

Jared Verse, a defensive end at Florida State, stated it this way: “The committee will take the necessary action. We are the Power 5 winners. We have demonstrated that our defense is capable of outlasting any team in the nation. We will take care of what needs to be done.”

Verse went on, “Anyone that they put before us is in for a rude awakening,” when asked if Florida State could compete with anyone who made the playoffs.

The defense, led by Verse, Fiske, and others, played to its best capacity on Saturday night, but there are worries that it may not be enough for the selection committee.

Although Florida State may not have Travis, it does have a team that is dedicated to winning for him. Will that be permitted by the committee?

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