Saturday afternoon was a day where the Louisville Cardinals honored the “Greatest of all time” Muhammad Ali. By the end of the day he would have had the biggest smile on his face. Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson showed his greatness on the field leading the Cardinals to a 63-20 trouncing of the then #2 ranked Florida State Seminoles.
Louisville fans and supporters had to be asking the question, “Dalvin who?” While Florida State fans had to be wondering, “Lamar, what?”
Yes, Dalvin Cook, Florida State’s All-American running back was a no show on Saturday. 16 carries for 54 yards; less than 4 yards per carry. Yes, Louisville defense zeroed in on Cook, but that’s what you expect when you’re an All-American. They forced the freshman Deondre Francois to win the game throwing the ball. Francois was relatively ineffective, going 7-of-18 for 101 yards with a top-level defense putting pressure on him.
On the other side, it appeared it to be back yard football being played. Jackson seemed to be toying with the Seminoles’ defense. Coupled with running back Brandon Radcliff , they put up 264 yards on the ground between the two of them, more than Florida States’ rushing attack total. Jackson added 216 yards in the air and accounted for 5 of the 9 Louisville touchdowns.
This was the first hurdle that Louisville had to get over and on a national stage, this win helps cement their case when the CFP Committee convenes at the end of October. It also gets eyes of the nation glued in on October 1st when they have to travel to Clemson and the two top quarterbacks in the country lead their teams into battle. Then the question will be asked, “Deshaun or Lamar?”
Oklahoma’s dominance appears to be done around the country. Maybe in the Big 12 it still has an effect where the competition is a little suspect and the Longhorns are trying to get there program back a power program. As a whole, the Sooners are not the offensive scoring machine we once use to expect and on Saturday night their defensive secondary got exposed mightily.
Ohio State’s Noah Brown faced little to no resistance all night long. Brown must of said something like this to his quarterback J.T. Barrett, “just throw it up, and I’ll get it.” Brown had five receptions for 72 yards with 4 touchdowns.
The Sooners didn’t have an answer for the Buckeyes speed on offense. OSU running backs Mike Weber and Curtis Samuel were able to run on the Sooners at will. Weber tallied up 123 yards, Samuel went for 98 yards and a touchdown.
All the hype of Baker Mayfield has come to a head at this point. He has looked pretty pedestrian up to this point. The two interceptions were crucial in not only stopping potential drives to get points and possibly getting back into the game, but they were momentum killers that resulted in points for the Buckeyes.
Oklahoma can still savage their season with a conference championship, but chances at the CFP have definitely gone by the wayside.
Anyone that thought USC was starting to make their way back to being one of the top teams in the country again may want to pump the brakes. Yes, David Shaw’s teams have been a grind it out type of win team. The ground and pound attack is led by arguably the most complete around player in the country Christian McCaffrey and a hard nose defense with athletes that can run.
USC’s best offensive weapon JuJu Smith-Schuster was held to just 34 yards. That will not cut it, 117 yards on the ground for the Trojans while McCaffrey had more on his own.
Stanford has dominated this series as of late. Winning 4 of that last 6 meetings including the Pac-12 Championship game last season where McCaffrey had over 400 all-purpose yards. and even when USC won in 2014, Stanford controlled the game statically the Trojans made a big fumble recovery at the end. USC Head Coach Clay Helton has to find a way to protect the quarterback Max Browne better and use your dynamic playmakers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Adore Jackson where the ball is in their hands more.