UofL football could be on collision course with a national title

Published: Sep. 17, 2016 at 11:09 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2016 at 12:32 AM EDT
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Seriously, who this side of The Clairvoyants could have seen it coming?

"It," of course, is the University of Louisville football team's absolute humiliation of second-ranked Florida State on Saturday afternoon at raucous Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. The final score was 63-20, but it wasn't even that close. The Seminoles scored 10 points in the final 5 minutes, 19 seconds to make it look not as bad as it was.

I can't call it the biggest win in program history - I still think the Cardinals' victories in the 1991 Fiesta Bowl, the 2007 Orange Bowl and the 2013 Sugar Bowl meant more to the program - but it is easily the biggest regular-season win for UofL.

And it came against one of the most prestigious programs in the country. One that has won three national titles, has had three Heisman Trophy winners and produced the only man to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series (a.k.a. Deion Sanders) as well as record one of the worst songs in the history of music.

"Yeah, it's a good win for us," Louisville coach Bobby Petrino understated after the game.

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It's a win that makes Louisville a legitimate national-title contender. The 10th-ranked Cards, who could rise to new heights when both national polls are released tomorrow, are now in charge of their own destiny.

If UofL can win at No. 5 Clemson in two weeks, then at sixth-ranked Houston on Nov. 17 it would be a virtual lock for the College Football Playoff. If that happens it would be time to dust off the most famous quote in program history because the Cards would indeed find themselves on a collision course with a national championship.

Meanwhile, Louisville's Lamar Jackson seems to be on a collision course with the Heisman Trophy after yet another electrifying effort (see below). The sophomore quarterback accounted for 362 yards of total offense (216 passing, 146 rushing) and five touchdowns against the Seminoles, who traditionally have one of the best defenses in the nation. Jackson has such an early-season stranglehold on college football's most coveted individual award that the person who engraves the Heisman probably already has the letters L-A-M chiseled into the trophy.

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And how about UofL's offensive line?! All it did was dominate the line of scrimmage (the Cards outrushed FSU 314-171) and open up holes for Jackson and Brandon Radcliff (118 rushing yards and a TD) while allowing only one sack.

Not to be outdone the Louisville defense dominated, limiting the Seminoles to 284 yards of total offense (much of which came after the game was well in hand) and a paltry 4.2 yards per play.

UofL also owned special teams thanks to Jaire Alexander's 69-yard punt return for a touchdown.

In short, it was a total team effort by the Cards. One that likely had the Seminoles and their fans asking, "What just happened?"


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