Sep 26, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Pittsburgh won 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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Louisville returns home, looks to end skid vs. Florida State

Struggling Louisville and Florida State are coming off games against top-five teams, with the Cardinals just coming short at then-No. 4 Notre Dame and the Seminoles holding on to upset then-No. 5 North Carolina at home.

Louisville (1-4, 0-4 ACC) will host Florida State (2-3, 1-3) on Saturday hoping to build off its confidence from the near upset of the Fighting Irish, a 12-7 loss. The Seminoles will attempt to refocus against the conference’s last-place team following their 31-28 victory over the Tar Heels.

The game will be Louisville’s first at home since a 47-34 loss to then-No. 17 Miami on Sept. 19.

“There’s a fine line from winning or losing,” Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said. “You have to do the little things correctly in order to give yourself a chance to win. You can go back to last year; how many were so close that we could’ve won or lost. This year we’ve been on the short end of those sticks.”

Florida State coach Mike Norvell said of the win over previously unbeaten North Carolina, “It’s going to be monumental for us to continue to grow and build off this example.”

Florida State, which held on for a three-point decision after leading 31-7 at halftime, achieved its first victory as an unranked team against an AP top-five foe since 2007 against No. 2 Boston College.

“They didn’t think about any of the limitations that would be put out in front of them,” Norvell said of his players. “They just went out and played their game. It was their moment, and they definitely deserve the victory for how they prepared and how they responded to all that they’re asked to do.”

Louisville may be without two key players this week. Running back/kick returner Hassan Hall injured his shoulder in the loss to Notre Dame. Defensive end Yaya Diaby limped off the field in the first half and did not return to the game. Neither Hall nor Diaby practiced early this week.

Hall is Louisville’s backup running back, paired with starter Javian Hawkins. Hall has 144 yards on 26 carries and is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Hawkins ranks fourth nationally with 519 rushing yards on 100 carries.

Diaby, a junior college transfer, has been a consistent starter for the Cardinals with 11 tackles, two for loss.

Louisville still went on to sack Notre Dame four times and held quarterback Ian Book to 106 yards passing.

“Right now, the biggest thing on defense is being able to get off the field on third downs,” Satterfield said. “We have to do a better job with that on defense (allowing opponents a 47.1 percent success rate), important to not to give up big plays, but third-down defense is an area that we have to get better at.”

Florida State counters with quarterback Jordan Travis, who completed eight passes for 191 yards and one touchdown and ran 16 times for a career-high 107 yards and two touchdowns against North Carolina. Running back La’Damian Webb rushed 12 times for a career-best 109 yards.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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