It's been identified as one of Florida State's potential stumbling blocks since the preseason, and now it's finally here. The No. 2 Seminoles travel to face the Louisville Cardinals Thursday night in what should be one of the stiffest tests all season for the defending national champions.
Florida State has had a bye week to recover from their close victory over Notre Dame, and will be looking to prove they can put away a good team convincingly for the first time this season. The Seminoles have passed all their tests so far this season (Oklahoma State, Clemson and the Irish) and will almost certainly make the playoff if they simply win out, but more close games could cause more concerns.
Louisville's first season under Bobby Petrino has been an unusual one for the offensive-minded coach -- their defense is one of the best units in the country, while the Cardinals have struggled (relatively) to put up points. Quarterback has been an uncertainty, but the running game may have finally found a focus around Michael Dyer, who ran for 173 yards last time out against North Carolina State. The defense is giving up just 14.2 points per game and is particularly adept at taking the ball away.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Online streaming: WatchESPN.
Rankings and records: Florida State is ranked No. 2 in both the AP and Coaches Polls. Louisville is not ranked in either poll. The Seminoles are 7-0, with a 4-0 record in conference play. The Cardinals are 6-2, with a 4-2 record in conference play. Florida State holds a 12-2 lead in the all-time series between the two schools.
Vegas: Florida State opened as an 8.5-point favorite. The line has since moved to 6.
Weather forecast: 53 degrees with a chance of rain.
Two things at stake
Florida State's playoff chances can not afford a loss.
Louisville's first ACC season has been fine, but a win over the defending champs would really boost the program.
One big matchup
Jameis Winston vs. Louisville secondary. The reigning Heisman winner has yet to average 10.0 yards per attempt in a game this season, but he's still been remarkably consistent: in only one game did he average less than 8.0 (against Wake Forest, of all teams). Winston has thrown for 13 touchdowns against six interceptions this season, and will be facing a Louisville defense that has picked off 15 passes this season -- including at least one in each game.