We've seen this movie before. It's halftime and Florida State is not playing well. They're down 35-10 to No. 10 Louisville, and it's not looking good. Lamar Jackson is cooking and the Noles look lost.
But then the third quarter opens and FSU forces a turnover or blocks a punt. They turn the tide and get the ship righted with impressive offensive adjustments. The Cardinals, out of sorts, can't adjust to the Seminole blitzkrieg and wilt at the ferocity of the comeback. Jimbo Fisher's bunch does it again, 45-42.
Louisville got up, stayed up and ran away with the thing in true #beatemdown fashion to the tune of 63-20, just a few points shy of the worst loss in FSU history.
The Cardinals made the Noles look like their first two opponents, Conference USA's Charlotte and the rebuilding Syracuse, as they rolled over around and through them. When it rains it pours on the Seminoles. Jackson brought a damn monsoon to the tune of 216 yards passing, 146 yards rushing and five total touchdowns, giving him 18 on the year.
This was the Jackson show, his coming-out party against a name brand on a big stage, and he owned it.
He did it all, channeling his inner 2004 video game Mike Vick, except this was real life and Jackson was just as unfair as your buddy was on Xbox back in the day. He paced Louisville to an FSU school record for opponent points allowed. It's also the third game in a row in which Louisville has scored 60 or more points.
Also, as brilliant as Jackson was, this happened:
So everything was going right.
If you're looking for the moment in which the jig was really and truly up, it probably came on a special teams play, of all things. If the Zombie Noles were going to try something looking like a comeback, the Cardinals shut the door after the opening drive of the half with a 69-yard return for a TD by Jaire Alexander. Louisville followed rule No. 2. They double tapped.
Florida State would not come to life because apparently when Jackson is involved, you stay down because he keeps you there. Jackson orchestrated something so many have failed to do in the last few years. His team stepped on Florida State's neck and stayed there.
There will be talk of September Heismans, and sure, we'll get to that. There's no question Jackson is the best player in the nation at this moment. What matters more for now is that on this day, Jackson was the best player on that field, and I'm not sure if there's anything Florida State or anyone could have done about that.