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Seminoles find a way. Win ACC Championship against Louisville

On Saturday, the second of December, the fourth-ranked Florida State Seminoles took the field against the 14th-ranked Louisville Cardinals. In a must-win for the Seminoles to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Seminoles were faced with a major question mark at quarterback. For the Cardinals, they entered looking to put their disappointing loss to Kentucky to end the season. They were also looking at the role of spoiler. Let's dig into what happened in the game and see what happened.

Quarterback - The biggest question heading into the game was the availability of quarterback Tate Rodemaker after he suffered a concussion from a hit during last week's game against the Florida Gators. For true freshman Brock Glenn, it marked the first start of his college career. While coach Norvell called a game to start Glenn off building momentum, it translated to a slower start than Seminoles fans wanted to see. Glenn finished the game by completing eight passes for only 55 yards. While he wasn't consistent in his first start, he did show flashes where he was poised, and where he showed his legs to make a play and gain yards. For Louisville, Plummer had struggles of his own. Finishing the night 14 for 36 for 111 yards and a momentum-changing interception in the end-zone.

Running backs - Jawhar Jordan for the Cardinals, was held in check throughout the game. Florida State held the explosive runner in check as he finished with 52 yards in the game and a long run of 22 yards. He still showed the vision and running style that has made him so fun to watch this season, it was just inconsistent throughout the game. For the Seminoles, the dynamic duo of Trey Benson and Lawrance Toafili was a tough duo for Louisville to battle. Benson finished with 67 hard-fought yards on the night with his longest (21 yards) coming in the later stages of the game. For Toafili, he finished with a game-high 118 yards and a touchdown. Highlighted by a huge 73-yard run down the FSU sideline, he gave the team and offense a huge jolt in momentum.

Defense - The defense played a big role for both teams in the first half as the 3-0 halftime score was one of the lowest ever. For the Cardinals, they flew to the ball everywhere on the field. Led by TJ Quinn who finished with 11 tackles on the night. Quinn showed tremendous ability to not only attack the line but showed lateral agility to cover sideline to sideline and make big plays. The Cardinals did manage to sack Glenn four times and did block a punt to get their offense the ball in tremendous field position (resulting in a field goal). For the Seminoles, their defense had an outstanding game. Knowing they would be called on to carry the load with an inexperienced quarterback, the defensive unit went above and beyond. Finishing with seven sacks on the evening and an interception, the defense was quick to end the Cardinals' offensive drives. Led by Braden Fiske, who finished with three sacks and nine total tackles, he tormented Plummer and the Cardinals constantly. Tatum Bethune contributed with the huge interception in the endzone that ended the best chance of the night for Louisville to find the endzone. Jared Verse was Fiske's running mate finishing with two sacks himself. It was a huge performance from the Seminoles' defense.

Overall thoughts - This ACC Championship Game was an absolute must-win for the Seminoles and like all good teams they found a way to get the win. The tall task for Glenn to come in and start the game and while he didn't have the stats, he did well to not get rattled or make mistakes that could have cost his team. The Seminoles defense was the star of the game holding a high-powered Louisville offense to a season-low six points in the game. While there is still work to be done, the Seminoles won their first ACC title since 2014 winning 16-6 against the Cardinals.


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