University of Louisville

Updated: No. 2 Florida State manages to outlast No. 25 Louisville with 42-31 win

Florida State's Jameis Winston threw for three touchdowns in the Seminoles' win over  Louisville on Thursday.
Florida State's Jameis Winston threw for three touchdowns in the Seminoles' win over Louisville on Thursday. AP

LOUISVILLE — With its 23-game winning streak on the line Thursday night, second-ranked Florida State overcame a 21-0 deficit to edge No. 25 Louisville 42-31.

Florida State piled up 574 yards of offense. Quarterback Jameis Winston completed 25 of 48 passes for 401 yards and three touchdowns, overcoming three interceptions.

The Seminoles (8-0, 5-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) won their ninth straight conquest of a top 25 team.

Louisville (6-3, 4-3) lost at home for the first time in five games this season.

"That hurts a lot," U of L Coach Bobby Petrino said. "I'm proud of our team. I'm proud of the way they prepared and how hard they came out and competed. We got ahead of them and we had our opportunities.

"You have to give Florida State a lot of credit for them being able to make plays when the pressure was on. They ran the ball well. They made some really good throws and catches."

Louisville totaled 488 yards of offense, with big-time games from DeVante Parker and Michael Dyer.

Parker finished with eight receptions for 214 yards. Dyer rushed 28 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns.

In addition, Will Gardner completed 20 of 38 passes for 330 yards and a score.

"We just didn't finish when we needed to," Gardner said. "We get the ball back with six minutes to go (leading 31-28), we've got to keep nicking away, getting first down, first down and run the clock out. We've just got to finish there at the end."

The Cardinals led 21-7 at halftime, scoring on Dyer runs of 4 and 12 yards, and on an 11-yard pass from Gardner to Gerald Christian.

Yet, U of L missed a golden opportunity to score on its first possession.

Gardner hooked up with Parker for a 71-yard gain on the game's first scrimmage play, carrying to the Seminoles' 4-yard line. Tyler Hunter made a touchdown-saving tackle.

The Cardinals couldn't push the ball in, though, and turned the ball over on downs when a pass to Christian fell incomplete in the end zone.

U of L finally got rolling with back-to-back first downs to end the first quarter.

That was the start of a seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive, which Dyer capped with his 4-yard run.

A James Burgess interception near midfield set up another scoring drive. The pick was the sixth of Burgess' career and U of L's 16th of the season — at least one in every game.

Dyer again capped the drive, this one a five-play, 52-yarder, with a 12-yard burst up the middle with 5:11 left in the half.

On Florida State's next play from scrimmage, Heisman Trophy winner Winston was picked off again, this time by Gerod Holliman for his ninth theft of the year.

U of L capitalized again, moving 43 yards in six plays. Gardner's pass to Christian came with 2:09 left in the half and gave U of L a 21-0 lead.

The Seminoles advanced from their own 22 to U of L's 1 in just five plays. From there, Karlos Williams tried to run the ball in.

He fumbled, but tight end Nick O'Leary recovered in the end zone with 33 seconds left.

Louisville came up with a third interception, by Holliman, on the first scrimmage play of the second half. However, Winston forced Holliman to fumble and Travis Rudolph recovered for the Seminoles on their own 40.

Holliman's 10th pick of the season tied a U of L record held by Anthony Floyd.

Florida State didn't go far, though, turning the ball over on downs at midfield.

U of L then upped its lead to 24-7 on a 33-yard field goal by John Wallace. The big move on the six-play, 33-yard drive was a 31-yard pass from Gardner to Parker, carrying to the Seminoles' 16-yard line.

FSU came roaring back.

A 68-yard pass from Winston to a wide-open Travis Rudolph made it a 24-14 game.

After a Louisville punt, the Seminoles tacked on a 40-yard TD burst by Dalvin Cook, pulling to within 24-21 with 6:17 left in the third quarter. Cook finished with 110 yards and two TDs on nine carries.

FSU had a chance to tie late in the third quarter. But Robert Aguayo, who had made 23 consecutive field goals, was wide right on a 41-yard attempt.

The Seminoles made it 21 points in a row early in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 47-yard pass from Winston to Ermon Lane with 12:48 left. That gave FSU its first lead of the night, 28-24.

Louisville wasn't done, though.

The Cards had a quick answer, regaining the lead at 31-28 with 9:20 left.

A 51-yard pass from Gardner to Parker jump-started a six-play drive of 77 yards, which Dyer completed with his third TD of the night, a 1-yard sweep around right end.

"I liked the way we came back and went down and scored to take the lead back," Petrino said. "When we got the ball back with five minutes, I thought we could drive it and finish the game. And we weren't able to do that. We hurt ourselves with (a) penalty. It was a good football game. We just came up a little bit short."

After an exchange of punts, FSU took a 35-31 lead with 3:46 left. The TD came on a 38-yard sweep around the right end by Cook.

U of L then turned the ball over on downs at its own 39.

FSU put the game out of reach with 2:11 left, when Winston found Freddie Stevenson for a 35-yard touchdown play.

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