Tampa Bay Sports Day

RECAP: FSU Rallies to Beat Louisville in ACC Showdown

PHOTO By NANCY BEECHER/Florida Sports Wire

TALLAHASSEE – With the possibility of going 0-2 in ACC play, Florida State had to muster a defense to stop an surging Lousiville offense Saturday afternoon at Doak Campbell Stadium.

It was a too familar sight. But this time a different outcome.

After losing two games after not being able to hold a lead or score points, FSU bested the Cardinals 35-24.

After the visitors scored a go ahead TD, Lousiville QB Malik Cunningham was intercepted by Fagan Cyrus at the FSU 10 to stop the bleeding.

FSU QB Alex Hornibrook threw a 60-yard TD pass to Tamorrion Terry and Cam Akers scored his third TD of the day to secure the victory. Akers ran for 112 yards.

The Cardinals scored 24 unanswered points against the Smeinoles (2-2, 1-1 ACC) to forge a 24-21 lead heading into the final quarter.

“For our guys to come here and play the way they did and play the fourth quarter and find a way to win the ball game was big for our football team,” said FSU head coach Willie Taggart said. “A much-needed win for our football team.”

The Seminoles led 21-0 after the first quarter. Akers scored on runs of one and four yards.

Hornibrook threw a 44-yard TD pass to Keyshawn Helton. Helton had 96 yards receiving.

Hornibrook was 15 of 20 passing for 255 yards.

FSU QB James Blackman started the game. He left the game in the third with a leg injury.

Blackman was 11 of 14 passing for 112 yards.

Cunningham found Tutu Atwell in the corner of the end zone for nine yards with 44 seconds to play in the first half.

Cunningham ran for a four yard TD and Blanton Creque kicked a 30-yard field goal to pull within 21-17 in the third. Cunningham was 16 of 27 for 286 yards.

With FSU unable to move the ball or stop the Cardinals. Cunningham hooked up with Dez Fitspatrick for 74-yards and the go-ahead TD at the start of the final quarter.

Fitzgerald led all receivers in he game with 133 yards on seven catches.

FSU hosts North Carolina State next week (7:30 p.m., ACC Network) and then visit No. 1 Clemson on Oct. 12.

GAME NOTES: Hornibrook, a graduate transfer from Wisconsin, received his first snaps as a Seminole in the first quarter as part of a planned rotation with usual starter James Blackman…Javian Hawkins’ 65-yard kickoff return for a TD for the Cardinals was called back for a block in the back….FSU’s Ricky Aguayo missed a 47-yarder as time ran out in the first half, one of three missed in the game….attendance was announced as 46,530.