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Charlotte, NC — Two high powered offenses would meet in Charlotte, NC for the 2023 ACC Championship. Florida State came in looking to cement a spot in the College Football Playoff, and Louisville looking to play spoiler and capture their first ACC Championship since joining the conference.
Neither team could get anything going offensively early. There were eight punts in the first quarter between the two teams with no momentum swing for either.
Florida State would break through at the end of the first quarter on a drive that was helped by a couple of Louisville penalties. After getting down to the Louisville 25-yard line their drive would stall after a fumble – the Seminoles would kick the field goal to go up 3-0.
The start of the second quarter would be more of the same for the offenses as the two teams would trade punts. Florida State caught a break after a shanked punt by Louisville punter Brady Hodges that would go out at the Louisville 38 yard line. The Seminoles would stall again and miss the ensuing field goal.
The first half would end with Florida State being up 3-0, the lowest score first half score in ACC Championship Game history.
The second half would see the tides change in what was a defensive battle.
Florida State would start their drive with a creative pass play to Keon Coleman for nine yards. Brock Glenn would scramble on the following play for big gain but it would be erased after a holding call on Keiondre Jones. The Noles would only gain two yards after that, and Louisville would force the three and out.
Louisville would capitalize with a methodical 13-play, 75-yard drive. Jack Plummer would 5/6 for 44 yards on the drive, leading the Cardinals to a field goal to tie the game 3-3.
Florida State would only take two plays to score on the following drive. Lawrence Toafili would rush off the right side for 73 yards to get the Seminoles down to the Louisville 2-yard line. Toafili would then punch it in on a two yard rush to put the Noles up 10-3 midway through the third quarter.
Toafili’s 73 yard rush was the second longest in ACC Championship game history, the longest being a 75 yard rush by Clemson’s Travis Etienne in 2018.
The teams would trade punts on their next two drives.
Louisville would take over on their own 41 yard line after a FSU punt. Running back Maurice Turner would take the handoff for 41 yards to the Florida State 18 on the first play. Jack Plummer would have two rushes for four and seven yards to get the Cardinals to the Florida State 7-yard line. The drive would fizzle out after two holding calls. Louisville would kick a field goal to make the game 10-6 after three quarters.
Disaster would strike as the Seminoles would give the ball back on downs after a botched punt attempt by Alec Mastromanno. The Cardinals would take over on the Florida State 12-yard line, their best field position of the night. Louisville would have an incompletion, a dropped pass, and a drive killing Jake Plummer interception by FSU’s Tatum Bethune on their ensuing drive.
The Seminoles would go three and out on their next drive, Louisville taking over on their own 14-yard line. The Seminoles front seven would generate sacks on the next two plays to put the Cardinals on their own 6-yard line. Plummer would complete a pass to Jamari Thrash for nine yards on the following play to create space to punt the ball.
FSU would ride the legs for Trey Benson on their drive. Benson would total three carries for 33 yards on the drive. Glenn would rush for one yard on a quarterback keeper, and then throw an incompletion on a screen pass. FSU would kick the field goal to further their lead to 13-6.
The rest of the game was all Florida State’s defense. The Noles’ defense would get a sack to give the offense good field position leading to a field goal to of up 16-6.
They would total three sacks and two pass breakups on the final two Louisville possessions.
FSU would kneel the ball and finish the game with a final score of 16-6.