July 18, 2024

Florida State Conquers Undefeated Season with AAC Championship Win

Florida State Conquers Undefeated Season with AAC Championship Win

It was a night of celebration and triumph for the Florida State Seminoles and head coach Mike Norvell as they secured a 16-6 victory over the Louisville Cardinals in the 2023 ACC Football Championship Game. The contest took place at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and was closely watched by many across the nation. This victory marks FSU’s 16th ACC title, their first since 2014.

The Seminoles, who now trail only Clemson‘s 21 ACC titles, finished the season undefeated. This accomplishment situates them amongst the elite company of Michigan, Liberty, and Washington — the only other undefeated teams in all of FBS at the end of the 2023 season. Florida State’s current 19-game winning streak, dating back to the previous year, is the longest active streak in the ACC and the second-longest active streak in the country. This is also the second-longest in program history and the third-longest in ACC history.

Post-game, Coach Norvell was effusive in his praise for the team. He highlighted the journey they have embarked upon, the challenges they’ve overcome, and the unity they’ve shown. Starting a true freshman quarterback in the ACC Championship game wasn’t the plan at the beginning of the season, but the team’s resiliency shone through in this unexpected situation.

The stunning performance of the Seminoles’ defense must be lauded. They faced a formidable Louisville offense, which had been averaging 33.0 points per game, and managed to hold them to a mere six points. The Cardinals were restricted to 188 yards of total offense, 250 yards below their season average of 438.6. This defensive masterclass was a critical factor in their victory.

Braden Fiske emerged as a star on the defensive side with career highs in tackles (9), tackles for loss (4.5), and sacks (3.0). He was instrumental in keeping the Louisville offense in check, doubling his season totals in tackles for loss and sacks during this game alone.

On offense, Lawrance Toafili put on an impressive show, rushing for 118 yards, the eighth most in championship game history. His 73-yard run in the third quarter was not only the longest non-scoring rush in championship game history but also the second-longest run overall, trailing only Travis Etienne’s 75-yard dash in 2018.

Despite the low-scoring affair, there was no lack of records set. The teams combined for 18 punts, setting a new championship game record. Both teams punted nine times, tying the individual team record in the championship game.

Louisville, despite the defeat, can still take pride in their journey to the ACC Championship game – their first appearance on this stage. With a 10-3 record, they will now set their sights on their upcoming bowl game. To date, 13 different ACC teams have played in the ACC Football Championship Game since its inception in 2005, with Clemson leading all teams with nine appearances.

As the Seminoles look forward to the bowl season and the College Football Playoff, Coach Norvell expressed confidence in his team’s resume. “We’ve got the most Power Five wins over bowl-eligible teams in the country,” he pointed out. “This is a team that has been resilient in the way that they have had to overcome, and it shows up in how they play.

The 2023 ACC Football Championship Game was not just a contest between two football teams; it was a testament to the resilience, unity, and sheer strength of the Seminoles. As they move forward, the Florida State Seminoles, under the capable leadership of Mike Norvell, have set a high standard for themselves and ACC football. The season ahead promises to be exciting for Seminole fans.

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