They’ve teetered. They’ve wobbled. They’ve wavered.
But the one thing No. 2 Florida State hasn’t done is come crashing to earth for a loss.
The Seminoles recovered from another unsteady start on Thursday, overcoming a three-touchdown deficit to defeat upset-minded Louisville 42-31.
"We find a way to win football games," said FSU quarterback Jameis Winston, who had an uneven performance but still came up large when it mattered late.
The victory extended their winning streak to 24 straight and kept them in the thick of the four-team playoff picture and a shot at a second straight national title.
Just like some of their other wins this season -- such as those over Clemson, Oklahoma State and Notre Dame -- it was anything but easy.
Louisville (6-3) jumped out to a 21-0 lead and still held the advantage late before Dalvin Cook capped off the comeback for Florida State (8-0) with a 38-yard TD run that put the ‘Noles on top for good.
Winston sealed it with a 35-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Stevenson that sent a crowd of more than 55,000 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium to the exits.
"I'm convinced we should go ahead and just give our opponent 21 points (in order) for us to come out and play the way we want to play," Florida State receiver Rashad Greene said of the 'Noles latest escape out. "Once we get behind, we become so dominant."
It could hardly be described as an outstanding night for Winston, who threw a career-high three interceptions.
But it was Winston who came up large in the second half, rallying the Seminoles to another come-from-behind victory. He also received some help from a supporting cast that included Cook, who also had another long TD run to go with his go-ahead run late in the game.
No. 25 Louisville was slow to cave, however.
For that matter, they put a huge scare in Florida State by opening up a large early lead.
Winston was intercepted twice in the second quarter, with both pickoffs leading to Louisville touchdowns. The Cardinals list 15 players from Miami-Dade County on their roster.
Two of those South Floridians -- safety Gerod Holliman (Miami Southridge) and linebacker James Burgess (Homestead) -- gave Winston fits. Holliman picked off two of Winston’s throws while Burgess intercepted one.
Their first two takeaways set up a pair of second-quarter touchdowns for Louisville. The third, however, turned into a missed opportunity for the Cardinals when Holliman, after picking off his second pass, lost the ball when Winston knocked it loose.
"I had to do something," Winston said. "It was my third one (interception)."
Louisville held a 21-7 lead at the half.
But just as they had done in their comeback victory over Notre Dame, the Seminoles -- with Winston winging it into the arms of his receivers -- mounted a second-half charge, scoring 35 points over the final two quarters.
Winston connected with freshman receiver Travis Rudolph on a 68-yard touchdown pass. One possession later, Cook raced 40 yards for another TD that shaved Louisville’s lead to 24-21.
The Seminoles finally went ahead when Winston, who was limping around on a sore right ankle for much of the second half, found Ermon Lane on a 47-yard passing strike.
But Louisville didn’t collapse, at least not immediately.
The Cardinals struck back on a 1-yard run by Michael Dyer for his third touchdown of the game.
That’s when Cook took off on the second of his two touchdown runs and Winston found Stevenson for another big score.
"I don't know why we put ourselves in the holes," Winston said of the Seminoles' troubling tendency. "Part of it was my fault because of the turnovers early."
With Louisville out of the way, the remaining regular-season schedule for Florida State poses no major challenges. They have Virginia, Miami, Boston College and Florida looming, and only the Miami game is on the road.
▪ FSU linebacker Terrance Smith did not play Thursday due to a neck strain.
▪ Louisville’s roster listed 15 players from Miami-Dade County.