Things are looking up for the Louisville Football program. A much-improved effort and attitude have highlighted the early part of the season. This team had a great second half effort a few weeks ago against Florida State and most felt like they really let a big one slip through their fingers in Tallahassee.
After a much-needed bye week, the Cardinals are back in ACC play on Saturday afternoon at Cardinal Stadium. Depth was a big concern heading into the season and in my opinion cost this team that win against Florida State. So it’s good to get some of these guys healed and rested up. Louisville Football hasn’t won a conference game since November of 2017. This weekend is a great opportunity to break that streak.
The Louisville defense had looked impressive in the first three games of the year, holding opponents to an average of 18.7 points per game and 285.0 total yards in those games. They did struggle a bit allowing the Seminoles to score 35 points and gain 522 yards of total offense. While Boston College doesn’t have the athletes FSU does they still have some playmakers.
Boston College QB Anthony Brown has thrown for 1,057 yards and eight scores this season. And he spreads the love around. Eight different players caught a pass for them last week. And folks AJ Dillon is back for his junior season. Remember him? He had 272 yards and 4 TDs on his last visit to Cardinal Stadium on his way to the ACC Rookie of the year back in 2017. He didn’t play against us last year due to an ankle injury. He currently ranks fourth in the nation with an average of 125.4 yards per game. He has rushed for 627 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Dillon will face a much improved Louisville defense on Saturday. After finishing near the bottom in total defense last season, the Cardinals are the 45th-ranked overall defensive team in the country and rank 45th in rushing defense this season.
Khane Pass recorded a career-high 12 tackles, while linebacker C.J. Avery added nine stops and a sack in the last game holding FSU running back Cam Akers to 112 yards. Below his average. I still worry about depth issues especially in the 4th quarter with this unit but Coach Brown will have them up for this challenge.
The Cardinals have a pretty good rushing attack of their own led by Javian Hawkins. He has been a spark plug for the offense averaging 97.5 yards a game. The Cardinals enter this week 22nd in the country and second in the ACC in rushing offense. They can also go vertical with great playmakers like TuTu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick. Nationally, the Cardinals rank in the top 15 in plays of 30 or more yards while ranking fifth with five plays of 50 yards or more and eighth with three of 60 yards or better.
How good was it to see Fitzpatrick get back in the groove against FSU? He recorded the third 100-yard receiving game of his career, with seven receptions for 133 yards and that 74-yard bomb. That circus catch was the longest of his career. Hope this is a sign of things to come. We need Sixpatrick. Gonna need him Saturday.
The Louisville offense has been pretty balanced averaging 212.2 yards per game through the air and 225.2 yards on the ground. I think they’ll have to be really effective in the ground game Saturday and continue to take those big shots down the field when they can. That might not be as easy against the BC defense.
While Eagles are allowing an average of 438.6 yards of total offense this season, including 183.0 yards on the ground. They are third in the nation with eight interceptions. Their DBs are very active. DB Mike Palmer leads them with two picks on the season. This BC defense has taken it’s licks this season. But there are still some capable bodies. They played much better last week and I expect them to play out of their minds Saturday. That’s how it goes right.
We can talk about guys making plays and individual performances all day long. I don’t think execution will be a problem this season. Reality is this. Coach Satterfield has played nine former walk-ons, including five who have started games this season. And has played 5 true freshmen. Depth is going to be an issue all season. More so on defense than offense. This coaching staff has worked magic moving guys around but it is what it is. Gonna lose games because of this alone.
In saying that Saturday should not be one of those games. Depth should not be an issue coming off a bye week and pound for pound Louisville has the better athletes in this matchup. This team has us all emotionally invested again. They even have the guys in Vegas invested again. Louisville enters the Boston College game as the biggest favorite it has been vs. a Power 5 opponent since the 2017 season. We are all invested. Now make us believe.
The team is wearing some awesome Ali themed uniforms to honor the great one on Saturday. One of my favorite Ali quotes “Don’t count the days; make the days count.” The Cardinals need to make this game count. I think it’s a must-win to keep things moving in the right direction. Lose this one and I think things could go in the other direction.
Cheer loud. Go Cards!