Louisville is fresh off of its best offensive performance of the season against Florida State.  If you read our preview last week, Louisville performing well against Florida State came as no surprise.  This week, statistics bear out a more difficult road for the Louisville offense against the Boston College Defense.

The Eagles are a very frugal defense and allow on average 68 fewer yards than their opponents have averaged on the season.  3 games in particular stand out for BC UMASS, USC, and NC State where the Eagles REALLY did an outstanding job of keeping those 3 teams off their averages by a great deal.

Louisville on the other hand has really been a chameleon to whatever the opposing defense typically allows with the exception being the most recent match-up against Florida State when the Cards gained 125% and 99 yards OVER what the Seminoles typically allow.

Still the range here is pretty tight from what we probably can expect for Louisville to gain against Boston College with the stats suggesting that the Cards will be able to gain around 315-328 yards on Saturday night against the Boston College Eagles.

Total Offense BC Allowed Deviation from Avg % Gained of Avg Allowed
UMASS 435.4 202 -233.4 46.39%
PITT 431.4 414 -17.4 95.97%
USC 458.9 337 -121.9 73.44%
Colorado State 469.3 430 -39.3 91.63%
NC State 395.2 217 -178.2 54.91%
Clemson 432 398 -34 92.13%
Wake Forest 213.5 261 47.5 122.25%
Virginia Tech 381.7 414 32.3 108.46%
Average -68.05 85.65%
Louisville 383.4 Projection 315.35 328.37
Total Defense UofL Gained Deviation from Avg % Gained of Avg Allowed
Miami (FL) 327.4 336 8.6 102.63%
Virginia 331.3 282 -49.3 85.12%
Florida International 343.4 336 -7.4 97.85%
Wake Forest 357 421 64 117.93%
Syracuse 357.4 352 -5.4 98.49%
Clemson 282.7 264 -18.7 93.39%
NC State 394.6 369 -25.6 93.51%
Florida State 388.6 488 99.4 125.58%
Average 8.20 101.81%
Boston College 312.4 Projection 320.60 318.06

Louisville Passing Offense vs. Boston College Passing Defense 

Boston College is stingy pass defense team, but it is probably Louisville’s best chance to move the football.  Particularly according to recent results.  The Eagles have allowed 240+ yards or more in 5 of its 8 games against FBS opponents (this is mostly due to BC’s stingy run defense, but we’ll get to that later).

Overall, Boston College limits its opponents to 55 yards fewer than they are accustomed and just 79% of their average.

Louisville on the other hand has actually gained more than what their opponents typically allow through the air by 28 yards or 115%.  The Cards have also played 4 of the Top 20 passing defenses, so Boston College’s 58th rating isn’t exactly a new problem but rather a welcome relief.

The range of potential gain through the air is quite staggering as Louisville should gain anywhere between 182-257 yards through the air, which is an extremely wide range.  The big spread makes the Louisville Passing game vs. the BC Passing Defense the battle to watch when the Cards have the ball.

Passing Offense Boston College Allowed vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
UMASS 331.2 147 -184.2 44.38%
PITT 183.8 111 -72.8 60.39%
USC 286.4 317 30.6 110.68%
Colorado St 317.3 268 -49.3 84.46%
NC State 221.1 174 -47.1 78.70%
Clemson 291.3 285 -6.3 97.84%
Wake Forest 179 242 63 135.20%
Virginia Tech 241.8 345 103.2 142.68%
Average -54.85 79.41%
Passing Defense Louisville Gained vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
Miami (FL) 180.6 206 25.4 114.06%
Virginia 225.7 203 -22.7 89.94%
FIU 192.7 324 131.3 168.14%
Wake Forest 179.8 206 26.2 114.57%
Syracuse 223.2 174 -49.2 77.96%
Clemson 167.3 212 44.7 126.72%
NC State 218 203 -15 93.12%
Florida State 240.6 330 89.4 137.16%
Average 28.76 115.21%

Louisville Rushing Offense vs. Boston College Rushing Defense 

Louisville’s Rushing attack has been much improved in 4 of its past 5 games.  The arrival of a healthy Michael Dyer to the line-up has made a tremendous impact to the Louisville running game.  Meanwhile, only Pitt & Colorado State have really been able to crack the Boston College Rushing Defense puzzle and the Panthers have one of the top rushing offenses in the country.   In fact, every opponent that has been able to gain 100+ yards against the Eagles are games that Boston College has lost (Pitt, Colorado State, and Clemson) so this is a huge point of emphasis in the game.

Boston College typically allows 64 yards fewer or 84% of what teams are accustomed to gaining on the ground.  Louisville on the other hand has been all over the map but has an average of 18 yards fewer or just 85% of what its opponents usually allow on the ground.

Statistically Louisville should be able to gain between 70-122 yards on the ground Saturday night.  The closer Louisville gets to that 122 number the better chance the Cards have to win.  Staying south of 100 yards is a bad recipe for the Cards.

Rushing Offense Boston College Allowed vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
UMASS 104.22 55 -49.22 52.77%
PITT 247.67 303 55.33 122.34%
USC 172.44 20 -152.44 11.60%
Colorado St 152 162 10 106.58%
NC State 174.11 43 -131.11 24.70%
Clemson 140.75 113 -27.75 80.28%
Wake Forest 34.5 19 -15.5 55.07%
Virginia Tech 139.89 69 -70.89 49.32%
Average -63.6 83.78%

 

Rushing Defense Louisville Gained vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
Miami (FL) 131.89 130 -1.89 98.57%
Virginia 119 79 -40 66.39%
FIU 156.89 12 -144.89 7.65%
Wake Forest 178.5 215 36.5 120.45%
Syracuse 130.56 178 47.44 136.34%
Clemson 101.38 52 -49.38 51.29%
NC State 171.11 166 -5.11 97.01%
Florida State 148 158 10 106.76%
Average -18.42 85.56%

 Summary 

It’s going to be a tough game for Louisville to move the ball.  The main thing here for the Cards is to not get frustrated or turn the ball over.  Boston College has not been a big take away team in 2014, but they do not give up much room at all.  The Eagles are not a stellar 3rd down team, and that’s where Louisville has really found problems in losses.  If Louisville can keep going in the right direction offensively that we’ve seen in the past few weeks and the Cards can actually begin to convert 3rd downs they can pull off the win on the road.

Boston College will be no picnic and it will seriously test this team’s mettle.

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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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