This will be a weekly feature here at TheCrunchZone.com. The premise is rather simple:

Each week, I’ll present the scenarios it will take for each team to win the given week’s game. I hope you enjoy.

Louisville will win if…

Teddy Bridgewater stays upright. That’s the key for Louisville. Here’s the thing: On the offensive side of the ball, Ohio will have success against the Louisville defense. However, the glaring problem for the Bobcats? Louisville will be able to have their way on offense.

Ohio ranked near the middle of the pack last season in total defense, giving up an average of 388 yards per game. They ranked just behind Kentucky, giving up 2,758 in 2012. None of that is that ‘bad’.  The one problem? It was against a MAC schedule. The Bobcats – already outsized – haven’t seen the likes of Teddy Bridgewater (not many teams have). You can do many things in practice, but you can not simulate the type of things Bridgewater will throw at you. Also, you saw what Bridgewater did to the Kentucky passing defense. The stats say the Ohio passing defense is worse than Kentucky’s, and the Bobcats will be without Larenzo Fisher who was suspended for the Louisville game before his drug trafficking arrest this week.  Fisher started every game at CB for Ohio in 2012. Yikes.

That means Teddy Bridgewater, Devante Parker, and the rest of the crew making big plays. If the Louisville Offense is clicking on all-cylinders, there isn’t team not named Alabama in the Country that can beat them. That’s how high I am on this offense, and I believe by the second half it will on full display.

Ohio will win if…

The Louisville offensive line doesn’t show up. To say it plainly: A less athletic, smaller, & slower Ohio team will not beat Louisville if Bridgewater has time. Louisville simply has too many weapons. I’ll take Teddy Bridgewater in a shoot-out game everyday and twice on Sunday…against Ohio. It’s quite possible that he may not be provided time though. How? If Louisville’s offensive line woes (that certainly can exist) rear their ugly head.

Charlie Strong has made no attempt to keep it a secret. He’s concerned about the Louisville offensive line. He’s concerned about depth, he’s concerned about experience. Louisville lost a combined 38 career starts on the offensive line from Alex Kupper and Mario Benavides. That’s a valid concern for any Coach in the Country; it’s even one for the incomparable Nick Saban.

Louisville will fill that void by giving Sophomore “Nacho” Garcia his first career start at RT and RS Junior Chris Acosta his first career start at RG. Despite this, there is enough experience returning in the form of Junior’s John Miller, Jamon Brown, and Jake Smith; who will be making his transition to Center. The looming question: Has the Louisville Offensive Line been able to gel? If they haven’t, Ohio may pose some issues for Louisville in the form of G Antwan Crutcher. He finished with the highest amount of tackles on the defensive line with 40 in 2012. Expect Sophomore Nacho Garcia to see plenty of looks from him Sunday.

Prediction: Louisville 41 Ohio 23. It’s fun for half, Teddy Bridgewater is simply too much and the offensive line issues are answered…sort of.

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Chris Hatfield

Residing in Louisville, KY (via Bardstown, KY). I write things about Louisville Sports. Sometimes you'll like them. Follow me @_ChrisHatfield Email me at chatfield60@gmail.com

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