Let’s take a look at what we can expect when Louisville runs the ball.  How have the Cards fared against other rushing defenses on the ground AND how well has A&M defended the run over the course of the year?  We will take a look at each FBS game, their opponent’s average, how far the deviation was in each game & the % gained of their opponent’s average.   From there we should have a feel for how Cards fared while running the ball and how the Aggies did defending it.

Louisville Rushing Performance

Louisville could not have been more up and down in its rushing performance during 2015.  There was no trend of big rushing totals equaling wins or low rushing totals equaling losses.  The Helter Skelter performance of the Cards really comes down to UofL not really having a solid identity throughout 2015 with the youth, changing QBs, changing styles, and really just not having a lot of understanding of what they were.

The crazy thing is that UofL actually ended up averaging just about what defenses allowed over the course of the season.  Clemson shut the Cards down and UofL took itself out of the running game vs. Pitt by continually passing the ball.

Texas A&M is statistically the worst rushing defense Louisville will face this season and the metrics suggest that Louisville will gain 206-207 yards in Nashville…..which would be 5th most of the season (Cards are 4-1 when gaining 206+ in 2015).

Rushing Defense Louisville Gained vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
Auburn-L 189.67 238 48.33 125.48%
Houston-L 116.00 70 -46.00 60.34%
Clemson- L 128.77 19 -109.77 14.75%
NC State-W 144.00 203 59.00 140.97%
Florida State-L 141.83 99 -42.83 69.80%
Boston College-W 83.17 135 51.83 162.32%
Wake Forest-W 161.25 68 -93.25 42.17%
Syracuse-W 181.83 217 35.17 119.34%
Virginia-W 156.67 266 109.33 169.78%
Pitt_L 126.08 -1 -127.08 -0.79%
Kentucky-W 196.08 314 117.92 160.14%
Texas A&M  205.92 Average 0.2409090909 96.76%

Texas A&M Rushing Defense Performance

A&M struggled stopping the run in 2015, but consider the Aggies division.  Bama, LSU, Auburn, Ole Miss, Miss St, Arkansas.  The SEC West is a run oriented division and with two legit Heisman Trophy candidates (one winner).  Still Alabama was #1 in the country in Rushing Defense and A&M was 108th.  It wasn’t a good year stopping the run with 8 of 11 FBS opponents gaining OVER 190 yards on the ground.

Louisville is the 7th best rushing team the Aggies will face in 2015 but the Cards have put together some outstanding rushing performances….and some clunkers.  With Lamar Jackson at QB the game to focus in on is Mississippi State with Dak Prescott at QB and a similar style and the Bulldogs gained almost 56 yards more than they average on the season.

The numbers suggest that A&M allows about 31 yards more than teams typically gain or 120% of their usual total. With UofL gaining 159.67 yards on average we can expect the Cards to gain 191 yards at Nissan Stadium which would be the 6th most on the season for UofL.

Rushing Offense Texas A&M Allowed vs. Deviation from Avg. % Gained of Avg
Arizona State-W 191.75 92 -99.75 47.98%
Ball State-W 153.33 240 86.67 156.53%
Nevada-W 205.58 153 -52.58 74.42%
Arkansas -W (OT) 192.58 232 39.42 120.47%
Miss St -W 140.33 196 55.67 139.67%
Alabama – L 208.23 258 49.77 123.90%
Ole Miss – L 181.08 230 48.92 127.02%
South Carolina -W 154.67 253 98.33 163.57%
Auburn -L 191.75 311 119.25 162.19%
Vanderbilt -W 154.67 125 -29.67 80.82%
LSU -L 245.91 244 -1.91 99.22%
Louisville 159.67 Average 31.603 119.66%

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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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