The Louisville vs. Connecticut series has been short yet eventful. The Cards lead the series overall at 5-4 and suffered their first loss in 2007 at Rentschler Field in the famous “Fair Catch Game” in which Husky Larry Taylor faked a ‘fair catch’ signal and went on to score a Touchdown. The punt return was the difference in a 21-17 loss, and was the 1st of 3 consecutive losses to the Huskies under the Steve Kragthorpe era.
UConn also took down UofL last season with a top notch defensive effort on a day that Cardinal Fans dubbed “Wristpacolypse”. Teddy Bridgewater suffered a broken wrist and missed much of the 3rd quarter while the cast was drying on his left wrist, and Louisville Basketball Center Gorgui Dieng also suffered a broken wrist the night before (and was discovered the same day) as the Cards would lose to Duke in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. UConn was about to take out the Cards in a Triple Overtime when Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson picked off a hobbled Bridgewater (also suffered an ankle injury) in the endzone, setting up a game-winning FG for the Huskies.
It was the 5th consecutive Senior Day Loss for the Louisville Cardinals and Connecticut showcased a defensive effort worthy of their 4 NFL Draft selections on the defensive side of the football in the 2013 Draft.
|Scoring Offense (ppg)||39.4 (17th)||16.4 (118th)|
|Total Offense (ypg)||495.3 (16th)||293.3 (119th)|
|Passing Offense (ypg)||333.6 (11th)||217.0 (76th)|
|Rushing Offense (ypg)||161.63 (72nd)||76.29 (120th)|
|Scoring Defense (ppg)||10.6 (2nd)||35.1 (106th)|
|Total Defense (ypg)||244.5 (2nd)||399.0 (69th)|
|Passing Defense (ypg)||164.00 (3rd)||226.9 (54th)|
|Rushing Defense (ypg)||80.5 (2nd)||172.14 (74th)|
|Punt Returns (ypr)||5.44 (97th)||3.43 (113th)|
|Kickoff Returns (ypr)||23.20 (36th)||19.00 (104th)|
|Opponent Punt Returns (ypr)||2.00 (7th)||6.71 (47th)|
|Opponent Kickoff Returns (ypr)||22.15 (81st)||24.91 (113th)|
|Punting (ypp)||41.55 (53rd)||39.93 (92nd)|
|Field Goal %||80% (41st)||61.5% (94th)|
|Opponent Field Goal %||62.5% (30th)||71.4% (49th)|
|First Downs (per game)||23.5 (34th)||17.1 (112th)|
|Opponent First Downs (per game)||12.8 (2nd)||18.9 (30th)|
|Penalties (ypg)||58.6 (94th)||41.6 (26th)|
|Turnover Margin (season)||+10 (5th)||-2 (82nd)|
|Time of Possession||33:32.88 (7th)||27:58.57 (102nd)|
|Sacks (per game)||3.38 (2nd)||0.71 (124th)|
|Sacks Allowed (per game)||1.75 (45th)||4.57 (122nd)|
|Tackles for Loss (per game)||8.00 (8th)||5.00 (106th)|
|Tackles for Loss Allowed (per game)||4.88 (32nd)||8.57 (122nd)|
|Interceptions (season)||10 (30th)||8 (69th)|
|Passes Defended (per game)||4.38 (66th)||3.86 (92nd)|
|Fumbles Recovered (season)||7 (34th)||7 (34th)|
|Fumbles Forced (season)||11 (12th)||5 (89th)|
|Fumbles Lost (season)||5 (42nd)||5 (42nd)|
|Kicks/Punts Blocked (season)||1 (56th)||–|
|3rd Down Conversions (%)||63.37% (1st)||29.52% (116th)|
|Opponent 3rd Down Conversions (%)||25.25% (1st)||40.2 (71st)|
|4th Down Conversions (%)||0% (125th)||30% (109th)|
|Opponent 4th Down Conversions (%)||54.55% (79th)||33.33% (16th)|
|Red Zone Conversions (%)||90% (15th)||81.25% (75th)|
|Opponent Red Zone Conversions (%)||63.64% (5th)||85.19 (82nd)|
|RedZone TD Conversions (%)||62.5% (65th)||37.5% (123rd)|
|Opponent Red Zone TD Conversions (%)||45.45% (12th)||70.37% (100th)|
|Kickoffs (ypk)||60.12 (99th)||61.76 (69th)|
Offense vs. Defense Match-Ups
Louisville Offensive Trends
|Total Defense||Louisville Gained vs.||Deviation from Avg.||% Gained of Avg Allowed|
UConn Defensive Trends
|Total Offense||Uconn Allowed vs.||Deviation from Avg.||% Gained of Avg Allowed|
UofL Offense vs. UConn Defense Analysis
UConn’s Defense last year was AWESOME. It was so unappreciated throughout college football, but WAS appreciated in NFL circles as 4 Huskies were drafted off the defense alone. Yawin Smallwood (6-4, 236, Jr) is the biggest piece of the puzzle that came back from last year’s defense that held the Cards to 241yards (in 3 Overtimes) and beat up Teddy Bridgewater. Smallwood has 19 tackles and 3 TFLs in just two games against the Cards. But the good news is that Trevardo Williams is gone. Teddy Bridgewater’s wrist and ankle are thankful that Williams in now in the NFL after sacking UofL 3 times last season.
Louisville’s last two games against UCONN have netted less than 300 yards each (299 & 241), but I look for that to change on Friday. The Cards have been busting the averages of each defense they have faced this season and the Huskies have given up over 500 yards on 3 separate occasions . UConn’s defense is NOT as good as last year’s, but they are not awful. They have given up a lot of points because of the ineptitude of their offense not switching fields. Teddy Bridgewater may not be the best bet on Friday as UConn gives up quite a bit of yardage on the ground and there is a potential for high winds that may inhibit the passing game.
UConn Offensive Trends
|Total Defense||Uconn Gained vs.||Deviation from Avg.||% Gained of Avg Allowed|
Louisville Defensive Trends
|Total Offense||Louisville Allowed vs.||Deviation from Avg.||% Gained of Avg Allowed|
UConn Offense vs. UofL Defense Analysis
There aren’t many match-ups in college football that will be more lopsided than this one. Seriously there are only so many 100+ rankings a team can take on offense. UConn’s main problem? They can’t block.
When I say that UCONN can’t block, I mean they CAN’T BLOCK. UCONN is 122nd both in sacks allowed and tackles for loss allowed. That’s awful and is in direct correlation with their 118th Scoring Offense ranking, and 119th Total Offense Ranking. It’s bad. UConn has a couple of nice players that can make plays….but without blocking no team can have sustained success.
Meanwhile, Louisville is in the Top 2% of nearly all defensive categories. I could run this for you and my readership would know a lot of stats and names…..but the bottom line is this. UCONN is a terrible offensive team. Louisville is a great defensive team. If the Huskies gain more than 4 first downs in the ball game I will be SHOCKED. So let’s save each other time and move on.
This is going to be a windy/cold game. So the offense will have its challenges depending on the direction and speed of the wind. If the wind doesn’t factor I’d expect a balanced approach (maybe a little run heavy) that secures the win, dominates the clock, and gives Connecticut little chance to win. I do not expect UConn will be able to sustain drives and will have their best chance to score by forcing turnovers, and the Huskies have not really done that in 2013.
Let’s face it, this UCONN team is done. The coach has been relived of duty, a bowl is not possible, and a lot of these guys in the UCONN locker room probably just can’t wait to start over next season. It is in Louisville’s best interest to score on their 1st two possessions and not breathe any life into a lifeless team. I think the Cards dominate this game.
Louisville 38, UConn 3
Game Week Videos
Attending, Listening, Watching
-Tickets are available through the UConn ticket office: phone number is toll free from anywhere in the U.S. 1-877-AT-UCONN (1-877-288-2666) or 860-486-2724.
-The Game will be broadcast on ESPN2 at 8:30
-On WHAS 840 and the Louisville Sports Radio Network with Paul Rogers, Craig Swabek, and Doug Ormay on the call.
-O-Line Sports Grill GAMEWATCH WITH THECRUNCHZONE.COM
Please Join US! CrumsRevenge (Mike), Chris Hatfield, the guys from Big Time Yurts, and I will be hosting a Cardinal GAMEWATCH party Friday night at the O-Line Sports Grill to watch the Cards beat the Huskies! O-Line has a great menu and it is a fantastic spot to watch ballgame. We will be giving away gift certificates, Big Time Yurt products, and we will also have contests in the breaks during the ball game!
O-Line Sports Grill is located at 2813 N Hurstbourne Parkway (502-384-6171) in the southeast corner of Westport & Hurstbourne Lane. I’d love to see you there!