The Louisville Cardinals will host the Virginia Cavaliers (5-2) Saturday at Cardinal Stadium. Virginia is getting votes in the AP poll and is #27 in the nation just outside the Top 25. The Hoos are an up and down team and slept walked through a game against Old Dominion then went on to lose it’s next two: Notre Dame and Miami. The Notre Dame loss was the result of a number of turnovers, some favorable officiating and just not enough offense. Miami, well…….. Virginia’s offense just wasn’t good enough.

Louisville and UVA are the inverse of one another where UofL is much the best offensively and Virginia is clearly the better defensive unit on paper. Both teams have good special teams (though Virginia has been more consistent). There is rain in the forecast but we’ll see how the timing of the rain comes in and evaluate this game as if conditions are normal and understanding the possibilities out there.

Both UofL and UVA like to control the ball. Pace isn’t something either team is going to try to press. Bryce Perkins is a very good Quarterback, but the Cavaliers aren’t exactly a running team and Perkins is probably the biggest threat running with the ball. How does UofL tackle in this game? Can they get Perkins to get off schedule, throw incompletions and FORCE UVA to drive the length of the field to score? Virginia’s defense and special teams routinely set up short fields for Virginia.

In the end I think UofL can run the ball better and is much more explosive offensively. The Cards will have to avoid giving up the ball on offense and if the Cards don’t allow any busts on Saturday there should be enough good things for UofL to be in position to win in the end…… but how much gas is in the tank in the 4th quarter? Louisville has not been strong late in games in 2019 defensively (depth). This is going to be a tight game throughout, but I think the Cards will get the W and move on to 5-3 on the season.

Louisville Virginia
Strength of Schedule (Sagarin)22nd45th
Scoring Offense (ppg)33.4 (40th)31.1 (51st)
Total Offense (ypg)456.7 (27th)350.1 (104th)
Passing Offense (ypg)239.9 (65th)240.7 (62nd)
Rushing Offense (ypg)216.86 (24th)109.43 (120th)
Scoring Defense (ppg)33.4 (109th)19.7 (24th)
Total Defense (ypg)455.0 (111th)270.3 (8th)
Passing Defense (ypg)263.1 (107th)174.3 (12th)
Rushing Defense (ypg)191.86 (98th)96.0 (14th)
Punt Returns (ypr)11.82 (30th)7.0 (73rd)
Kickoff Returns (ypr)31.0 (3rd)35.67 (3rd)
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr)3.82 (24th)2.33 (11th)
Opponent Kickoff Return (ypr)23.63 (109th)23.25 (107th)
Punting (ypp)42.66 (55th)40.75 (88th)
Field Goal %80.0% (39th)75.0% (56th)
Opponent FG %42.9% (4th)57.1% (22nd)
First Downs (per game)20.9 (74th)20.4 (82nd)
Opponent First Downs (per game)22.1 (95th)15.3 (12th)
Penalties (ypg)56.3 (67th)47.9 (33rd)
Turnover Margin (season)-2 (84th)-4 (107th)
Time of Possession31:29.00 (35th)33:57.86 (7th)
Sacks (Per Game)2.00 (76th)4.00 (4th)
Tackles for Loss (Per Game)6.14 (62nd)8.29 (9th)
Sacks Allowed (Per Game)2.86 (106th)3.14 (115th)
Tackles for Loss Allowed (Per Game)9.71 (129th)6.29 (78th)
Interceptions Gained (season)5 (66th)6 (50th)
Passes Defended (per game)4.57 (48th)4.86 (40th)
Fumbles Recovered (season)5 (41st)4 (64th)
Fumbles Forced (season)7 (35th)2 (121st)
Fumbles Lost (season)7 (104th)5 (70th)
Interceptions Lost (Season)5 (66th)6 (50th)
Kick/Punts Blocked (season)NA1 (39th)
3rd Down Conversion %39.58% (67th)43.0% (39th)
4th Down Conversion %58.33% (50th)50.00% (67th)
Opponent 3rd Down Conversion %36.36% (50th)29.59% (9th)
Opponent 4th Down Conversion %27.27% (8th)56.25% (79th)
Red Zone Conversion %92.00% (20th)83.33% (64th)
Red Zone TD Conversion %72.00% (23rd)55.56% (87th)
Red Zone Trips25 (69th)36 (7th)
Opponent Red Zone Conversion %81.48% (56th)88.24% (106th)
Opponent Red Zone TD Conversion %77.78% (124th)70.59% (108th)
Opponent Red Zone Trips27 (84th)17 (15th)
Kickoffs (ypk)62.45 (49th)63.33 (29th)
Plays487 (63rd)477 (73rd)
Yards Per Play6.56 (21st)5.14 (101st)
Yads Per Play Allowed6.15 (97th)4.30 (8th)
Plays +10 Yards109 (39th)96 (79th)
Plays +20 Yards42 (18th)23 (116th)
Plays +30 Yards23 (8th)9 (110th)
Plays +40 Yards15 (4th)3 (126th)
Opponent Plays +10 Yards114 (113th)67 (13th)
Opponent Plays +20 Yards37 (90th)25 (35th)
Opponent Plays +30 Yards17 (90th)11 (40th)
Opponent Plays +40 Yards9 (86th)3 (7th)
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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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