Since 2011, Louisville is 2-0 against Boston College and has won those games by an average margin of victory of 11 points per game. Last year, the Cardinals won 17-14 in Papa John’s Stadium.
The Cardinals boast one of the most explosive offenses in college football led by Heisman Trophy front-runner quarterback Lamar Jackson. Louisville is averaging 50 points per game and is rushing for 268 yards per game on the ground along with passing for 335 yards through the air this season.
Jackson is dynamic dual threat that can stretch opposing defenses with his arm or break contain and take it to the house. On the year, he has completed 58% of his passes for 2,522 yards with 22 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. On the ground, he leads the team with 996 rushing yards averaging 6.7 yards per carry with 16 touchdowns.
He is a one man show and has accounted for 38 of the 51 total touchdowns by the offense (74% of the touchdown production in 2016).
Running back Brandon Radcliff is a tough inside runner that has recorded 605 yards on the ground averaging 7.1 yards per carry with 3 scores. Radlciff has the ability to take over a game and is not afraid of contact.
The offensive line has allowed 18 sacks through the first eight games of the year and must be able to play a blue collar game against a physical defensive front seven in the Eagles.
Wide receivers Jamri Staples and James Quick have combined for 61 receptions for 1,069 yards with 6 touchdowns. Both players have the ability to take the top off of the defense and will be counted on to stretch the Eagles secondary this weekend.
Defensively, the Cardinals are giving up 23 points per game and are very solid in run support allowing 112 rushing yards on the ground.
The secondary is giving up 191 passing yards per game and has recorded 18 sacks on the year.
The unit has had the ability to force three and outs all season long and will look to put pressure on Boston College quarterback Patrick Towles in this match-up. Louisville is holding opponents to 28% on their third down attempts and will look to force Towles to beat them with his arm.
A cause of concern could be the lack of discipline by the team as they are committing 8.8 penalties per game for 80 yards per game.
Louisville is -1 in turnover margin entering this game.
The Eagles are averaging 21 points per game and are averaging 170 rushing yards per game and are passing for 155 yards through the air this season.
Quarterback Patrick Towles engineered a solid road win in Raleigh last week against N.C State (21-14) and will look to keep the momentum continuing this Saturday to keep the Eagles bowl hopes alive (4-4).
Towles has completed 49% of his passes for 1,146 yards with 7 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. Towles will need the running game to be productive in order for him to work off of play action to attack the Cardinals secondary.
Running back Jon Hilliman leads the team with 411 rushing yards averaging 3.45 yards per carry with 5 touchdowns. Boston College is converting 35% on their third down attempts and must be able in third down and short situations to have an opportunity to stay into a low scoring game.
Boston College does not have the offensive firepower to get into a shootout with Lousiville. They will look to run the football to take time off of the clock and keep Lamar Jackson on the sidelines.
Wide receiver Jeff Smith leads the team with 284 receiving yards on 18 receptions with 3 scores.
Defensively, the Eagles have the physical type of unit to wear down the Cardinals and keep their team in this game. They are allowing 23 points per game and have the scheme to force the Cardinals into methodically working down the field on ball control drives.
Entering this game, the Eagles are allowing 23 points per game and are excellent in run support giving up 93 rushing yards per game this year.
The front seven has recorded 23 sacks and did have 7 sacks on the road last year against Jackson in their 17-14 loss on the road in 2015.
Boston College must be able to force turnovers and enters this game -1 in turnover margin.
The Eagles are holding opponents to 31% on third downs and will look to put Louisville into predictable third down situations which will make the Cardinals offense one dimensional.
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