Louisville Cardinals (7-3) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 22, 2014, 3:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -3.5 -- Over/Under: TBA
The Louisville Cardinals travel to Notre Dame Stadium to play the Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon.
Louisville improved to 7-3, 5-3 ACC after beating Boston College on the road 38-19 two weeks ago. The Cardinals have won five of their last seven, with wins over FIU, Wake Forest, Syracuse, NC State, and now Boston College. Louisville’s defense is allowing only 17.8 points per game, which ranks an impressive 10th in the country. The Cardinals offensively are averaging 31.6 points per game, which ranks 51st in the country. QB Reggie Bonnafon, who is filling in for Will Gardner, has thrown for 662 yards with 4 touchdowns and 1 interception so far this season. WR DeVante Parker, who has only played in the last month, leads the team with 490 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. RB Brandon Radcliff has a team high 445 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns for Louisville. The Cardinals will have had two weeks to rest and prepare for this matchup coming up. Louisville will play their final road game this weekend; the Cardinals are 3-2 away from home this season.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish dropped to 7-3 after losing at home to Northwestern 43-40 last weekend. The Fighting Irish have now lost three of their last four games, falling to Florida State, Arizona State, and now Northwestern. Last weekend, Notre Dame allowed 547 total yards to the Wildcats and forced four turnovers. On the season, Notre Dame’s defense is allowing 27.1 points per game, which ranks 66th in the country. Against Northwestern, Notre Dame turned the ball over 4 times and gained 498 total yards. QB Everett Golson completed only 21 of 40 passes for 287 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. WR William Fuller caught 9 balls for 159 yards and 3 scores, while RB Tarean Folston carried the ball 20 times for 106 yards and a score. The Irish are averaging over 35 points per game on offense this season, which puts them in the top 30 across the country. Looking ahead, the Fighting Irish will try to avoid losing three straight games this weekend. This will be Notre Dame’s final home game of the season; the Irish are 4-1 at home this year.
These teams have no recent history and this will be the first time the two teams have played one another in football. Louisville will have had two weeks to prepare for this game and they are a solid team all around even without QB Will Gardner, who is out for this game. However, the Cardinals are catching Notre Dame on the wrong weekend, as the Irish are coming off a terrible loss to Northwestern. Louisville has taken care of business against mediocre teams this season but has failed to beat the elite teams. I believe the Fighting Irish will come out strong and win this game by double-digits.