Featured Video from Scott Reichel
In a vital inter-division ACC clash, the Louisville Cardinals will make the trek down to Miami Gardens to face the Miami Hurricanes on Saturday. Both teams appear poised to become postseason eligible as each team needs just one more victory, so this matchup is essentially a positional game for a better bowl game. The Cardinals (3-2) are currently third in the Atlantic Division. Meanwhile, the Hurricanes (3-3) still have an outside chance at winning the Coastal division title despite now being tied with North Carolina for third place.
This contest marks the first meeting between the Cardinals and Hurricanes since 2014. Miami leads the all-time series 9-3-1, although the Hurricanes have lost the last three meetings.
Cardinals is coming off long restLouisville has had a long time to prepare for its final four games of the regular season and three of them are on the road. The Cardinals last played on Oct. 26, where they defeated the Virginia Cavaliers 28-21 as Micale Cunningham, and Javian Hawkins accounted for two touchdowns apiece. The Cardinals accumulated 227 of their 360 total yards on the ground with Hawkins garnering 136 yards along with two touchdowns on a season-high 28 attempts. It was the freshman running back's first multi-touchdown game. Meanwhile, Cunningham racked up a season-high 97 rushing yards, including a 25-yard touchdown scamper to put Louisville up 21-14 early in the fourth quarter. He also completed six of 10 passes for 126 yards and a touchdown. Additionally, the Cardinals' defense came up big as they forced two turnovers, recorded four sacks and six tackles for losses.
Louisville is averaging 32.8 points a game and surrendering 31.9. The Cardinals are totaling 444.6 yards of offense and giving up 437.7. Cunningham (54-for-87, 1,009 passing yards, eight TDs; 313 rushing yards, four TDs) and Evan Conley (30-for-52, 473 yards, four TDs) have been charged with running the offense since week three, and while Cunningham has generally seen more time on the field, Conley is the better passer. Hawkins (165 carries-887 yards, six TDs) has been a workhorse the entire season as he has five 100-yard games and garnered at least 19 carries On six occasions. Tutu Atwell (41 receptions-668 yards, seven TDs), Dez Fitzpatrick (25-481, five TDs), and Seth Dawkins (14-283, two TDs) are all big-play receivers.
The Hurricanes looking for third straight victoryMiami is looking to win three games in a row for the first time since winning five straight from Sept. 8-Oct. 6 2018. The Hurricanes are coming off a 27-10 victory over Florida State on Saturday as freshman Jarren Williams (115-for-172, 1,449 yards, 10 TDs, three INTs) threw for a career-high 313 yards along with two touchdowns as he connected on 21 of 37 passes. Williams completed a pass to seven different receivers with tight end Brevin Jordan leading the way with six receptions for 48 yards before leaving the game early with a foot injury. Jeff Thomas and Dee Wiggins each hauled in four passes and had a touchdown. But once again, the defense thrived as the Hurricanes turned in its best performance in ACC play by holding FSU to 203 total yards, including a paltry 31 yards on 40 rushing attempts. Miami registered season-highs with nine sacks as well as 16 tackles for losses while also forcing two turnovers.
Miami is averaging 26.8 points and 380.7 yards with 269.3 yards coming through the air and 111.3 yards coming on the ground. DeeJay Dallas (91 carries for 547 yards, seven TDs) and Cam'Ron Harris (75-337 yards, three TDs) have split the carries this year, although Dallas got the bulk of the workload against FSU totaling 61 yards and a score on 18 carries. K.J. Osborn (36-439 yards, five TDs) and Jordan (35-495, two TDs) and Thomas (28- 354 yards, three TDs) are among four players with at least 28 receptions on the year.
Miami is averaging 26.8 points and allowing 18.6 points a game. The Hurricanes are outgaining their opponents 380.7 -to-290.1.
The following trends are courtesy of Covers.com: Miami is:
- 11-4 ATS last 15 in November.
- 2-9 ATS last 11 conference games.
- 0-4 ATS last 4 in November.
- 2-7 ATS last 9 on the road.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I like Miami in this one despite them dealing with several injuries . The Hurricanes will be without safety Bubba Bolden who has been ruled out for the season with an ankle injury that he suffered following the win over FSU. Quarterback N'Kosi Perry (shoulder), who missed the game against the Seminoles, LB Michael Pickney and Jordan are all listed as a questionable for the game.
I believe that it is a good sign that Williams, who faces a shaky Cardinals defense, is coming off a very good performance in his first outing not sharing snaps with Perry. Plus, I think that Dallas and Harris could both have big days as Louisville is allowing
4.7 yards per carry. In addition, defensive lineman Gregory Rousseau has created havoc for opposing offenses all season long with 12 sacks, seven of which have come in the past two weeks. Louisville’s offensive line has surrendered 23 sacks this year, including nine over its last two games.
Prediction: Miami -6.5
Full-Game Total Pick
I believe that Miami will exploit Louisville’s defensive weakness and put up between 28-35 points. While the Hurricanes have limited their last four opponents to a total of 52 points, they permitted Pitt (174 rushing yards yards) and Georgia Tech (207) to run wild. I believe that Louisville can do the same and convert their opportunities. The Cardinals have scored on 25 of their 28 red zone opportunities this year, coming away with 20 touchdowns.
The over has hit in each of Louisville’s last four road games vs. a team with a winning home record, as well as, five of their last six road contests overall. In addition, the over is is 4-1 in Hurricanes last five games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game.
Prediction: Over 48