--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
After *narrowly* defeating Western Kentucky at Cardinal Stadium, the Louisville Cardinals turn to the 2-1 Virginia Cavaliers. The Week four matchup is Louisville’s first true road test (Alabama was a mismatch), and the Cardinals first look at the ACC.
Virginia enters the game after defeating Ohio 45-31 in Week three. UVA’s only loss was to Indiana, in a basketball-esqe football game. The Hoosiers beat Virginia 20-16.
Saturday’s game will be the first the Cavaliers play in Charlottesville since Week one. Last week was played in Nashville, due to Hurricane Florence.
Junior quarterback Bryce Perkins has done an exceptional job under center. The dual threat has completed 64.1 percent for 670 yards and 7 touchdowns, while rushing 48 times for 239 yards and two touchdowns.
Perkins has impressed after debuting in Week one.
Jordan Ellis and Olamide Zaccheaus are the scoring leaders for Bronco Mendenhall and Co. Both Senior running backs, Ellis has five touchdowns, and Zaccheaus four. All four of Zaccheaus’s scores were from the air. Both also lead the rushing and receiving units, respectively.
In total, the Cavaliers rack up 220.7 yards per game on the ground, and 225.3 through the air. Combined, the Cavs have the 55th offense in college football.
Virginia also can turn up the heat on offense. Of the Cavalier’s first four drives against Ohio, three were just for one play. All resulted in touchdowns. Ellis had an untouched 18-yard score, Zaccheaus an 86-yard catch, and a 75-yard rush for Ellis. The last two plays were because the scorers beat the defense.
Another troubling statistic is UVA’s 54.76% conversion percentage. They have the 13th percentage in the nation, and are second behind NC State in the ACC. This does not bode well for the Cardinals. Louisville is 117th in third-down defense, allowing 46.9% to convert.
Defensively, the Cavaliers allow 21.3 points per game, and have the 42nd defense in the FBS.
Because of these feats, the Cardinals are five-point underdogs. If the line holds, then it will break a three-game Louisville winning streak.
If the Cardinals do not want that to happen, they’ll have their hands full.
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