--By Mike Gilpatrick,
--photo by Jared Anderson
The Louisville Cardinals look to get back on track tomorrow. Bobby Petrino and Co. host Georgia Tech, who has the No. 2 rushing attack in the FBS; and some similarities to Louisville. The game will be at 7pm, and is on ESPN.
To get back on track, the Cardinals need to ensure a few things occur:
Prepare for the run
Georgia Tech, as mentioned above, has the No 2 rushing attack in the country. They’ve scored 21 touchdowns on the ground; 12 of which were punched in by the quarterback. Georgia Tech averages 339.2 yards per game on the ground.
Passing is significantly more defendable than the run. TaQuon Marshall completes less than 50 percent, and has more picks than passing touchdowns. Georgia Tech also has not passed for more than 200 yards in a single game this season.
The lack of passing, coupled with Louisville’s less-than-stellar run-stopping, and Louisville’s injured linebacker corps. will most likely mean that Georgia Tech runs the ball. A lot. Louisville’s defense needs to be prepared for it.
Technical defensive woes
Louisville has a bad defense. They’re still better than Georgia Tech in some regards. One area is in scoring. Georgia Tech allows a grand total of 27.8 points per game, which is worse than Louisville’s 26. Nate Woody’s defense has allowed 49 points twice; once against Clemson, and the other against Charlie Strong’s South Florida.
The Yellow Jackets also have a worse third down conversion percentage. Tech allows nearly 47 percent to turn into first downs.
The yardage allowed is respectable, and the Jackets are in the top half of the FBS in yards allowed. But 27.8 points aren’t good.
Perform in both halves
All season long, Louisville has played significantly better in one half than the other. For the first four games, Bobby Petrino’s high-power offense scored three points in total. The Cardinals only first half touchdown came on a punt return.
That was until last week. The Cardinals scored 21 points on Florida State in the opening half, including two touchdowns in the second quarter. Jawon Pass also scored his first touchdown on the ground in the quarter.
Then, Louisville’s offense sputtered, and the Cards scored only three points in the second-half. They squandered multiple chances to score again.
If Louisville is going to compete, they need to be good- or at least better- in both halves. Pass and the rest of the offense showed signs of capability; and Hassan Hall opened eyes in Louisville’s backfield in the second half.
But in order to stop the questions, all four quarters need to be played.
This game has the capability to be high-scoring. Both defenses are lacking; and the offenses can turn up the heat when they want.
There are far too many questions for Louisville’s offense. The rushing defense is not good. If Louisville would have held off Florida State, the prediction may be different.
Prediction: Louisville 24, Georgia Tech 42