West Virginia Mountaineers vs. Louisville Cardinals
The Louisville Cardinals go for the road upset of the West Virginia Mountaineers in a week ten match up. The Cardinals stymied Syracuse 27-10 last Saturday while the Mountaineers held off a stubborn Rutgers 41-31. The Mountaineers are -14 point favorites over the Cardinals with an over/under point total set at 61.
Louisville faced a Syracuse team that has made a living in winning close games but their quick start and hot finish made sure there would be no dramatics. The Cardinals offense didn’t overwhelm with 343 total yards and a 4 of 11 performance on third down conversions but it didn’t have to with the defense limiting the Orange to 246 yards and containing the passing of Ryan Nassib. Louisville ran the ball enough to give Syracuse reason to worry with nearly 150 yards and 4.5 yard average. Victor Anderson led five other runners with 93 yards on eleven carries and a 61 yard touchdown run but the controlled passing of quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was the biggest story. Bridgewater was 17 of 24 for 198 yards with a pair of touchdowns with one covering 42 yards. At the final gun it was typical Louisville football where the defense dominates and the offense is given a manageable scoreboard.
West Virginia and Rutgers traded scores for the better part of 30 minutes before either the Mountaineers defense stiffened or the Scarlet Knights offense faltered…or both. In any case West Virginia outscored the Scarlet Knights 20-0 in the second half on the way to 428 yards with great balance between the run and pass. WVU did have some issues holding on to the football with three fumbles with one lost. The rushing attack piled up 210 yards with Shawne Alston rambling for 110 yards on 14 totes with one of his scoring jaunts covering 52 yards. Tavon Austin totaled 96 yards on only two carries with one going 80 yards for six. Quarterback Geno Smith completed 20 of 31 throws for 218 yards with 19 yard and 20 yard scoring tosses and no picks as the Mountaineers had a number of big plays. The West Virginia defense gave up 386 yards but forced fore turnovers and held Rutgers scoreless in the second half to save what as becoming a bad day.
Anybody that has watched Louisville this season knows this team will only be competitive if their defense plays well because the offense isn’t very good. West Virginia is one of the best two teams in the Big East along with Cincinnati but they have started slow a number of times this season. The Mountaineers have the potential to win this going away but right now I’ll side with the points.
Louisville Cardinals +14 West Virginia Mountaineers