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What To Watch For: Duke Blue Devils

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NCAA Football: Syracuse at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

THE DEFENSE SHOULD JUST DO WHAT THEY DID AGAINST SYRACUSE

This is a joke but if we’re being honest, Louisville needs to continue to stop the run this week. Mataeo Durant is not as dangerous as Sean Tucker but he is capable of breaking off long runs and getting the offense into manageable situations. UofL all but shut down Syracuse’s offense because they were able to force them into long-yardage situations on third down. They must do the same this week.

The other thing that UofL has to do is bring pressure while also covering on the back end. Bryan Brown played some new players this week in passing situations and those players got the job done. Bringing five or six guys has been working for Lousiville against teams that don’t have strong quarterback play or strong receivers. Duke has been pretty average in both departments so we should see Brown bringing the heat again.

LOUISVILLE SHOULD SEE SUCCESS WITH THROWS DOWN THE FIELD

Syracuse showed us that Louisville has the speed at the receiver position to get behind the defense. What was important, however, was seeing Malik Cunningham hitting the throws down the field with great accuracy. Malik has been inconsistent with his deep ball but he was on the money yesterday.

As I pointed out last week, Syracuse isn’t very good at safety and UofL was able to take advantage. Duke isn’t very good anywhere in the secondary and they are allowing over 16 yards per catch to the opposition this year. Louisville has to not only take advantage of this secondary but they need to exploit it. Louisville has to gain some confidence in the passing game outside of the easy throws. Gaining that confidence would be very big for the rest of the season as well as building on next season.

WITH BOWL ELIGIBILITY ON THE LINE THE TEAM WILL GIVE MAX EFFORT

Louisville is in the middle of one of the most frustrating seasons I can remember but one thing Scott Satterfield can hang his hat on is the fact that his players have not quit. His team has given great effort each week even when coming off of bad losses or facing other adversity. Satterfield and his staff have given fans plenty of reason to doubt them but they deserve credit for keeping this team engaged.

I think the Syracuse win will end up being a big factor in how this team finishes the season. Not only the Lamar effects of the game but how they played and how they executed drive that thinking. At no point did players let up on either side of the ball. Jawhar Jordan pushed the pile on a run late in the game while Kendrick Duncan was still hyping up the defense on the final drive.

This team has a chance to get to a bowl game which is something that was very questionable a few weeks ago. They are led by veterans who know what it’s like to be left out of a bowl more than once and the leaders of this team will want that one last game. I believe we’ll see them go out and try to blow Duke out like they did Syracuse. There’s an opportunity to really show who they are as a team and I think they’ll execute at a high level.