LOUISVILLE WILL SOMEWHAT CONTAIN PITT’S RUNNING GAME
Why not keep it going with the crazy predictions? UofL handled Virginia’s passing game pretty well last game and I think they can do the same this week with Pitt’s running game. Why do I think this? I have no clue.
Pitt has the ability to be balanced on offense but they’ve been at their best when they’re running the football. Israel Abanikandi has been outstanding for them and he is at his best once he gets to the second level. He has the speed and power to break any run for a touchdown. But their passing game has struggled to keep up with the explosiveness of the running game.
I get the feeling that UofL will go all in on stopping the run and they will risk leaving their secondary in single coverage even if they give up some big plays. Every defense is looking to make the offense one-dimensional. Louisville has to make that happen this weekend.
PITT WILL COMPLETELY NEGATE THE ABOVE POINT IF UOFL CAN’T HANDLE PULLING GUARDS
We all remember when Boston College’s anemic running game put up big play after big play against Louisville. Nearly every successful run BC ran that day incorporated a pulling guard in some way. It was maddening for me to watch because it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Plenty of teams do this and it was to be expected in BC’s NFL-style offense.
The reason it was so effective is that the defensive line was completely dominated by a bad offensive line. They were washed out but the frontside blocks while the pullers got to come around and take out linebackers and safeties who were there to fill the gap. Mark Ivey’s group has to fix this or Pitt will score at will.
LOUISVILLE’S RECEIVERS WILL HELP MALIK CUNNINGHAM
Louisville gets their quarterback back for this game and as much as his legs have been the key to his performance this year, he should have a better game passing the ball. Pitt will run a lot of man coverage as they try to get after Malik and cause negative plays. I think that UofL’s receivers will take advantage on intermediate routes where they can beat that coverage.
In the game in 2020, UofL tried hard to hit big plays down the field but Malik was under constant pressure and he just never looked comfortable throwing the ball down the field. He’s struggled this year with his deep ball even with time and protection. Where I think he can be effective on Saturday is those quick crossers and deeper routes that get you first down yardage. It may be the deep-ins we saw in the last game but they can also run some deep comebacks to run off coverage. These receivers showed that they can get open on some of these routes down the field. They need to show it again.