LOUISVILLE’S DEFENSE HAS TO HAVE ANOTHER GREAT SHOWING
The Cards had an outstanding showing last week against an overmatched but completely capable USF offense. While they aren’t a great team, the Bulls looked more than capable against Florida a week prior and they also had some things to build on after playing a ranked BYU squad to open the season. This team took it to a Florida defense with some real talent and UofL dominated them.
They need to do the same this week against an overmatched BC offense that has been flat-out bad this year. BC can’t run the football and their passing game has been hamstrung because they can’t block anyone. While USF had some success before they met Louisville, BC hasn’t played well outside of the game against Maine. This is the opportunity for this defense to show that they want to be dominant.
BOSTON COLLEGE WILL WORK MUCH HARDER TO GET ZAY FLOWERS INVOLVED
Phil Jurkovic has had some real struggles with consistency this season. The poor offensive line play is a major factor in that but he’s thrown some very poor passes from clean pockets this season and he has been demonstrative with his frustrations. He needs some easy plays to get him going and being able to get the ball to one of the best players in the ACC would likely help him.
The issue I’ve seen from this offense is that they haven’t worked in enough easy touches for Zay Flowers and they’ve been a little too reliant on doing the stuff that has worked at times. That may sound weird but the stuff that works against one team may not work against another. So, when you have a player like Flowers you have to mix it up and find ways to put him in a position to win.
Hell, I’d put Flowers in the backfield if that opened up the offense. While BC will use him on jet sweeps, get it to him quick on screens, push the ball down the field, and even run intermediate stuff for him, he needs more touches. One of the reasons why I would work to get him more touches is that it opens things for the other talented guys they have on the offense.
THIS WILL BE A GOOD TEST FOR LOUISVILLE’S RECEIVERS
Jeff Hafley knows how to coach defensive backs. He has done it at the NFL level and his secondary at Ohio State was outstanding. He also knows how to recruit the position and has done well to add talent to the group so far. Before UofL landed Pierce Clarkson as a recruit this spring, Hafley pulled a four-star safety out of St. John Bosco in the 2022 class. C.J. Burton spurned Florida two years ago. The secondary has fresh talent to mix with the veteran players that have developed well in this system.
Louisville has to fix the passing game if they want to reach their potential this season and the receivers can do a lot to help get there. Malik has missed on some throws but what this offense needs is receivers who can consistently get open but also make plays after the catch. Boston College will look to keep everything in front of them like FSU did and UofL should have open receivers in the intermediate passing game. These guys have to make some explosive plays after the catch outside of just AHB.
The other thing that I would like to see this weekend is the receivers beating coverage to make catches. This secondary is talented and they know how to play the ball in the air. While the Cards are thin at receiver, they are talented. This will be a chance to show what they can do.
THE OFFENSE WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET MORE GUYS INVOLVED
I’m back again to beat the dead horse that is my argument that UofL needs to get more guys on offense involved and not just rely on Malik Cunningham to do it all. The Syracuse game was a bad game plan to an extent but more than anything, they weren’t creative enough to help others make plays. Then we saw the staff revert back to Malik being too much of the offense.
Last week we saw new running plays that they haven’t run before. We saw them set up the defense with a formation on a run play and they followed it with a double move on a pass play. AHB was finally used on some of the plays we saw the Cards run with Tutu Atwell.
We need to see more and more creativity out of this offense to scheme guys into big plays. This defense is going to key on Malik to make sure he doesn’t beat them on his own. He has accounted for 669 or UofL’s 993 yards over the last two years in this game and Jeff Hafley will likely risk anyone else beating him this year if he can key on Malik and contain him. UofL must oblige him.