TURNOVERS WILL PLAY A ROLE IN THE OUTCOME
Both of these teams enter this game with solid but not great turnover numbers. UofL is +2 and NC State sits at +1 on the year. Brennan Armstong can be a turnover machine but outside of the Notre Dame game, he’s been pretty good with the ball.
I can barely remember UofL’s four turnovers and part of the reason is that they have only allowed 7 points off of turnovers this year while putting up 38 points themselves. They have played complimentary football in a way that we just haven’t seen from Louisville since joining the ACC. If they can sustain this trend through this weekend, it will definitely factor into the final score of this game. Armstrong is loose with the ball and the Wolfpack defense is built to create havoc which brings turnovers. But, which team will capitalize on them? The data says the Cards.
LOUISVILLE’S OFFENSE WILL CONTINUE TO PUT UP BIG PLAYS
Jeff Brohm really only had one question left to be answered after his stint at Purdue. The question was could have a balanced attack like he did at Western Kentucky. The answer so far this season is a resounding yes. Louisville leads the ACC in rushing and passing and they are leading the nation in long scrimmage plays at just about every yardage mark. Brohm brought the big play offense he had at Western and the Cards are 4-0 because of it.
While NC State has been known for its strong defense they are ranked in the 100s in those long scrimmage plays from a defensive standpoint. They’ve been gashed on the ground and in the air and it probably doesn’t help things that they are in the 100s on the offensive side as well. They give up big plays and their offense doesn’t reciprocate, which leads me to believe that UofL will continue to have success on both sides of the ball.
LOUISVILLE FIGURING OUT THEIR PASS RUSH ISSUES WOULD PAY OFF IN THIS GAME
Ashton Gillotte leads the nation in total pressures, per PFF. The issue for the Louisville defense is that PFF also only credits him with 2 hits on the quarterback (Gillotte’s 3rd sack was credited to him because he was the closest player). Stephen Herron is also in the top 20 in pressures but only has 2 hits on the quarterback. The pressure is good but there aren’t many quarterbacks on the schedule that struggle to avoid pressure. We saw Thomas Castellanos do so a few times this past weekend.
Brennan Armstrong is another guy who excels at avoiding pressure and extending plays with his legs. Armstrong also does a lot of dumb stuff when he does this and is also known to hold onto the ball too long. Louisville needs to get home with their individual pressures and Ron English needs to be more aggressive with his pressure calls. State doesn’t have the talent at receiver to worry you when you have the type of talent UofL has in the secondary. Force them to beat you deep before you just allow Armstrong to be comfortable and pick you apart.