The AAC has their most anticipated game of the season on Friday night. The UCF Golden Knights enter the game with a (4-1) record against the undefeated Louisville Cardinals. CBSportsline.com has Louisville at a 14 point favorite on their home field. The number seems quite large considering that their only loss was by three points to the Gamecocks.
UCF vs. Louisville
When: Friday, October 18, 8:00 p.m.
Where: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
Teddy Bridgewater has thrown 18 touchdowns this season. Though he missed some easy throws last week, Bridgewater is still completing 71 percent of his passes. While the Cardinals are putting up pinball numbers in the passing game, they’ll have their work cut out for them against UCF’s defense.
The Cardinal’s offense needs all of the weapons at the receiver position to be healthy. Part of the struggles against Rutgers were due to the lack of running lanes in the red zone. Make no mistake, Louisville likes to run the ball and they are committed to softening up the front seven.
Defensively, Louisville is as good as any team in the nation. They force turnovers and tackle well. So far, they’ve always been in the right position this season. They are giving up seven points per game. However, they are facing the best offense they’ve seen all season.
Offensively, you can find some legitimate hype on quarterback Blake Bortles. Some analysts have gone so far to say that he is every bit as good as Teddy Bridgewater. It’s likely both quarterbacks have heard these whispers around the college football landscape. Bortles is completing 65 percent of his passes, but he only has nine touchdowns through the air. UCF uses a heavy dose of the ground game with Storm Johnson at running back. They are definitely going to challenge Louisville up front.
The loss of Blake Keller on the defensive line could be huge for the Knights’ defense. As a freshman, Keller led the team in sacks. Still, UCF must find a way to create turnovers to slow down this Louisville offense. It could come down to a defensive play that changes the tide of the game.
Coach Charlie Strong expects a tremendous all around effort by his Louisville team on Friday. He thinks they’ll have to play their best game of the season. With the majority of the undefeated teams going down in the next couple of weeks, Louisville has to muster up an impressive win on Friday.