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Boston College vs. Louisville: Defensive Preview

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Can the Eagles Capitalize on a Sub-Par Cardinals Defense?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 Virginia at Louisville Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Last week, BC’s offense was shut up pretty soundly by the Wolfpack’s defense with little to no momentum happening from either the running or passing game aside from the early TD pass to Trae Berry. Other than that one scoring instance, the Eagles could not capitalize whatsoever.

Looking forward to this Louisville Cardinals defense, I would say that things look a tad more favorable for the Eagles this week as Louisville’s defense has been pretty poor at both stopping the run and swatting down passes in the air this season. This could give a solid opportunity for BC to win a crucial bounce back game and get their first ACC win of the season.

Digging a little deeper into the statistics of this Cardinals defense, I analyzed their current rankings in my Pick ‘em article , but just to emphasize the porous defense that is Louisville I have no issue in reiterating those standings. Against the passing game, the Cardinals have struggled mightily this season. They currently rank 124th in the nation allowing 298.8 YPG through the air and give up ~11 yards per reception.

I would expect Grosel to capitalize here on some quick slant routes to Trae Berry or Gill in the slot. However, this is all if Grosel can get enough to set his feet and work the pocket and the Cards do have a pretty darn good pass rush as they average 3 sacks per game this season. BC’s offensive line has been pretty solid in not letting Grosel get hit around too much giving up 1.83 sacks per game so I feel good in trusting our O-line in doing their job pass blocking and giving Dennis enough time to get the ball out.

Running the ball might be where Hafley decides to devise his game-plan around Garwo and Sinkfield getting a solid amount of reps. The Cards are 71st in then nation in stopping the run but still concede on average 150.5 YPG on the ground. With the offensive line that BC boasts this could be an opportunity for a big game from the backfield. I would also like to see a tad more trickery from the running game in jet sweeps and maybe some WRs throwing some passes. That might be a lot to ask but I feel Hafley has yet to showcase that part of his playbook yet this season.

Overall, this Louisville defense should not prove too difficult for BC to take advantage of. They have conceded almost 30 points per game to opposing offenses and I think BC could easily join the ranks in getting close to that average in points.

The players that BC should be wary of on the defensive side of the ball are the LBs Jack Fagot and Yasir Abdullah. Abdullah loves to get to the QB as he leads the team in sacks with 5 and Fagot always seems to be a part of a tackling committee for the Cardinals as he has 42 tackles on the season.

In the secondary, Kei’Trel Clark is also a ballhawk for Louisville as he has three interceptions on the season. My guess is that the will put him in a drop three set in case Grosel gets any ideas on sending Flowers on a post-route.

The pieces are there for the Eagles to have a solid day on the offensive side of the ball against this Defense. The question will remain on the Eagles’ defensive side against a stellar Malik Cunningham and their offense and if they can keep Louisville’s offense off the field to let Grosel go to work.