Another week means another BC football game. Yay, he says begrudgingly. It’s Parents Weekend when the 2-2 Cardinals come up to the Heights. Louisville happens to be the second worst team in the division. They were bamboozled by Syracuse to start the season, and had a narrow loss to Florida State later on. This is Scott Satterfield’s fourth season in charge. There are certainly higher expectations than what the Cardinals faithful have seen so far.
‘Five-headed monster’ Offense
It all starts with Malik Cunningham. The super senior has had himself quite the career. He’s thrown about 1000 passes for nearly 9000 yards, and critically 3000 yards rushing, only the eighth player to achieve such gaudy numbers. Cunningham’s dual threat prowess is no surprise to BC. Get this, he has had exactly 133 rushing yards against the Eagles in each of the past two games. The over/under is set. He has 395 yards and six touchdowns rushing in the four games so far, to go with 776 passing yards. He’s thrown for only two touchdowns and all three interceptions at the hands of ACC foes.
The offense is scoring just under 25 points a game and averaging 225 yards rushing and passing. A balanced team. Tiyon Evans, Jawhar Jordan, and Trevion Cooley have combined to averaging 118.5 of those rushing yards. All have been similarly effective with the junior Evans as the lead back. Cooley adds the most versatility, and Jordan is the one who can bust off for the big play.
At receiver, Tyler Hudson, transfer from Central Arkansas, and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce are the two main targets for Cunningham. Each have over 200 yards so far. Hudson is a guy who can go up and make contested catches and Huggins-Bruce can operate from the slot and make good yards after the catch. Cunningham has been really accurate in the short passing game (74% completion rate on passes under 10 yards, per PFF). He emerged as the teams most consistent option last season. Do-it-all tight end Marshon Ford is still doing great work for the Cards as well, blocking in an H-back role and proving a reliable security blanket as well.
Last week the defense turned over UCF three times, picking up a fumble and logging two interceptions. Tack on three sacks, and you can call it a solid outing. Now, this isn’t exactly the strength of their team (see the 30+ points allowed to both ACC opponents). They play aggressively and blitz often. They have had their fair share of missed tackles that have cost them dearly, but that pressure will be huge against this Eagles offense.
Defensive linemen Yaya Diaby and Ashton Gillotte have combined for seven sacks. Gillotte missed last week but he’ll be back for BC. Joy. Diaby is tied for the conference lead in sacks and playing at a high level. Linebacker Yasir Abdullah hasn’t jumped off the page yet, but he’s an All-ACC caliber player. They have had a tough go of it stopping opponents on the ground, and have committed too many penalties (averaging 72 yards worth a game).
Five Cardinals already have interceptions. Overall, they’re top 30 in the nation in passing yards allowed. As we very well know, part of that happens to be with the aforementioned issues up front. Kei’Trel Clark and Chandler Jones are veteran corners back there, and safety Kendrick Duncan moves around a whole lot to make plays. Duncan is the team’s leading tackler.
The Cardinals are sound all around special teams. They’ve only missed one of their six field goal attempts, and averaging about 20 yards per kick return.