Boston College Football hits the road for the first time in the 2023 season as they travel to take on Louisville. After BC took down Louisville at home behind a monstrous effort from Zay Flowers, Louisville is looking to improve on its 8-5 record last season with first-year coach Jeff Brohm taking the helm.
Where: Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
When: Saturday September 23rd, time TBD
After four up-and-down seasons under Scott Satterfield, Louisville finally managed to prise former Purdue coach Jeff Brohm to come back to his alma mater. Brohm comes in with a career record of 66-44, including a 36-34 mark at Purdue. He has consistently demonstrated the ability to win on the field without elite levels of recruiting other programs in the Big 10 feature, and he now seeks to elevate this Louisville squad.
He began by completely revamping the roster. Brohm is a highly-regarded offensive mind, and Louisville’s will look completely different this coming season. Longtime starter Malik Cunningham has finally graduated, and the seeming replacement is Cal transfer Jack Plummer. Whereas Cunningham was dangerous as a dual-threat QB, able to do significant damage with his legs but far from an elite passer, Plummer is more of a gunslinger who will want to air the ball out. Expect a far heavier split towards passing the ball from this Louisville team. Plummer is also one of 25 new transfers on the Louisville squad. With a chunk of last year’s O-line leaving, along with leading receiver Tyler Hudson, much of this offense will be comprised of new faces. Therefore, it will be tough to predict exactly what this team will look like. A name to watch, however, is a returner in the form of leading rusher Jawhar Jordan. The junior rushed for over 800 yards last season and will be another weapon for Brohm.
Defensively, Louisville loses some of their best players but on the whole returns more experience than the offense. The hardest-hit piece of the defense is undoubtedly the defensive line, where stars YaYa Diaby and Yasir Abdullah both left. Linebackers Monty Montgomery and Mom Sanogo, who combined for 13 tackles and 3 sacks against the Eagles last season, are both gone as well. The secondary, however, returns nearly every starter and then added All-ACC 2nd Team selection Storm Duck as well as several other Power 5 transfers. The unit as a whole probably won't change all too much schematically, but if Louisville can find a blend of returners and transfers that works up front and combine it with a deep and talented secondary, this defense could be tough to beat.
Keys to the Game:
- Protect the ball. Emmet Morehead, as most rookie QBs do, had some major growing pains last season with his decision-making and turnovers. Between BC’s revamped offensive line and the level of turnover along Louisville’s defensive line, I expect Morehead to have some time in the pocket. His performance as a passer will be crucial to ensuring BC emerges on top.
- Get to Plummer. As mentioned earlier, Louisville is replacing a number of starting O-linemen. If Donovan Ezeiruaku and Co. can get at Plummer, who will want to stay in the pocket and sling it, expect a good day for BC’s defense.
Given the level of turnover on both of these rosters, any prediction is a toss-up until we actually see these teams play. I’ll give the edge to the home team, as Louisville wins a close one 21-17.