FACTS & STATS: Site: Alumni Stadium (44,500) — Chestut Hill, Massachusetts.
Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Louisville 4-1, Boston College 2-3. Away
Record: Louisville 2-2, Boston College 4-0. Neutral Record: Louisville 0-0,
Boston College 0-0. Conference Record: Louisville 4-2, Boston College 3-2.
Series Record: Series is tied, 3-3
GAME NOTES: Strength versus strength will be on display Saturday night when
the Boston College Eagles host the Louisville Cardinals in an Atlantic Coast
Conference matchup at Alumni Stadium.
The Eagles, winners of two in a row and three of four, are the ninth ranked
rushing team in the nation this year, while the Cardinals are third in the
country against the run.
Louisville was the top rush defense in the nation heading into last weekend,
but surrendered a season-high 173 yards in a 42-31 loss to second-ranked
Cardinals QB Will Gardner threw for 330 yards, 214 of which went to DeVante
Parker, while Michael Dyer gashed the Seminoles for 134 yards and three TDs on
the ground. However, Louisville blew a 21-0 lead to fall to 6-2 overall and
4-2 in the ACC.
Boston College, meanwhile, is coming off a 33-31 win at Virginia Tech last
Saturday. Eagles QB Tyler Murphy accounted for three touchdowns, completing 8-
of-15 passes for 110 yards with two touchdowns and adding 122 yards and a
score on the ground for Boston College, which improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2
in the ACC.
The Eagles strong run game comes thanks in part to a veteran offensive line
that also helped Andre Williams lead the nation last year in rushing yards.
This year, Murphy and Jon Hilliman are the main benefactors of the offensive
line, which helps BC got for 275 ypg on the ground. Murphy averages 107.2 ypg,
while Hilliman averages 64.2 ypg on the ground. The duo has also combined to
run for 18 of the 24 rushing TDs this season by the Eagles.
Murphy also averages 127 ypg through the air, completing 55.6 percent of his
passes with eight TDs and six interceptions.
As impressive as BC is running the ball, the defense is nearly equally as good
at stopping the run. The Eagles are fourth in the country against the run,
allowing only 88.9 ypg. In total, the Eagles yield only 312 ypg of offense.
Louisville though, is better. The Cardinals allow just 78.7 ypg on the ground
and how that defense responds on the road against a tough opponents will
determine how they do in this contest.
However, the offensive side is led by the passing game. Gardner averages 211
ypg on 56.4 percent passing with 12 TDs and three picks. The rushing offense
leave a lot to be desired, averaging just 146 ypg, which may be what dooms the
Cardinals this week.
The inability to control the clock against the BC offense might be too much to
overcome. Brandon Radcliff in the team’s leading rusher with 406 yards and six
TDs this season.
On the defensive side, Gerod Holliman leads the team and nation with 10
interceptions. But he might not get a chance at too many picks this week, as
Murphy doesn’t throw the ball too often.
This will be the first meeting between these two schools as members of the
ACC. In the six prior meetings, each program came away with three wins. The
last time these two schools met was in 1998 when the Cardinals came away with
a 52-28 win in Louisville.
Expect a tough low-scoring affair in this game. Both teams have strong
defenses, but Louisville’s lack of a running game will come back to hurt it as
they won’t be able to run the ball effectively to take time off the clock if
they get the lead. It hurt the Cardinals last week against Florida State and
it will likely hurt them again this week.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boston College 24, Louisville 21