The Louisville Cardinals are in line to play in the ACC Championship game. They’d likely have to win out the rest of the regular season.
In Week 11, the Cardinals (8-1) will face the Virginia Cavaliers on Thursday night in Cardinal Stadium.
Although Virginia has played better recently, the Cavaliers are only 2-7 on the season and lost to Georgia Tech 5-17 last weekend. Louisville defeated Georgia Tech earlier this season.
In this game, Louisville is a -19.5 favorite at home. Meanwhile, the total is currently at 51.5 for the weeknight game.
Can the Cardinals keep the dream season alive on Thursday?
Read our Virginia vs Louisville preview for Thursday’s huge ACC matchup.
Location: Cardinal Stadium
Virginia vs Louisville Preview
The Virginia Cavaliers might be 2-7 on the season. However, they’ve gone 6-3 against the spread. They’ve performed better than oddsmakers believed, as they’ve covered games as massive underdogs.
Still, Virginia lost most of those games, including to Miami and North Carolina as multi-touchdown underdogs. Virginia only lost by four to North Carolina and by three to Miami. They kept those games close but still lost outright.
That’s something that could ultimately happen against Louisville.
The Cavaliers have also allowed the Over to hit in six of nine games this year.
On the other hand, Louisville has won two straight games against the spread, including a 34-3 win against Virginia Tech last weekend. However, the defense has played well enough to keep the Under intact in most games. The Under has hit in five of nine games, with one of the nine finishing as a push.
Louisville is 5-0 at home this season and won its last meeting against Virginia, 34-17, as a 1.5-point underdog.
Virginia’s Back To Life
However, on October 28, Virginia lost a heartbreaker to Miami on the road, 29-26. That game took a lot out of them because in Week 10, Virginia lost to Georgia Tech, 45-17.
So Virginia’s pretty much run out of gas. A game against Louisville will be one of the more challenging games on the schedule this season.
The Cardinals Are Coaching Better
The Louisville Cardinals only have one loss on the season.
But that loss should’ve never happened.
It’s not that Louisville wasn’t beaten. They were. It’s just that they faced a Pittsburgh Panthers team that has struggled to earn wins all season long.
Louisville played on the road in poor weather, which was rainy and windy in Pittsburgh. The Cardinals weren’t prepared for that game and lost their only game this season against a team they were a full touchdown favorite against.
After last week’s game against Virginia Tech, head coach Jeff Brohm explained that they’re coaching better since Pittsburgh lost. He said that the Cardinals are smarter in what they’re doing since that loss.
It showed on Saturday.
The Cardinals added 383 yards of offense and held Virginia Tech to just 140 yards of offense. The Hokies had only 72 yards passing and averaged 3.1 yards per pass, with 2.4 yards per carry.
Louisville is a severe threat to Florida State in the ACC. Those two college football teams don’t play in the regular season. But if things stand, those two would fight for the ACC Championship in about a month.
Take a look at the Virginia vs Louisville preview for Thursday below.
Virginia Lacks Depth On Defensive Front
The Virginia Cavaliers allow 4.8 yards per carry and 5.74 yards per play this season. They’re getting no push on the line of scrimmage and will likely struggle against a strong Louisville offensive line.
The Cavaliers have shown off a solid secondary. However, if the pass rush can’t reach the quarterback, the secondary will eventually break down.
Louisville is led by Jack Plummer, who has added 14 touchdowns and six interceptions on the season. The turnovers have been a problem for Plummer throughout the season. But he’s a veteran quarterback who has a lot of weapons at wide receiver.
Those weapons include Jamari Thrash, who didn’t play last weekend due to injury but has a better chance at playing on Thursday.
The run game should also be dangerous. Jawhar Jordan has added 7.1 yards per carry on 24 attempts this season. His 881 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns are up there with some of the best runners in the game.
Meanwhile, Louisville has held teams to 2.97 yards per carry and only 4.77 yards per play this year. The defensive front for the Cardinals is strong, and the secondary, along with the tackling, has been above average this season.
If Louisville wins out, they’ll watch their NCAAF championship odds increase. The Louisville NCAAF schedule isn’t that hard for the rest of the regular season. Check the NCAAF scores when this game is over. we’ve got the Cardinals at -19.5 in this Virginia vs Louisville preview.