This Tuesday night, the UofL football team will try to do something that hasn’t been done in the school’s history: win 3 straight bowl games. It would not be in 3 straight seasons, but 3 straight bowl trips. The Cards will take on N.C. State at 8:00 pm on ESPN. UofL leads the series 3-0 against the Wolfpack, with the most recent game being a 29-10 victory in 2007 at N.C. St. The game will be played at Bank of America Stadium (73,778) in Charlotte, NC.
Louisville enters the game at 7-5 (5-2) and on a hot streak. After starting 2-4, the Cards went 5-1 to end the season and win a share of the Big East title. N.C. St. is also 7-5 (4-4) and finished 4th in the ACC Atlantic Division. They had two common opponents this season: Cincinnati and North Carolina. UofL lost to Cincinnati 26-16, and N.C. St. lost to Cincinnati 44-14. UofL lost to North Carolina 14-7, and N.C. St. beat North Carolina 13-0.
Against teams that are currently ranked, UofL went 1-0 and N.C. St. was 1-1. Louisville beat West Virginia 38-35 on the road. N.C. St. lost to Georgia Tech 45-35, but beat #7 Clemson 37-13.
N.C. St. comes in with a solid QB in Mike Glennon. The 6’6 225 pound senior threw for 2,790 yards this season. He had 28 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. In their 5 losses, he had 7 TDs and 7 interceptions. So that leaves 21 TDs and only 4 interceptions in the 7 wins for the Wolfpack. It is easy to see that when Glennon struggled and turned the ball over, the Wolfpack could not overcome it. That will be a key for a young but very talented UofL defense to focus on. In their last regular season game, N.C. St. trailed Maryland 41-14 with 6 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. Glennon led an amazing comeback and N.C. St. won 56-41. Glennon had 5 touchdown passes and even rushed for a score. Glennon also does a great job at spreading the ball around. Five players had at least 30 catches this season, while UofL only had 2 players with at least 30 catches.
Even though UofL only averaged 21.8 points per game this season, they scored 34 points in each of their last 2 games on the road at UConn and at South Florida. Freshman QB Teddy Bridgewater has emerged as one of the best freshmen in the country. He has had some struggles, as any freshman would, but he has shown great poise in his decision making. He will need to keep that up, as this will be like a road game for the Cards. Also, N.C. St. led the FBS this season with 24 interceptions, led by David Amerson. The Jim Thorpe Award finalist led the nation with 11 interceptions.
The Cards will be without a few key players. Leading receiver Michaelee Harris will be out with a knee injury, so UofL will need DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers to step up. DL Greg Scruggs did not make the trip because of his DUI, and DL Randy Salmon has apparently left the team to transfer. The defense has rotated players all season anyway, especially on the line, so that shouldn’t be a big change.
With all of the young talent on UofL’s roster, a bowl win would provide great momentum going into the off-season. In what was supposed to be a down year with so much youth, especially after starting out 2-4, an 8-5 record would sound great! Remember, the game is this Tuesday, December 27th at 8:00 pm on ESPN. Go Cards!
N Carolina St
|Avg Points Allowed||19.2||24.8|
Team Averages & NCAA Ranks
|Offense||Team||Per Game Average / NCAA Rank|
328.2 / 104th
346.2 / 94th
222.8 / 74th
257.0 / 46th
121.9 / 94th
108.2 / 109th
21.8 / 103rd
28.0 / 41st