Tonight at 8:30 pm ET, the 20th ranked Louisville Cardinals (7-1, 3-1) will take on the UConn Huskies (0-7, 0-3). At last check, Louisville is a 28 point favorite in this game, and does not figure to be tested by the offensive-challenged Huskies. Both teams are coming off bye weeks, with Louisville’s last game being a 34-3 win over South Florida, and UConn’s last game being a 62-17 loss to UCF.
UConn made some significant changes after starting this season 0-4. They fired head coach Paul Pasqualoni and offensive coordinator T.J. Weist was named interim coach for the rest of the season. Weist is in his first full season at UConn. He played wide receiver at Alabama from 1985-87 and has been in the coaching profession ever since, most recently as wide receivers coach at Cincinnati.
Another change that was made was at the quarterback position, where freshman Tim Boyle has gotten the nod. In his 3 games as starter, Boyle is 44-103 (42.7%) for 506 yards. He has 0 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. His best game (numbers-wise) was at Cincinnati when he went 22-39 for 310 yards.
Boyle will have to be great tonight as his counterpart on the other side will be Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater has completed 179-243 passes (73.7%) for 23 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He has thrown for over 300 yards in 6 of 8 games this season, and against USF he was 25-29 for 344 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
2013 OVERALL FBS RANKINGS
The leading rusher for the Huskes is junior Lyle McCombs. He is just 5’8 and 169 lbs, but he racked up 133 yards rushing and 32 yards receiving last year against the Cards. So far this season, he only has 1 game of over 100 yards, but in that 1 game he had 164 yards in a 13-10 loss against South Florida.
UConn’s leader on defense is junior linebacker Yawin Smallwood, who was a 2012 All-Big East First Team selection. He is 1 of 12 players nationally to be selected as a semi-finalist for the Collegiate 2013 Butkus Award. He is averaging 11.3 tackles per game, which is 2nd in the American and 6th in the nation.
In 8 games this season, the Louisville defense has only given up double-digit points in 3 games (13 to UK, 10 to Rutgers, 38 to UCF). Now against an offense with a freshman quarterback that struggles to move the ball and score, the defense for the Cards should be looking to put up impressive numbers and make a statement tonight.
This will be the 10th meeting between Louisville and UConn, with Louisville leading the series 5-4. In the last meeting, UConn won 23-20 in triple overtime at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. (sorry to bring that up)