NCAA FB

Sat, Nov 16, 2013 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Houston-Louisville Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Neither Louisville nor Houston control their own destinies in terms of making a trip to a BCS bowl. They both need the American Athletic Conference leader to stumble, and neither can afford a loss in Saturday night's matchup.

The 19th-ranked Cardinals (8-1, 4-1) will be playing at home for the first time in 29 days, when they suffered their lone loss, a 38-35 defeat to conference-leading Central Florida on Oct. 18.

They've since bounced back with road victories over South Florida and Connecticut by a combined 65-13 margin, but are locked in a three-way tie for second place with Cincinnati and Houston (7-2, 4-1) behind the Knights.

Teddy Bridgewater will be looking to bounce back from what was a subpar performance by his standards in a 31-10 win over Connecticut last Friday. He was 21 of 37 for 288 yards and a TD, marking the 21st straight game in which he's thrown a pass for a score.

"I'm pretty tough on my performances and everything," said Bridgewater, whose 182.9 passer rating ranks fourth in the FBS. "I do kind of critique myself in a certain way. But, any day that you can get a win, that's what it's all about."

Bridgewater, whose 71.4 completion percentage is sixth-best in the country, was picked off for just the third time while posting his lowest completion percentage of the season, though he was plagued by numerous drops from his receivers.

"That's meaningful to me," said the junior, who is six passing TDs shy of the single-season school record of 30 set by Brian Brohm in 2007. "That's one thing, I strive to be one of the top passers in the nation in the decision-making category. I still have three or four games left, so those things can go back up."

The 369 yards of offense against the Huskies was the lowest total this year for Louisville, which ranks 18th in the nation in scoring at 38.4 points per game and 21st in total offense with an average of 481.2 yards.

The Cougars, who represent another one of the nation's top 20 scoring offenses with 38.1 points per contest, were held in check in a 19-14 road loss to Central Florida on Saturday. The 14 points were their fewest since a 41-7 loss to Tulsa on Nov. 10, 2012, and freshman quarterback John O'Korn recorded a season-low passer rating of 92.8 while being picked off twice.

Those were their only two turnovers, however, as Houston also forced three by the Knights.

"Normally, when you win the turnover margin you win the game," coach Tony Levine said.

Houston and Louisville have both been successful largely because of turnover margin, with the Cougars first in the country with a plus-21 margin while the Cardinals are at third at plus-14.

"The thing that Houston does is force turnovers and they strip balls," Louisville coach Charlie Strong told the team's official website. "You see people drive the ball on them and they get down in the red zone and they tighten down their coverage. They force them into throws and they end up coming away with some good interceptions. Then, around that tackle, there is always someone running up and trying to strip the ball. That is how they create the turnovers."

Though most of the attention on Louisville focuses on Bridgewater, the Cardinals are tied with Alabama for the best scoring defense in the country, limiting opponents to 10.6 points per game.

This marks the first matchup since Louisville's 65-27 victory at Houston in 2004, evening the all-time series at seven wins apiece.

Tagged: Houston, Louisville, Florida, Teddy Bridgewater

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash