Louisville Football: 5 Reasons Why The Cardinals Can Win The Citrus Bowl

We take a look at five reasons why the Louisville football team can beat the LSU Tigers and win the Citrus Bowl this season.

The Louisville football team will be looking to end their 2016 season on a high note with a win over the LSU Tigers in the Citrus Bowl. What may have seemed like a disappointment on selection Sunday, has turned into a game that we all cannot wait to see happen, especially now that Lamar Jackson just won the Heisman Trophy.

The Tigers (7-4) have had an okay season, but that doesn’t mean that the Cardinals will be taking them lightly.

The Cardinals just lost to one of the most middle-of-the-road SEC teams in Kentucky and we all know the Tigers have a much better football team than UK.

With that being said, let’s take a look at five reasons why the Cardinals can beat LSU later this month:

Nov 24, 2016; College Station, TX, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Danny Etling (16) signals after a play during the third quarter against the Texas A&M Aggiest at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

5. LSU Has The 67th Ranked Offense In The Nation

We need to take this with a grain of salt because LSU will have Leonard Fournette in their backfield when they play. However, it’s their passing game that has been lacking for the Tigers throughout 2016.

LSU actually has the 101st ranked passing attack in America, just one spot above the Kentucky Wildcats. Let that sink for a moment.

Danny Etling has been competent at best, since taking over the starting quarterback job, but I still haven’t seen a game where he has lit up a good defense through the air.

With that being said, the Cards have to be prepared for whatever comes their way on December 31st. They fell into a bad habit against Kentucky of not respecting the passing game and they can’t afford to let that happen in the Citrus Bowl against LSU.

Dec 10, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino speaks with the media during a press conference at the New York Marriott Marquis after quarterback Lamar Jackson wins the 2016 Heisman Trophy award during a presentation at the Playstation Theater. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

4. Bobby Petrino’s Experience In Big Bowl Games

The month between Louisville’s loss and their next game against LSU is going to pay big dividends. It will give their roster a chance to get healthy and to specifically address some of the key issues that led to the Cards’ late-season collapse (Offensive line, turnovers, penalties).

At the same time, it’s not like Petrino hasn’t been in this situation before; preparing his team for a big bowl game. In his career, he has already coached in the Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, and Sugar Bowl.

I don’t think preparing his team for the Citrus Bowl is going to be a problem for him this time around.

I cannot wait to see how fast this team comes out after a few weeks off and the momentum from Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy.

Dec 10, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Lamar Jackson from the University of Louisville wins the Heisman Trophy at Playstation Theater. Mandatory Credit: Todd J. Van Emst/Heisman Trust via USA TODAY Sports

3. 2016 Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson

If there is one thing that we have learned about Lamar Jackson this season, it’s that he is extremely good, but cannot win football games by himself. However, the teams that have never faced Jackson before, tend to be the teams that have the hardest time stopping Louisville’s offense.

LSU has one of the better defenses in the country, but Lamar Jackson’s athleticism and passing could hurt the Tigers greatly.

Jackson is the X-factor in every game that Louisville plays, hands down. If he can get going against LSU, then it could be an exciting afternoon.

However, if the offensive line isn’t up for the challenge, we could be looking at another rough game for the Cardinals.

Nov 12, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals linebacker James Hearns (99) sacks Wake Forest Demon Deacons quarterback John Wolford (10) during the second half at Papa John

2. Louisville Has The 11th Ranked Defense In The Nation

The Cardinals have been playing solid defense all season long. While they are the 11th ranked defense in total yards given up per game, they are all the way down at 33rd in points allowed per game.

With that being said, I am not too worried about the Tigers putting up a ton of points against Louisville. That is unless Leonard Fournette rushes for 300 yards, which I guess is always possible since we never know what we’re going to from this Louisville team on a weekly basis.

I believe this game against LSU will be a battle of field position for most of the football game. Therefore if the Cards can keep the Tigers pinned back or out of the end-zone, they should be able to win this football game.

However, losing the battle for field position will cause too many problems for the Cards to overcome.

Nov 5, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Louisville Cardinals wide receiver Jaylen Smith (9) makes a reception for a touchdown while tackled by Boston College Eagles defensive back Isaac Yiadom (20) during the first quarter at Boston College at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1. LSU Has The 31st Ranked Passing Defense

While LSU has been very stout at shutting down the opposing team’s rushing attack, they aren’t as good as shutting down the passing game. This is where the Cardinals can hopefully exploit some mismatches in the Tigers’ secondary.

However, LSU has some very talented players that will be roaming in their secondary in the Citrus Bowl. Safety Jamal Adams is one of the best players in the entire country. He will also be playing in his last game for LSU, as he will be drafted in the top ten in this year’s NFL Draft.

Therefore, the Cardinals must know where Adams is on the field at all times.

They cannot afford to force throws in his direction or the ball is going to be coming the other way. Just one defensive touchdown for LSU could be the difference in Louisville winning or losing this game.

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