We take a look at the three most popular bowl projections for the Louisville football team heading into the last week of the season.
The Louisville football team will be looking to pick up their tenth win of the 2016 season against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. After a tough road loss to Houston, the Cards need to get their issues fixed fast if they want to finish the year strong.
There is a sense of optimism from most of the country, as most of the major media outlets have the Cardinals still picked to go to the Orange Bowl at the end of December. The biggest differences between the projections are the teams that Louisville may face.
Let’s take a look at the three most popular bowl projections for the Louisville football team going into week 13:
Nov 12, 2016; Bloomington, IN, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Trace McSorley (9) throws a pass during the first half of the game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports
SB Nation: Louisville vs. Penn State (Orange Bowl)
SB Nation has the Cardinals facing the Penn State Nittany Lions next month. This may be the most winnable match-up for the Cardinals, as I still don’t believe that Penn State is one of the better teams in the country.
According to College Football Stats, Penn State currently had the 56th rated total offense in the country and the 22nd ranked total defense. Not to mention, the only team they have beat was Ohio State in a game that changed off of a special teams breakdown for the Buckeyes.
However, they are tied for 17th in the country with 32 sacks. The Nittany Lions could slow down Louisville’s offense if they can get to Lamar Jackson, but they don’t have enough of a passing game to be a threat to Bobby Petrino’s team.
CBS Sports has the Cardinals facing the Michigan Wolverines in the Orange Bowl and this would easily be one of the toughest match-ups for Louisville. The loss to Houston has definitely cast a cloud of doubt over the Cardinals’ ability to play high-level football, but most of that concern is over the offensive line.
Michigan has the best defense in the country, even above the Alabama Crimson Tide. While they have given up the least amount of passing yards, they rank outside of the top ten in rushing yards allowed.
Where they will test the Cardinals is with their ability to get to the quarterback. They are tied for 8th in the country in sacks with 36. Louisville’s offensive line must find a way to improve before they potentially face the Wolverines next month.
Nov 19, 2016; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Wisconsin Badgers running back Bradrick Shaw (7) rushes the ball in the second quarter of the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Campus Insiders: Louisville vs. Wisconsin (Orange Bowl)
This could also be a game that the Cardinals could win in the Orange Bowl. Did you know that the Badgers have the 89th ranked total offense in America? Yeah, that’s pretty bad for a team that could potentially win the Big Ten Championship this season.
Even though they are a top ten defense, they are only tied for 38th in the country in sacks. I don’t think they have enough athletic players on their defensive line to bring down Lamar Jackson, no matter how bad the Cards’ offensive line plays.
Remember, an Orange Bowl victory would be a huge accomplishment for this Louisville football team in the 2016 season.
Wisconsin and Penn State would give the Cards the best chance to make that happen.