By: Maliik Obee
The red-hot Louisville Cardinals travel to Charlottesville Saturday to take on the Virginia Cavaliers. Every dog has its day, and the sun has shined more on the Cardinals than the Cavaliers thus far in 2016.
Coming off of a dominant 54-13 defeat of North Carolina State, Louisville is looking to ride the back of their Heisman-hopeful quarterback Lamar Jackson to the promise land.
Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall understands the test that the 2-5 Cavaliers face,yet his remains optimistic.“My point simply to the team is we have plenty to work on just within our own organization, and so my intent is to keep their focus on us, on us, knowing the external environment will be talking about Louisville and their quarterback.”
That quarterback has accumulated more touchdowns on his own (34) than Virginia as a team (26). Louisville is averaging 52.6 points per contest, not a good sign for the Cavaliers, who are averaging an ACC-worst 32.7 points per game.
Offensively, Virginia is ranked No. 11 in the ACC in points per game (26.3) No. 10 in total yards per game (381.9) and No. 14 in rushing yards (795). As great as Louisville has been, they have struggled with turnovers, with nine fumbles and nine interceptions. Forcing and converting off turnovers will give Virginia a fighting chance at a major upset.
On Saturday, the Cavaliers will honor former coach George Welsh, in honor of the 25th anniversary of his coach of the year award. While it will be a ceremonious affair for Welsh, it will be a massacre for the Cavaliers, as Jackson continues his Heisman campaign. The balanced attack of Louisville on both sides of the ball will spoil Virginia’s hopes of an upset and salvaging a lost season.