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Will the Cardinals Weather the Hurricanes - Previewing the Game



This week previewing Cardinals and Hurricanes in the ACC, we will have the 'other team' earn their way to the ACC Championship Game against the fifth-ranked Florida State Seminoles. Eleventh-ranked Louisville looks to stamp their ticket to take on the Seminoles. Standing in their way, are the University of Miami Hurricanes. Although the Hurricanes have had their struggles this season, they still stand at 6-4 overall with a disappointing 2-4 record in the ACC. Louisville stands at 9-1 overall and 6-1 in the conference.



Broadcast Info:

Date/Location: November 18th at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, FL

Time: Noon ET

TV: ABC

On the Call: Sean McDonough, Greg McElroy


The Hurricanes are coming off a tough loss to in-state rival Florida State 27-20. In a game that saw them lose quarterback Emory Williams to a significant arm injury. Williams had gotten the start over Tyler Van Dyke who has struggled this season. For Louisville, Quarterback Jack Plummer has led the team to a great start in Jeff Brohm's first season back at Louisville (played for Cardinals 1989-1993). In a battle of teams that are second and third in the conference in defense, who has the advantage? Let's take a look at the Cardinals and Hurricanes.


Previewing Cardinals and Hurricanes

Quarterback - For the Hurricanes, Van Dyke returns to the starting role to lead the Hurricanes against a formidable defense in the Cardinals that is only surrendering 17 points a game. He does have a good arm and can make a variety of throws to his receivers. His turnovers have been the weakness of this offense as most of his interceptions have been forced and questionable at best. For the Cardinals, Jack Plummer is having one of the better seasons in his career. Plummer has a lot of tools to succeed at the position with a good arm and the ability to throw accurately. He has been plagued by interceptions as well already tying a career-high with nine, to Van Dyke's 12. Edge - Louisville. While there is a lot to like with both signal callers, Plummer has shown more consistency on his throws compared to Van Dyke also of Van Dykes 12 interceptions, 11 have come over the last five games.


Wide Receiver - While Xavier Restrepo has garnered most of the headlines and has a rapport with Van Dyke, he was held without a reception last week against Florida State. The good news for Hurricanes fans is that Jacolby George had a monster game against the Seminoles (5 receptions 153 yards and 2 touchdowns). With Van Dyke back under center, getting Restrepo involved while keeping George at a high level of production will pose a challenge to the Cardinals' secondary. For Louisville, Plummer has found great success with his favorite receiver Jamari Thrash (49 receptions for 734 yards and six touchdowns). Edge - Hurricanes. While Thrash is having a great season, and Chris Bell has been good for the Cardinals' the Hurricanes' receivers are deeper and have all been solid contributors to the offense.


Running Backs - For the Hurricanes, the committee of Henry Parrish Jr., Donald Chaney Jr., and Mark Fletcher Jr. have been formidable. They are a good combination of power running between the tackles and all show good instincts to wait for openings to happen. Parrish Jr. leading the group in rushing is averaging 6.1 yards per carry. For Louisville, while Thrash and Plummer have led the aerial attack, Jawhar Jordan has been exciting to watch when his number is called. Jordan has shown to be a solid all-around back. He shows the strength to run up the middle with success as well as the speed to run to the outside and separate from defenders. Edge - Cardinals. While the committee is formidable, Jordan has been a workhorse for the Cardinals' offense.



Defense - This will be the heavyweight bout. The Cardinals are second in the ACC and the Hurricanes are third in total defense. With both defenses among the strongest in the conference, a slip from either could be the difference in the game. For Louisville, Ashton Gillotte has made a living this season in the opponent's backfield with 10 sacks and 37 total tackles. He's also forced three fumbles and recovered one. TJ Quinn has been a force leading the team in tackles (71) and Devin Neal has patrolled the secondary leading the team in interceptions with four and six pass deflections. For the Hurricanes, Rueben Bain Jr. and Francisco Mauigoa have made games difficult for opposing quarterbacks (lead the team with 6.5 sacks). Safety Kamren Kitchens has been an anchor in the secondary leading the team in interceptions with four and seeking out the ball carrier. Edge - Toss up both defenses have the qualities that make them great, and multiple playmakers on both sides of the ball.


Prediction:

Louisville wins by two scores. With a birth in the ACC Championship on the line the Cardinals win the game behind Jordan and the defense. Setting up a top-10 matchup for the ACC Championship with Florida State.


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