NCAAF: Miami vs. Louisville preview and predictions

Miami Hurricanes (-129) vs. Louisville Cardinals (+109)

The Miami Hurricanes move up the coast line and find themselves in Cardinal Stadium to face the Louisville Cardinals. Hurricanes are led by quarterback D’Eriq King. King is coming off of a great performance against UAB. 16/24 completions, 144 yards passing, one passing and one rushing touchdown. On the opposite side of the field, Louisville Cardinals are led by quarterback Malik Cunningham. Cunningham is coming off of a stellar performance against Western Kentucky. 19/34 completions, 343 yard passing, three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown!

Both teams have a real test today. Matching up against better offenses and defenses than last week. Miami has the better rushing attack led by running back Cam’Ron Harris. Last week Harris was a tank carrying the ball 17 times for 134 yards and running in two touchdowns. Louisville backfield is dominated by running back Javian Hawkins. Hawkins had 19 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. Also Hassan Hall will have a some carries for Louisville. Last week Hall surprised a lot of people rushing 6 times for 66 yards. Averaging 11 yards a carry!

Looking at the receiving core for both teams. Louisville gets the edge from me. Wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick is the most explosive receiver on Louisville. Last week Fitzpatrick had 4 receptions for 110 yards. Fellow receiver Braden Smith also had 4 receptions for 110 yards, minus a touchdown. Louisville wide receiver Tutu Atwell also had a nice game with 7 receptions for 78 yards. Louisville has a clear advantage in the red zone. Both tight ends on Louisville had touchdowns in short distance situations last week. Miami worries me with only 158 receiving yards last week against a fairly easy opponent in UAB. Opposed to Louisville who had 343 yards receiving against an equal opponent.

These two defenses are going to look to capitalize every chance they get. Miamis leading solo tackler was safety Amari Carter. That is suspect for the fact that Amari is the last line of dense. On the flip side; Louisville had two players tie for leading solo tackler. Linebacker Dorian Etheridge, and defensive back Isaiah Hayes. Both players had 5 solo tackles a piece. Miami had 22 solo tackles. Opposed to Louisville who had 32 solo tackles. I give the advantage on the defensive front-seven to Louisville.

My pick: Louisville +2 on the spread (-107). I foresee this game being fast paced on both sides of the ball. Both teams have to establish a rhythm. Miami survives this game with a good rushing attack to open up the passing game for King. However, Louisville has a pass-first approach. I predict both of these secondary’s struggle but not to the extent of a blowout for either side. This game is huge for both programs and will come down to the wire.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:

31-27 Louisville defeats Miami.

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