Louisville football vs. Boston College game preview

Malik Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
Malik Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The Louisville football team is on the road this week to take on Boston College.

The 2020 season is starting to come to a close for Louisville football with just two games remaining on the regular season slate.

The Cardinals are coming off of a 30-0 blanking of Syracuse just over a week ago where the team finally put together a complete performance on both sides of the ball.

Boston College had a bye week last week. In their last game action, the Eagles lost 45-31 to Notre Dame in a high scoring affair.

After a couple of tough weeks due to Covid, Louisville seems to be hitting their stride late in the season with their most impressive performance coming in their most recent game.

With a brand new head coach in Jeff Hafley and some roster turnover, Boston College was selected to finish 13th in the preseason ACC standings. However, they have exceeded those expectations with flying colors. The Eagles currently rank sixth in the ACC with a 4-4 conference record.

As for Louisville, we know that they have disappointed relative to expectations and currently sit at 12th in the standings.

Boston College has been relatively healthy all year. Star wide receiver Zay Flowers went down with an apparent shoulder injury in their last game against Notre Dame. It’s not clear whether Flowers will be available for the Eagles. But, if he is not, that would be a major blow to them and a big worry alleviated for Louisville.

Let’s preview the matchup further between Louisville and Boston College.

Who: Louisville Cardinals (3-6) at Boston College Eagles (5-4)

When: Saturday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. Eastern time

Where: Alumni Stadium; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

Spread: Boston College -1

TV: ACC Network

Weather: 50 degrees and partly cloudy; Wind WNY at 8 mph

Game day uniforms:

Important links

Players to watch for Louisville

CB Kei’Trel Clark – If Zay Flowers plays for BC, expect the possibility of Clark shadowing him in coverage. Flowers is one of the ACC’s most dangerous wideouts. If anyone is going to take him out of the game, it’s going to be Clark and the shutdown ability he has shown throughout the 2020 season. Clark most recently notched his first interception of the year against Syracuse last week.

WR Josh Johnson – I am intrigued by this player. Johnson was wearing No. 0 last week and officially got that change on the roster. Last week, he got himself a significant amount of snaps. He was a solid contributor and offers a weapon to the offense that is dangerous with the ball in their hands. Perhaps his snaps will be diminished with Tutu Atwell healthier. But a good performance last week could earn him some reps with the starters in this one. If you see No. 0 out there again for the Cards, pay close attention. The redshirt junior could be making a name for himself at the right time.

LB K.J. Cloyd – Another player who saw a significant spike in his snaps last week. Except, unlike the receiver position, there had been no injuries at middle linebacker. Cloyd rotated in regularly with the middle linebacker group that includes C.J. Avery, Dorian Etheridge, and Monty Montgomery. I would expect to see Cloyd once again garnering snaps this week. He’s a freaky athlete that joined the team late into fall camp that the coaches instantly raved about. He could be an impact player against Boston College.

The running backs- The most interesting thing to watch here is how snaps are dispersed this week amongst Hassan Hall, Maurice Burkley, and Jalen Mitchell. They all had their moments last week and we could see more of the same with a three-headed split of snaps. All three of these players are plenty good enough for significant reps. We’ll see how Scott Satterfield elects to use them in this game.

Final thoughts

Understandably so, Boston College is favored in this game. But, maybe surprising to some, I actually like Louisville’s chances here. I love the chances if Flowers cannot play for the Eagles.

Regardless, the defense has been playing much better ball since they have figured out their assignments. Playing fundamentally sound is all it took. Who knew?

If Tutu Atwell is healthy again, the team is remarkably close to being at full strength health-wise. Perhaps a couple of guys are banged up nine games into the year. But, as a whole, the team is getting healthier as the season is winding down.

I am optimistic this team can put forth two complete performances in a row against a rock solid Boston College team.

There are some bowl aspirations on the line here as Louisville looks to sneak their way into one late in the year. If Louisville wins their last two games, there is no reason to believe they cannot make a bowl in this wacky season where every program is bowl-eligible.

This is a game that would impress recruits as we are approaching the signing day cycles as well. Most of all, it’s important for the team to keep their confidence at a high as they head into a (hopefully) more normalized 2021 season.

Score prediction

Louisville 30, Boston College 23

The Cardinals’ defense shows up once again to stymie the Eagles who have a mediocre run game and explosive passing offense. Kei’Trel Clark plays his best game yet and the Cardinals win despite a couple more turnovers from the offense.

Boston College’s defense is fine, but their front four is not intimidating to a Louisville offensive line that has already faced Pittsburgh, Miami, and Notre Dame.

I expect this game will be close and Boston College could absolutely win. I just feel good about where the Cards are at this point in the season. Despite the record, the team demeanor appears at an all time high and that matters a ton.

Cards win. If I am wrong, you may put me to shame. Rules are rules.

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