Louisville’s defense will need to be locked in to take down the impressive Blue Devil offense this saturday
The Louisville Cardinals will take on the 20th ranked Duke Blue Devils this weekend and it will be a game of high powered offenses and defenses. Duke returned several starters from last year, but the key returner was star quarterback Riley Leonard. Duke has been able to pass the ball well and their run especially has been dominant through all of their games. Duke’s 2 losses have come to Notre Dame and Florida State, in games where they only scored 14 and 20 points.
If Louisville can slow down the Duke offense they will have a much better shot at taking down the Blue Devils than if they get into a shootout with them. Louisville will have to be physical and cannot slip up against an offense that can torch you if you play lazily. The Cardinals cannot continue to play the type of defense they played in the 4th quarter against Pitt.
Here is how Louisville can slow down and beat the Duke offense:
3. Make Duke throw throw the football early
Duke’s starting quarterback for this and last season was injured in the Blue Devil’s loss to Notre Dame a couple weeks ago. While he played in the first 3 quarters against Florida State last week, he was taken out and never returned. He is listed as “day to day” according to head coach Mike Elko, and is questionable for the game against the Cardinals.
Whether Leonard plays or not he will likely not be a 100% and the Cardinals should use that to their advantage. If the defense can put pressure on Leonard or the backup Henry Belvin, they will likely cause them to make some mistakes. Duke wants to run the ball the entire game and stay away from the air until Leonard is completely healthy, but if Louisville stacks the box and blitzes on the outside they will have to throw it. While they may get burned on some plays, I would rather Louisville bet on stopping the run over the pass. Especially since Leonard is day to day at the moment.
Duke’s backup quarterback Henry Belin also just been 5/18 for 113 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 interception in the last 2 games. If they start Belin the Cardinals should look to bring the pressure and try to wreak as much havoc on the QB as they can.
Duke wants to run the ball as much as possible, but if Louisville can make them throw, they’ll be in good shape to shut down this Blue Devil offense.