Louisville Cardinals vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack
Point Spread: Wolfpack -3
The Cardinals’ offense started to pick up once freshman QB Teddy Bridgewater was inserted into the lineup. He has a 12-9 TD/INT ratio and must make sure he takes care of the ball in this matchup. The Wolfpack led all FBS teams with 24 interceptions and Bridgewater can’t force the issue. RBs Victor Anderson and Dominique Brown combined for 960 yards and seven scores with Anderson averaging 4.8 yards-per-rush. Bridgewater also counts on two freshman WRs (Michaelee Harris and Eli Rogers) and they have improved throughout the season. NC State has allowed 25 points-per-game and look for Louisville (who averaged almost 30 points-per-game over their last five games) to move the ball on the ground and through the air.
QB Mike Glennon leads the Wolfpack offense after he stepped in for the departed QB Russell Wilson (Wisconsin). While he didn’t post the numbers of Wilson, he had a good year with a 29-11 TD/INT ratio and 2,790 yards. He was effective spreading the ball around as six players had 25+ receptions. WR T.J. Graham led the way with 39-641-5. RB James Washington leads the team with 852 yards on the ground (7 TDs) and also contributed 39 receptions for 300 yards. LB Dexter Heyman leads the Cardinals defense (21 points-per-game allowed) in tackles, tackles for loss and interceptions. He also added four sacks.
Both of these teams infused a lot of youth into their line-ups this season with positive results. Louisville has played better defense but the Wolfpack forces TOs. We feel that Louisville will be able to sustain drives against this defense and eventually tire them out. NC State scored only 23 points over a three-game period before beating Clemson and Maryland to become bowl eligible. They also won only one game away from home in 2011.
Take the Cardinals