The Cards face a tough test on Saturday when the North Carolina Tar Heels come to town. Here are five keys to victory for UofL against Larry Fedora’s squad.
Get off to a fast start
The Tar Heels are coming off a disappointing 28-27 loss to Wake Forest and you know they will be coming into Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium looking to bounce back. The quickest way to dash those hopes is to hit them with a barrage early. Whether it means big plays offensively or forcing UNC to go three and out, the Cards need to make a statement early on that they aren’t messing around.
Attack the North Carolina secondary
The UNC secondary got lit up by Wake Forest to a tune of 362 total passing yards. We all know the Cards have big time weapons in the passing game with Teddy Bridgewater and his group of receivers and tight ends. UofL should go right at the Tar Heel defensive backfield, specifically with deep shots down the field, and see if they can stop the pass. Early returns suggest they cannot.
Pressure the quarterback
Despite two solid victories to open the season, Louisville has not gotten sufficient pressure on the opposing quarterbacks. UNC’s Bryn Renner is a solid quarterback and will put up serious numbers if UofL cannot get in his face. Vance Bedford has not dialed up too many blitzes so far this year, but Saturday may be the time to do so. At this point, the Cards have not showed they can pressure the quarterback only rushing four.
Lower penalty total
Against Missouri State, the Cards committed nine penalties. That will not get it done against the Tar Heels. Penalties can kill you by not only extending drives for the opposing team, but stalling drives for your offense. Louisville must be sound in this area on Saturday.
Make plays in special teams
One of the best ways to get the crowd and team going is by making a play in the special teams. Whether it’s a huge return in the kicking game, or a big hit off a kickoff, the special teams unit can really energize their team (and fans) by making plays. In a big game like this, special teams will be a factor in the outcome. If the Cards win the special teams battle, their chance for success improves greatly.
Filed Under: Football
About the Author: