College Football Pick
Louisville got a week off to think about its only loss thus far, a tough 42-36 result at Clemson. The Cardinals are looking to get back on the winning side in a big way against an up-and-down Duke team that went from winning at Notre Dame to losing to Virginia in the matter of a week.
This will be the first meeting between these schools since 2002 with that one ending 40-3. It’s been 14 years, but the ending could be similar in this one.
At the least, we know Duke’s defense isn’t that good. They made a couple plays in the Notre Dame win, but then struggled to contain a Virginia team that hadn’t shown much this season. Cavaliers quarterback Kurt Benkert threw for 336 yards and three touchdowns. If he can do that, Blue Devils fans don’t want to know what LAmar Jackson will do.
Jackson wasn’t amazing against Clemson, but in a tough situation, it’s hard to fault what he did, throwing for 295 yards and running for 162 more. Even with the loss, Jackson is still one of the leading candidates for the Heisman and with a favorable upcoming Schedule, he should remain in that spot.
against similarly bad defenses, Jackson has run roughshod. Even against Clemson, he had plenty of success. On the season, Jackson has 28 total touchdowns (14 rushing), while averaging 9.6 yards per pass attempt and 7.5 yards per carry. If he didn’t reach five touchdowns in this Game, it’d be a surprise. Along with that Brandon Radcliff is averaging 8.4 yards per carry at running back.
Duke hasn’t seen the best offenses this year (outside of ND), but now have to travel to take on the current Heisman favorite. The Cardinals could easily be slated for another 50-plus points in this Game, especially at home coming off a loss.
To cover this Game, Duke has to find a way to score. Louisville has played good defense so far, but every opponent has been able to put points on the board, partly because of large blowouts. Marshall scored 21 of its 28 points in the Fourth quarter of that loss. Do the Blue Devils have what it takes to do that?
against the Fighting Irish, they had no problems. Freshman quarterback Daniel Jones was great en route to 290 passing yards and three touchdowns. But in the prior Games against Wake and Northwestern, he failed to pass for a touchdown. And in the loss to Virginia, he threw a miserable five interceptions. His inconsistency makes this Game a little tougher to predict, but one has to think that Duke can reach 20 or so points.
The Blue Devils may try and get the ground Game going in hopes of keeping Jackson off the field, but top RB Jela Duncan is dealing with an ankle injury and Shaun Wilson hasn’t shown much this year.
In a Friday night Game at home, LAmar Jackson will likely come out gunning as usual and the Cardinals are a safe bet to reach 50 points. Duke can cover, but not if Jones tosses five interceptions again. The problem for him is that the Blue Devils will need to be passing early-and-often, and those interceptions could easily come about against this Louisville secondary.
Our Pick – LAying -32 points isn’t something we ever like to do in a football Game. The back door is always open when the dog has that many points to work with. Furthermore, while Duke has had trouble scoring points this year, when they faced a Notre Dame team with a poor defense, they managed to hang 38 points on the board and win the Game.
Not a strong call for us, but Duke +32