This Saturday is homecoming weekend for our “it’s ok if we lose as long as we get a moral victory” Arkansas State Red Wolves. For those of you who do not know, there are two and only two important rules when scheduling your homecoming opponent:
- It should be a “big” game….check
- It should be a game you can/will win……well 1 out of 2 ain’t bad
Ok so maybe we “can” win this game but let’s be honest, we won’t. As all of you know, our opponent Saturday is Louisville. Louisville is a member of the Big East which is one of the BCS conferences. Our history against such schools is pathetic to say the least. Since 2003 we are 1-16 and have been outscored 216 to 593. The only win came in 2008 against a Texas A&M team that went 4-8. That being said most of these losses came to ranked schools such as LSU, Texas and Alabama that not many teams can beat. So a little slack should be given in those instances. This game however is not one of those instances. We SHOULD win this game.
Offensively we are averaging 436.5 yards/game 309.5 by the pass and 127 via the run while scoring 28 points/game. These numbers are not bad but have only resulted in 1 win. Defensively we are giving up 485.5 yards/game 260 through the air and 225 on the ground while allowing 34.5 points. Wasn’t that supposed to be our strong point?!
Offensively the Cardinals are averaging 385 yards/game 211 by the pass and 174 via the run while scoring only 22.3 points. Defensively Louisville is giving up 338 yards/game 172 through the air and 166 on the ground while allowing 23.7 points.
This is unlike other games we play against BCS conference schools in the fact that Louisville is not a powerhouse and we are not having to travel. That is huge in this game because we know what happens when we have to leave Jonesboro, no matter the opponent (see last week). Looking at the numbers only, Louisville is not a very good offensive team but has a pretty solid defense. They rank second against the pass in their conference. Unfortunately for us, the pass is our strong point offensively. Their run defense is the weak point and might be vulnerable against a strong running team. Personally I think we should go right at them with the pass and see what happens. Strength on strength. I guess we will see what Roberts and the staff decide to do but I’m betting they will try to run it with our weak run game. Weakness on weakness style.
All in all I do actually give us a chance to win this game albeit a small one. If we are going to pull off the upset we are going to need to generate turnovers and keep our mistakes to a minimum. I believe we will have our shots but will ultimately beat ourselves again. My prediction for this game is Louisville will spoil homecoming with a final score of 34-24. Much like the mighty Richmond Spiders have done before.
– Thompson –