The No. 5 Louisville Cardinals face the Houston Cougars at 8 in a primetime Thursday Night college football matchup. These teams have met 16 times previously, both winning eight. The Cougars won the meeting last year between these two teams by a score of 34-31.
After Louisville lost a heartbreaker at Clemson, all seemed lost for the Cardinals. It was almost certain the Cardinals were not going to make the ACC Championship this year. Although the Cardinals knew that goal was lost, they knew they still had an opportunity at the college football playoff if they won out and won convincingly.
Looking at their schedule, the last game that they probably circled as a statement game is tonight’s game versus the Houston Cougars. Houston at the time of Louisville’s loss was ranked as high as number six in the nation. Although the Cougars have fallen out of the rankings after two losses, a strong showing on the road for the Cardinals will go a long way in improving their playoff chances.
Louisville is Ready
Thursday night games are never easy for any team, and are often trap games for some of the bigger schools. Louisville though, is used to playing during the week.
Louisville knows the implications of this game. They are currently ranked No. 5 headed into this week, with only the top four teams making it into the college football playoff at the end of the year. Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino knows Louisville has no say on what goes on behind closed doors with the college football playoff committee. All Louisville can focus on is finishing the year strong.
Keys To The Game
After last year’s 34-31 loss to the Cougars at home, the biggest key for the Cardinals will be not turning the ball over. Louisville turned the ball over four times in that three point loss. On the road, the Cardinals know they’ll need to be even more careful with the football.
The key for the Cougars on Thursday night will be to limit the explosive plays they give up on defense. The Cardinals offense is predicated on scoring quickly. The Cougars must limit these explosive plays and make the Cardinals execute consistently on offense in order to score.