Louisville vs. Duke prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Cardinals and Blue Devils on Friday in Louisville, KY.
Louisville vs. Duke Game Preview
When: Friday, Oct. 14 – 7:00 p.m. ET
Where: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
TV Broadcast: ESPN
The Cardinals (4-1, 2-1 ACC) enjoyed a bye last week after their close loss at Clemson, so Bobby Petrino’s squad has had extra time to think about that setback. We saw the Cards start slow against the Tigers only to storm back and grab the lead in the second half before ultimately falling short. But it was against a team that is now 49-6 at home under Dabo Swinney, so not many teams are able to go into Death Valley and steal a win. Quarterback Lamar Jackson went off in the second half, proving once again that he is the most electric player in the country.
Meanwhile, the Blue Devils (3-3, 0-2) scored a 13-6 win over Army last Saturday and are looking for their first conference win of the year. They already have home losses to Wake Forest and Virginia, so it will be tough for David Cutcliffe’s squad to get into the postseason unless they score an upset or two in the second half of the year.
Louisville and Duke have met just once before, with the Cardinals beating the Blue Devils, 40-3, in 2002.
What To Know About Louisville
With the loss to Clemson and Houston’s loss to Navy on Saturday, the Cardinals’ College Football Playoff chances certainly took a hit. The ACC Atlantic is now Clemson’s to lose, while having an undefeated Houston on the schedule down the line would have helped the Cardinals’ CFP cause. But the selection committee won’t forget the team’s strong performance against Swinney’s squad, so there is still a possibility that the Cards are in the CFP mix by the end of the year.
What to Know About Duke
The Blue Devils didn’t win a pretty game against Army this past Saturday, but pretty doesn’t need to show up in the win column. The Blue Devils took a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter, and their defense contained Army’s rushing attack in pouring rain. Duke forced three turnovers, which is what it will have to do this Friday night if it wants to have any chance at an upset. Because of the conditions caused by Hurricane Matthew, Duke and Army combined for just 93 passing yards and 17 punts. Nonetheless, dual-threat Daniel Jones gives the team hope at the quarterback position, and the defensive front is improved from last season.
Offense: Louisville. The Cardinals are No. 1 in the FBS in scoring offense at 58.0 points per game.
Defense: Louisville. The Cardinals are No. 20 in the FBS in total defense at 324.0 yards per contest.
Special Teams: Louisville. Jaire Alexander returned a punt 69 yards for a touchdown against Florida State, so he’s another weapon that Duke has to take into consideration.
Coaching: Louisville. Cutcliffe has worked wonders in Durham, but Petrino is one of the brightest offensive minds in the country.
Intangibles: Louisville. It will be a frustrated group after falling to Clemson and having an extra week to think about it.
Matchup To Watch
Shaun Wilson vs. Alexander
Against Notre Dame, Wilson scored on a 96-yard kickoff return in the first quarter. The Blue Devils were down 14-0 at the time, so the return actually turned the momentum for Cutcliffe’s squad. It seemed that Duke realized from that point forward that it should be on the same field as the Irish. Alexander, of course, had the score against the ‘Noles that further deflated Jimbo Fisher’s squad. If Duke has any chance at scoring a major upset, it will need all the help it can get from Wilson.
Spread: Louisville -32
Over/Under: No over/under as of post
Louisville vs. Duke Prediction
This may not be pretty if you’re a Duke fan. Which Blue Devils squad will show up? The one that came back to beat Notre Dame on the road, or the one that turned it over six times in a home loss to Virginia? It likely will be something in between, which will still lead to a Cards blowout victory.
Louisville vs. Duke Score Prediction: Louisville 45, Duke 20