Wednesday, November 01, 2006

West Virgina vs Louisville

I realize that this is a Cal football blog but every once in a while I like to talk about other teams and college football in general. Also, the West Virginia vs Louisville game this Thursday does relate to Cal in the following ways.

1) West Virginia's uniforms are very similar to Cal's. There have been multiple times when I turned on the TV to see the familiar Blue and Gold only to then realize that it is WVU playing Podunk St.

2) Louisville's uniforms are quite similar to Stanfurd's uniforms also. Also, Louisville's mascot is the cardinals (the bird) and Stanfurd are the cardinal (the color). This game could be a preview of the Big Game except for the fact that Louisville does not suck and Stanfurd does.

3) One of these teams will no longer be undefeated after this game and will surely drop below Cal in the standing.

West Virginia vs Louisville is actually one of the biggest games of this college football season. It is rare to have two top five team meeting in any season so this is a special treat. Both teams are undefeated and are looking for a spot in the national championship, with the winner having a good shot at making the final 2. Also, for those in need of a football fix before Saturday, it does not get any better than this.

Most people expect this to be a shootout. Last year, the final score was 46-44 in triple overtime. But did you know that both teams are in the top 25 in total defense? ESPN does a nice illustration of how valuable total defense ranking are:

Here's a list of the opponents and their national rank in total offense (keep in mind that 119 teams play Division I-A football):

Louisville: Temple (118); Middle Tennessee State (101); Kentucky (69); Miami (63); Kansas State (88); Syracuse (109); and Cincinnati (82).

West Virginia: Marshall (57); Maryland (97); Mississippi State (105); Syracuse (109); East Carolina (44); and Connecticut (66).

So while both teams have highly ranked defenses, lets just say, neither has been tested this year. Now that we have cleared up that confusion, let's talk about the shootout.

West Virginia
No team runs the half back option more than West Virginia. They have two great tailbacks in Steve Slaton and Pat White. Slaton takes most of the handoff and White usually runs the half back option ... yes, I know Pat White is a QB, but when was the last time you saw him throw. Every highlight of him on ESPN is of him running. Regardless, this is a great offense where every player works together and maximizes the advantages created by the spread offense. I can't see Louisville slowing WVU down, so the question is, can they keep up?

The Cardinals have a great backfield combo in Brian Brohm and Michael Bush. Actually... I forgot, Bush is out for the season with a broken leg. Well, they still have Brohm leading his team to huge victories after his injury. Wait ... that was the backup. Do you see where I am going with this?
Louisville's offense has been struggle since Brohm came back from his injury. Four touchtowns and three picks in the last two games against Cincy and Syracuse. Unless, Brohm has been saving himself for this big game, I think Louisville is in for a long night.

West Virginia will crush Louisville on Thursday night. Final Score prediction: 41-17.

Word of advice to West Virginia - Don't stomped on the midfield bird at Louisville's stadium. Miami did that and got beat 31-7.


bloggslog said...

i think you might be needing some cal games on tv

Go Bears said...

Seriously, in need of some Cal football. Since the Cal - UCLA game is restricted to the west coast feed, I will be calling up many sports bars in NYC to find one kind enough to show the game.

NUROSEBOWL95 said...

Did you see how the Northwestern Defense limited Mike Hart to under 100 yards? What an unbelievable performance in hostile territory. not to mention multiple ball spotting in favor of the Wolverines! How I long for the 19-17 defeat of the Wolverines in 1995!