LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A pair of ACC teams looking to bounce back from their first conference losses of the season meet Saturday in Louisville, where the Cardinals host Boston College. The Cardinals have been off since falling 35-24 at Florida State on Sept. 21, and they were pleased to get a bye week before the matchup with the Eagles, which will be followed by a difficult stretch that involves three consecutive games against ranked opponents.
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, RSN. LINE: Louisville -6
"This one comes at a good time," Louisville coach Scott Satterfield recently told reporters of the bye week. "We're dinged up a little bit and this is a great time to get everybody healed up and ready to go as we start, basically, the middle part of the season." Boston College is coming off a 27-24 home loss to No. 20 Wake Forest as it begins a span in which it plays five of its final seven games on the road. The Eagles continue to rely on a dominant ground game that enters the week ranked 13th in FBS play in yards per game (252). AJ Dillon leads the charge with at least 150 yards in three consecutive games, and the junior star had his breakout game two years ago at Louisville with a career-high 272 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-42 win.
ABOUT BOSTON COLLEGE (3-2, 1-1 ACC)
The Eagles outgained the Demon Deacons by nearly 100 yards last Saturday but their defense struggled to make stops at key times, allowing Wake Forest to convert 17 of its 24 third-down attempts. "I mean there's always an emphasis," coach Steve Addazio told reporters of the third-down issues. "That is standard operating procedure. You've gotta get off the field on third down." Boston College, by contrast, converted only 2-of-12 third downs despite the most accurate effort of the season for junior quarterback Anthony Brown, who completed 21-of-29 passes for 265 yards.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (2-2, 0-1)
Junior quarterback Jawon Pass has missed the last two games due to injury and replacement Malik Cunningham hurt his ankle on the final play of the Florida State loss. Satterfield told the media that Cunningham is on target to play Saturday while Pass still has some work to do in order to return. The Cardinals figure to lean heavily on freshman running back Javian Hawkins, who ranks fourth in the ACC with 390 yards on the ground while playing one fewer game than most other contenders in the category.
1. The Eagles ran for 251 yards and three TDs in a 38-20 win over the Cardinals last season despite playing without an injured Dillon.
2. Cardinals sophomore WR Tutu Atwell is tied for third among ACC players with five receiving TDs.
3. Boston College's 252 rushing yards per game leads the ACC while Louisville ranks second (225.3).
PREDICTION: Louisville 31, Boston College 30