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Are The Louisville Cardinals On Upset Alert Against UCF?

By Mitch Athey - Posted: 10/14/13 05:21PM EDT
Teddy Bridgewater

A Photo of Louisville Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Photo: Reuters)

Week 7 is in the books, and the Louisville Cardinals remain unbeaten. The Heisman hopes of Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater remain intact, Head Coach Charlie Strong's defense has stymied all upset-minded opponents thus far, and the Louisville Cardinals continue to march through their outmatched AAC conference mates on their way to what appears to be an inevitable BCS Bowl bid. However, if they aren't careful, the UCF Knights will put an end to the Louisville's winning ways this Friday in primetime.  

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Although they remain perfect on the season, Louisville has not been overly impressive in victory. Kentucky and Rutgers, Louisville's toughest opponents to date, both kept the game close against the Cardinals and neither lost by more than two touchdowns. If Louisville posts another such lackluster effort against UCF on Friday, the Cardinals may find themselves in the loss column sooner rather than later.

The UCF Knights are perhaps the best college football team that you've never heard of. They have put together an impressive 4-1 record that includes a win in Happy Valley over a Penn State team that just knocked the Michigan Wolverines from the ranks of the unbeaten. The Knights only loss came at the hands of an immensely talented South Carolina squad that still has a shot at claiming the SEC East crown. Despite committing four turnovers during the course of the game, the Knights only lost by three points. Led by talented quarterback Blake Bortles, the UCF Knights are a very good football team with a real chance of pulling a major upset on Friday if they can limit turnovers and play smart football.

Blake Bortles is the best quarterback that the Cardinal secondary has faced up to this point, and he has an opportunity to score points in bunches against a largely untested Louisville defense. However, the Knights will need their defense to continue playing at an elite level they want a real chance at pulling the upset. UCF's defense ranks 11th in the country in points allowed with an average of less than 17 points per game. With the exception of South Carolina's running back Mike Davis, a dark horse Heisman candidate, UCF has been stout against the run so far this season and has the potential to hold Michael Dyer and the rest of the Cardinals' backfield to limited gains. Additionally, although Teddy Bridgewater is an amazing quarterback, he is also a quarterback that isn't used to playing from behind. If UCF can find a way to shut down the Louisville offensive attack early and put a couple scores on the board, they can force Bridgewater in to some uncomfortable throws and can take advantage of mistakes.

I'm not sure if UCF has enough talent on their roster to upset Louisville at home, but I'm confident that they are going to keep it interesting. Stranger things have happened in Friday night games. 



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