Okay, there is a quick and easy answer to this question. YES. The Louisville Cardinals football team is not only for real but they are one of the most dangerous college football teams in the country.
Led by their early season Heisman Trophy favorite Lamar Jackson, the Cardinals are rolling over each of their opponents so far. That includes a 63-20 stomping over then 2nd ranked Florida State Seminoles in week three.
The Cardinals are the top-ranked offensive unit in the nation averaging an incredible 63.5 points per game through their first four weeks. Jackson alone has accounted for 25 total touchdowns, passing for 13 and rushing for another 12 scores.
Louisville Head Coach Bobby Petrino has his offense running on all cylinders and with a talent like Jackson under center they’ll be tough to slow down. Defensively, the Cardinals are not statistically as good as the offense ranking 27th in total defense so far. They do, however, have a total of 15 sacks which ranks 7th in college football.
When you think of teams such as Michigan, Clemson, Stanford, Wisconsin and Florida State, you think of teams regularly at or near the top of the college football rankings. But all of those teams are currently ranked behind this Louisville team.
In fact, the 3rd ranked Cardinals rank behind only No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Ohio State at this point in the season. Quite a rise for a team that was ranked 19th in the initial preseason rankings back in August.
But the biggest test of the season for the Cardinals comes this weekend on Saturday, October 1st as they travel to Memorial Stadium in Clemson to take on the 5th ranked Tigers. Better known as “Death Valley”, Memorial Stadium is a tough place to play for visitors and the Tigers haven’t lost a game there since the 2013 season.
The game will feature a battle between two of the top quarterbacks in college football as Louisville’s Jackson squares off against fellow Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson. Watson took last year’s Clemson team all the way to the college football championship game before falling to Alabama.
Many preseason polls had the Tigers at the top of the rankings going into the season and although they haven’t been overly dominant so far, they still enter the game with a perfect 4-0 record.
Expect plenty of offensive fireworks in this one as the top-ranked Louisville offense will surely put up some points. On the other hand, Clemson’s offense seems to be coming along and with Watson’s ability to run and pass he’ll definitely keep the Cardinals defense on their toes.
This should be a great game to watch and will be an important one for both teams.
I’ve got a feeling we’ll really know how “real” this Louisville team after this one. Grab your popcorn.
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