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Louisville vs. Boston College Football Prediction and Preview

Louisville vs. Boston College (BC) Football Prediction and Preview

Louisville vs. Boston College (BC) Football Prediction and Preview

In recent weeks, there's been a lot of movement in the ACC schedule, and Saturday's matchup between the Louisville Cardinals and Boston College Eagles is no different.

Originally scheduled for Black Friday, this game was first moved to Dec. 12 to accommodate other schedule changes the conference made due to COVID-19. It was then moved again, this time to Saturday, following more shuffling, and now it will serve as the next-to-last game of the season for both teams.

Louisville is coming off a 30-0 victory versus Syracuse last week at Cardinal Stadium. Quarterback Malik Cunningham had two touchdowns as six different skill position players picked up at least 30 yards.

Boston College hasn't played since a 45-31 loss to No. 2 Notre Dame on Nov. 14. That marked the second loss in three games for the Eagles. Boston College is 5-4 and will need a win in this game or on Dec. 5 at Virginia to finish the regular season with a winning record.

Saturday will be the 13th meeting between the Eagles and Cardinals, and Louisville holds a 7-5 edge. The Cardinals won their matchup between the two teams last season, 41-39, and has won four of the six games since UL joined the ACC in 2014.

Louisville at Boston College

Kickoff: Saturday, Nov. 28 at 4 p.m.

TV: ACC Network

Spread: Boston College -1

When Louisville Has the Ball

The Cardinals are coming into Saturday's game with a lot of momentum after their shutout victory against Syracuse. It was the first time Louisville shut out an FBS opponent since Sept. 2013 when the Cardinals defeated FIU 73-0.

Cunningham did throw two interceptions along with his passing and rushing touchdown. But he also threw for 219 yards in the victory and completed 67.9 percent of his passes, his third-best mark of the season. The Cardinals also got seven receptions for 65 yards from Braden Smith.

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Boston College defense thrived off turnovers this season — they're second in the country with 17. In its loss to Notre Dame, Boston College forced three Irish turnovers. And this is perhaps Louisville's biggest weakness: their 21 turnovers are second nationally only to Duke.

Louisville should also get a boost this week as tight end Marshon Ford is expected to return after an undisclosed injury. Prior to his absence, he was tied with Tutu Atwell for the team lead with five receiving touchdowns.

When Boston College Has the Ball

Boston College offense isn't considered great by any measure. The Eagles rank 89th in total offense as they average 366.3 total yards per game. Part of that is because of their offensive line, which is arguably the worst in the ACC. That has made it difficult to get the ball down the field and has led to 10 turnovers in nine games this season.

On the other side, the Cardinals' defense is coming off their best game of the season. Louisville held Syracuse's offense to 137 yards of total offense as the Orange couldn't get anything going offensively. The Cardinals' pass defense is particularly impressive — their 178.9 passing yards allowed per game ranks ninth nationally.

However, you shouldn't read too much into one game for this defense. In Louisville's two previous games, against Virginia and Virginia Tech, they gave up a combined 73 points.

Final Analysis

Louisville was supposed to host Wake Forest this weekend, and things had to be reshuffled around due to Miami's COVID-19 situation. Now the Cardinals will have to go on the road and deal with a talented Eagles team.

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Boston College has been competitive even in losses against Clemson and Notre Dame, which should continue on Saturday. Louisville has the knack for turning the ball over in key moments, which could be the difference in this game.

Prediction: Boston College 34, Louisville 27

Podcast: Week 13 Preview and Predictions + Interview with Kirk Herbstreit

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.