Western Kentucky (@4.1) vs Louisville (@1.22)

Our Prediction:

Louisville will win

Western Kentucky – Louisville Match Prediction | 14-09-2019 16:00

Playing at Rupp Arena helps. But Adel is a long and rude defender, and hes more likely to give Knox trouble on defense than vice versa when Louisville plays man-to-man. That said, Knox has a higher ceiling in general at 6-foot-9 with plus athleticism and a smooth stroke, hes the prototypical forward in todays game. This Kentucky team doesnt have the caliber of blue-chipper Wildcat fans are accustomed to, but Knox is the closest thing theyve got. Hes a good player right now; hes an awesome player in theory.

Therefore, the Wildcats dont really box out Richards and Washington are good athletes, but theyre not amazing ones. Anas Mahmoud and Ray Spalding impose their will more with length and springiness than brute force, but if they crash the glass against Nick Richards and P.J. They need to body foes up. Washington, they have a chance to earn the Cardinals more possessions. Kentucky isnt just young its about as young as a team can possibly get. Explosiveness, alone, isnt going to solve their rebounding woes anyway. That cant happen against Louisville, which retrieves 33.5 percent of its own misses.

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Ben Holtis a captain of the defense and really makes a lot of plays at his middle linebacker spot. Both will be guys to keep an eye on when it comes to UofLs tight ends and running backs in the passing game. WKU runs a 4-2-5 set almost exclusively and they are very solid at the linebacker spot. Holt is a very good linebacker against the run but he leaves a lot to be desired in coverage. His battery mate, Masai Whyte, is more of a player that gets to play in space and make plays with his speed. Holt is the son of former defensive coordinator Nick Holt and he stuck around after Holt followed Jeff Brohm to Purdue.

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They've totaled 86 punt return yards and average 28.7 yards per return, which is 7th in D-1. Louisville is 70th in the country in punt returns with 3. Louisville kickers have made 100% of their extra points, going 6 for 6 this season. That ranks them 26th in the NCAA in punting average. Their punters have accumulated 625 yards on 14 punts, averaging 45 yards per punt. They have returned 6 kicks for 124 yards on special teams, which puts them 41st in kick return yardage. The Cardinals average 21 yards per kick return and they are 87th in the nation in all-purpose yards with 852.

That said, Diallo is one of the best athletes in the country, and Knox has the physical tools and craft to take on any shot-swatter. If they fly out of bounds, no harm. The key for Kentucky ball-handlers: be persistent. So what? Mahmoud with two fouls in the second half is a lot more dangerous than Mahmoud with four fouls in the second half. Mahmoud and Spalding will rack up some blocks. Keep attacking, and get those guys in foul trouble.

The same really goes for the week two win where they did what they were supposed to in holding an FCS team to seven points. Nevertheless, Louisville always has some electric players in their secondary who can take a pick back to the house if they get one. This year, Rodjay Burns is someone who falls into that category. Theres only so much that you can glean from that week one game where they gave up 51 points to the top team in the nation. Defensively, Louisvilles a little bit of a mystery.

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Its easy to see why all of those offenses wanted him because he is a burner. If I were in Mike Sanfords shoes, I would keep trying to find a way to get Garland LaFrance the football. LaFrance is a true freshman that had offers from Texas Tech, TCU, Colorado State and Troy. He caught a 75 yard touchdown pass off of a swing pass against Maine. He has the most carries with 9 in two games but he also has 7 catches on the season. He can really get moving when he gets in to space and all of these offenses work to get that done for their fastest players.

Pass and Malik Cunningham are both solid runners, so Masai Whyte and Ben Holt need to be prepared to chase them down when they get chased out of the pocket. On the flip side, WKUs defense more or less needs to do the same thing. Hopefully we some rapid improvement from the Tops offensive line to combat that so their offense can get going. Overall, we know Louisvilles defense is going to bring a lot of pressure on whoever plays quarterback for WKU.