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Miami Hurricanes Matchup Preview: Louisville Cardinals

Miami must avoid a letdown, and eliminate big plays.

Miami v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Our Miami Hurricanes are flying high after a dominating performance against arch rival Florida St this past Saturday. The Canes put together their best game winning 27-10 in which they had to feel they left at least 17 more points on the field. The defense was exactly what the doctor ordered, completely stifling Cam Akers and harrassing Seminole QBs for 9 sacks on the day. Miami also came up with a couple of turnovers, and special teams did a great job flipping the field multiple times. Miami’s offense, while far from perfect, did plenty to keep the Seminoles at arms length throughout the game. Jarren Williams looked healthy as he had a monster passing day capped with a long touchdown throw to Dee Wiggins to salt the game away in the 4th.

Now comes the game where Miami has failed for the better part of 2 decades. Louisville is a good opponent who has plenty of weapons to scare the Canes, so Miami must come with their “A” game or they will be dissapointed on Senior Day.

Eliminate the Big Plays

Georgia Tech v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Early in the season Miami gave up a lot of chunk plays in the passing game, but since Manny Diaz inserted himself into the defensive play calling, the Canes have done a better job. Louisville has the ability to hit huge plays passing and running the ball, so Miami needs to be locked in from the start. Tutu Atwell and Dez Fitzpatrick both have the ability to take the top off the defense. Atwell has 41 receptions 668 yards and 7TDs on the season, while Fitzpatrick has 481 yards with a 19.2 YPC average. Miami will be without Bubba Bolden, so Robert Knowles and Gurvan Hall must not get caught up in the run game, or the Cardinals will hit them deep. Miami must get pressure on the QB, and more importantly, tackle like the did a week ago.

Slow the Run

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Virginia at Louisville Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Scott Satterfield also like to call a lot of run plays to open it up for his explosive receivers to have room to operate, so Miami must play the run like they did vs Cam Akers. Micale Cunningham is a dual threat QB in the backfield, so Miami must be aware of his ability to make plays with his legs. Running the ball the majority of the time is Javian Hawkins who has 887 yards with 6 TDs at a 5.4YPC clip. Miami made FSU one dimensional so Nesta Silvera, Gregory Rousseau and Shaquille Quarterman must do their best to slow down the run. If Miami can also make Louisville one dimensional, the game is there for the taking.

Enos, It’s On You

Miami v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

This is a very winnable game for the Hurricanes because Louisville is not very good defensively. While I’m still not the biggest Dan Enos fan, his play calling is slowly getting better and the offense is making some strides. The Cardinals have given up some huge numbers defensively, so the Canes should be able to get close to that 30 plus point range. The Cardinals gave up 35 to Notre Dame, 35 to FSU, 39 to Boston College, 59 to Wake Forest and 45 to Clemson. If Miami plays with the poise and protection they’ve had the last 2 weekends, they should be able to move the ball.

Miami must avoid an emotional letdown, and use the last 2 weeks to catapult them to a great finish. Win your last home game against Louisville, beat FIU like you’re supposed to, and go on the road and gut one out against Duke and suddenly 8-4 seems like a good finish. Take Louisville lightly and all goes out the window.

Go Canes!