The Virginia Cavaliers clinched bowl eligibility for the first time since 2011 with a win over Georgia Tech in Week 10. Louisville will seek to do the same when the two teams match up in Week 11.
Stay here for live updates, scores and analysis.
Louisville-Virginia live updates, score
Louisville-Virginia game time, information
Date: Saturday, Nov. 11
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
Weather: Partly cloudy, high 48 degrees
Odds: Louisville -12
When Louisville began this college football season ranked No. 16 in the AP poll and with reining Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson back under center, Cardinals fans likely couldn’t have imagined the team would still be battling to become bowl eligible 10 games into the season.
Jackson has been as good as, if not better than, last season, but Louisville as a team has struggled. The Cardinals defense ranks 83rd nationally in yards allowed per game, and the offense has been turnover-prone. Bobby Petrino’s team will seek its sixth win of the season against Virginia in Week 11.
Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall spoke about the challenge of containing Jackson this week, calling him the most difficult player he has ever tried to defend. Jackson has accounted for 32 total touchdowns through nine games. More impressively, he is averaging 426.7 total yards per game. That’s more than 85 teams in the FBS.
Virginia’s defense has been solid this season, especially against the pass. The Cavaliers rank 15th nationally in pass defense, allowing only 178.6 yards per game through the air to opponents. Jackson averages 312 passing yards per game.
Outside of Jackson, Louisville has struggled rushing the ball. Running backs Trey Smith and Colin Wilson are both out for the season due to injury, leaving Reggie Bonafon to carry the load. That bodes well for Virginia, which allows nearly as many rushing yards per game — 165.7 — as it does yards through the air.
On the other side of the ball, Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert will look to continue his momentum from a strong performance against Georgia Tech. Benkert threw for 260 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Yellow Jackets. On the season, Benkert has already thrown for 20 scores — one shy of his total from last year.
A strong offensive showing will be key for the Cavaliers. In its six wins, Virginia has averaged 32.7 points per game. In its three losses, it’s scored 13.7.
Scoring points typically hasn’t been a problem for opponents of the Cardinals this season. Louisville has allowed more than 5oo total yards four times this season. The Cardinals have lost all four games. In the team’s last game, at Wake Forest, Demon Deacons quarterback John Wolford threw for a career-high 461 yards and Wake Forest totaled 625 yards overall while scoring 42 points.
The good news for Louisville is that preseason all-America cornerback Jaire Alexander is expected to return to the field against Virginia. Alexander has appeared in only two games this season and has not finished either. He left the team’s season-opener with a sprained knee and then broke his hand in practice following Week 6.
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