The Malik Cunningham show will head East, where he will lead the Louisville Cardinals into ACC action Saturday against the Boston College Eagles. Cunningham’s exploits, both running and passing the ball, are practically legendary, but they have yet to equate to a conference win for the Cardinals. Among quarterbacks, the senior ranks first in the FBS in rushing touchdowns (six) and yards per rush (7.1) and second in rushing yards (395). “You have to play with relentless effort against him,” Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley told the media of Cunningham, who is the eighth QB to pass for 8,000 yards and rush for 3,000 yards. “You have to play with your hair on fire like you never have before. I think he is one of the most dynamic players in all of college football.”
The Eagles don’t do much of anything well and may be looking at a similar beating from the Cardinals as the one they suffered last week against Florida State (44-14). Only two teams in the FBS have rushed for fewer yards per game than the Eagles (59.8), and they are 1-7 combined. The passing attack isn’t much better, ranking 86th out of 131 teams. Quarterback Phil Jurkovec has not progressed at all as a passer, throwing five interceptions against seven touchdowns. It may be time to give his backup – freshman Emmett Morehead – the starting gig with an eye towards the future as the Eagles are likely looking at a winless record in the ACC after going 2-6 in the conference last season.
Cunningham has gotten off to a slow start in the passing game, throwing for fewer than 200 yards per game with two touchdowns and three interceptions. The Louisville Cardinals have been working on a few new additions to the receiver room, but with tight end Marshon Ford and receiver Ahmari Huggins-Bruce back from last season, they should be having more success throwing the ball. “We would like to hit a few more throws down the field,” head coach Scott Satterfield told the media. “We’re trying to find ways to look at the game plan, free them up, and get them open.” Ford has 10 catches for 92 yards but needs to pick it up if he wants to match or exceed last season’s 49 receptions for 550 yards. Bruce is averaging 17 yards per reception but has just 13 receptions.
Zay Flowers likely had numerous options on the transfer portal he could have chosen but decided to stay loyal to the Boston College Eagles. While that is an admirable character trait, he may have been better served to go to a team with better quarterback play. The senior from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. may set a career-high for catches, but they will come at the cost of far less yardage than in past seasons. Flowers averaged better than 15 yards per catch in each of his first three seasons, including 17 yards last season, but is getting just 11.4 yards per reception this season. With the running game averaging just two yards per carry and no other receiver to draw coverage away from him, Flowers will be the focal point of the Louisville defense, which has allowed just 187 passing yards per game, good for 29th in the FBS. The Eagles were last shut out in 2016.
Louisville vs Boston College Injury Report
Neither team provided an updated injury report.
Louisville vs Boston College Head-to-Head
Louisville won last season’s meeting 28-14 to improve to 8-6 overall and 5-3 in the ACC in the rivalry. The Eagles have won three of the last five matchups with the Cardinals.
Cunningham ran 16 times for 133 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s game.
Louisville vs Boston College Game Information
- Game: Louisville vs Boston College
- Location: Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA
- Day/Time: Saturday, Oct. 1st, 12:00 p.m. ET
- Louisville vs Boston College Live Stream: ESPN
Louisville vs Boston College Betting Lines
Louisville vs Boston College Prediction
The Cardinals are 15½ point favorites on the college football lines, and if the results for both teams against Florida State are any indication, they should cover rather easily.
The Cardinals lost to Florida State 35-31 the week before the Eagles were routed 44-14 by the Seminoles. Lay the points and watch for another 100-yard rushing game for Cunningham, whose 3,014 rushing yards are third all-time in school history.