at North Carolina 14 ... Louisville 7
Posted Oct 8, 2011

Week 6 CFN Fearless Prediction & Game Story - Louisville at North Carolina

2011 Predictions & Game Story 

Week 6 - Louisville at UNC

- ACC Fearless Predictions & Conference Page
- Big East Fearless Predictions & Conference Page


- Get Tickets For This Game

Follow Us  @CFBNews
Like Us  Facebook | E-mail Us   

Oct. 8 at North Carolina 14 … Louisville 7
CFN Analysis: Don't get hung up on the offensive problems against the Cardinals. Louisville has a great defense this year, and the Tar Heels did what they had to do to get by, taking few chances and getting a terrific touchdown play from Dwight Jones. Bryn Renner never pushed the ball down the field, except for the touchdown throw, and outside of the one fumble, the O didn't make any big mistakes. The defense never let the Cardinals breathe with the defensive front stuffing the ground attack all game long. Against Miami and Clemson over the next few weeks, the offense has to get back to taking more shots down the field.

The last thing the offense needed was a missing offensive coordinator, and with Mike Sanford not making the trip, it wasn't much of a help for an attack that couldn't figure out one of the ACC's most talented defenses. Teddy Bridgewater showed off a little bit of his immense talent and potential, but the ground game didn't work and Bridgewater couldn't come up with enough big plays to provide any sort of a threat until the final moments. The offense has to start taking more chances with Cincinnati up next, and with a defense that's doing a terrific job, it's okay for Bridgewater to make mistakes. The defense will clean them up.

(AP) CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Tailback Giovani Bernard and receiver Dwight Jones each had touchdowns, as North Carolina overcame a slow start to win 14-7 on Saturday against a Louisville team that played without its offensive coordinator.

A Louisville team spokesman confirmed Saturday that Mike Sanford, who did not travel with the team, was still with the program. Quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson called plays during the game.

The Tar Heels (5-1) earned their eighth straight victory over a non-conference opponent.

Louisville (2-3) sacked Bryn Renner four times and held North Carolina to 62 yards of offense in the first half to keep the contest close. Kicker But Cardinals kicker Chris Philpott missed field goals of 40 and 36 yards in the first half.

Bernard gained 109 yards on 25 carries to become the first Tar Heel to rush for at least 100 yards in four straight games since Ethan Horton did it five straight games in 1984.

Louisville (2-2) at North Carolina (4-1) Oct. 8, 12:00, ESPN2

Here's The Deal … North Carolina notched an important win on Saturday, going on the road to pick up its fourth victory of the year. Sure, the victim was an average East Carolina team, but what mattered most is that it came a week removed from a difficult loss at the hands of Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels have proven to be a resilient bunch under head coach Everett Withers, who has successfully held the team together as the NCAA continues to peer over its shoulder.

The situation at Louisville is not quite as promising these days. The Cardinals are on the verge of regressing for second-year leader Charlie Strong after falling to Florida International and Marshall in the last three games. This past weekend's loss to the Thundering Herd was a disturbing development for a youthful program that was hoping to build on a recent win over rival Kentucky. The Cards are a work-in-progress that'll use the rest of 2011 to mature, and possibly qualify for a postseason game with a few breaks along the way.

Why Louisville Might Win: The one constant for the Cards throughout the first month of the season has been the play of a defense that's allowing just 16 points a game. They've been a rock against the run, yielding just 2.2 yards a carry, and lead the nation in tackles for loss. Strong is the caretaker of an aggressive, fundamentally-sound unit that has a knack for generating a push and making things happen in opposing backfields. The front seven, in particular, is a feisty collection of playmakers led by ends Greg Scruggs and William Savoy, and linebackers Dexter Heyman and Daniel Brown.

Why North Carolina Might Win: The last thing that an embattled Louisville offensive line needs these days is a date with the Carolina defensive line. The Cardinals O-line is responsible for a dismal 116th ranking nationally in sacks allowed. The Tar Heels D-line has been the subject of countless visits from NFL scouts this fall. The battle in the trenches will be an epic mismatch, with linemen Tydreke Powell and Quinton Coples, and Zach Brown and Kevin Reddick assuming squatter's rights in the Louisville backfield. Making matters even worse for the Cardinals, a shoulder injury to starting QB Will Stein has thrust rookie Teddy Bridgewater into a prominent role before being ready for the responsibility.

What To Watch Out For: The Carolina backfield was a question mark back in August. Not anymore. The Tar Heels have a bright future with Giovani Bernard at running back and Bryn Renner taking snaps. Bernard is a rising star who's rushed for more than 100 yards in each of the last three games. Renner is coming off the sharpest game of his debut, going a tight 13-of-20 for 230 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. In Dwight Jones, he has access to a top-flight wide receiver, with the size to create mismatches with the Louisville defensive backs.

What Will Happen: While the Louisville D can keep the trip to Chapel Hill from getting out of control, the offense is going to get mauled for 60 minutes. The Cardinals will get forced into too many third-and-long situations that it won't be able to solve, and P Chris Philpott will have a very busy afternoon. Carolina will get enough production from the improving tandem of Bernard and Renner, provided the quarterback's decisions are smart ones, to keep its visitors at an arm's length throughout the game.

CFN Prediction: North Carolina 28-13
- Click For Latest Line From ATS: North Carolina -14.5  O/U: 48

- Get Tickets For This Game