Louisville Cardinals at Connecticut Huskies (27.5, 49)
A three-overtime loss to Connecticut served as the push that Louisville needed to close out the 2012 season on a high note. One conference change and less than a year later, a similar result seems unlikely when the 16th-ranked Cardinals hit the road Friday to meet the winless Huskies. In their final Big East clash, Connecticut held Louisville scoreless through three quarters and intercepted Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in the third overtime en route to a 23-20 victory.
The Huskies haven’t won since, but Louisville clinched a BCS berth the following week against Rutgers and defeated Florida in the Sugar Bowl – setting the stage for a strong start to their first season in the American Athletic Conference. While the Cardinals had a week off to savor their 34-3 trouncing of South Florida, Connecticut is looking for answers following a 62-17 loss to Central Florida on Oct. 26. The Huskies – off to their worst start since 1977 – have lost three of their last four games by at least 25 points.
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2.
LINE: UConn opened as a 27.5-point home dog. The total has held firm at 49.
WEATHER: Temperatures will be in mid-30s with wind blowing toward the SE endzone at 8 mph.
ABOUT LOUISVILLE (7-1, 3-1 American Athletic Conference): In his first start of the season, Dominique Brown set career highs in rushing yards (125), catches (six) and receiving yards (61). Bridgewater turned in another efficient performance versus South Florida, going 25-of-29 to increase his completion percentage to an FBS-high 73.7 percent. The Cardinals limited the Bulls to three points and 38 yards rushing – the fifth time they have held an opponent to seven points or fewer and less than 100 yards rushing in the same game.
ABOUT CONNECTICUT (0-7, 0-3): One of the few highlights from the Huskies’ loss to Central Florida was Casey Cochran’s 49-yard touchdown pass to Brian Lemelle – the first career scores for both freshmen. Tim Boyle, who replaced Chandler Whitmer as the starting quarterback three games ago, has yet to throw or run for a touchdown. Connecticut ranks second-to-last in the country in rushing yardage (537), as well as yards per carry (2.38) and has run for 91 yards or fewer in all but one game.
* Huskies are 10-1-1 ATS in their last 12 games in November.
* Under is 6-2 in Cardinals last eight games overall.
* Over is 6-2 in Huskies last eight games overall.
* Cardinals are 18-6 ATS in their last 24 road games.
1. Louisville’s second-ranked scoring defense (10.6 points per game) also ranks second in the country against the run (80.5 yards) and third against the pass (164).
2. With a loss, Connecticut will match its worst start in school history.
3. The Cardinals’ offense has produced 67 more passing plays of 10 or more yards than the defense has surrendered (115-48).