Establish the run
With leading pass catcher Doug Beaumont sidelined with a knee injury, Louisville will need to rely on a strong ground attack led by Bilal Powell and Victor Anderson against Arkansas State. Arkansas State's defense has been anemic in four games this season, and haven't enjoyed success stopping the run, allowing opponents 225 yards per game on the ground. Louisville, which is averaging 175 yards on the ground this season, should be able to exploit Arkansas State's defensive weaknesses to its advantage this Saturday.
If Louisville hopes to win on the road for the first time in two years, they'll have to take care of the football better than they did in the first three games. The Cardinals have committed seven turnovers on the season, including a costly goal line fumble by quarterback Adam Froman that prevented a first quarter touchdown in Louisville's 35-28 loss at Oregon State. UofL also must clean up its penalties, as they committed 11 vs. EKU and 8 vs. Oregon State.
Score touchdowns in the red-zone
After a solid performance against Oregon State, Louisville's offense appears to be coming along. To continue improvement, the Cardinals need to find the end zone when they have red-zone opportunities. Louisville has scored touchdowns on six of ten red-zone possessions this season, but left scoring opportunities on the board twice against Oregon State.
Louisville's defense can't allow Ryan Aplin to sit in the pocket and find his receivers. Arkansas State's quarterback leads one of the nation's most dangerous passing attacks, and the Red Wolves average 309 passing yards per game. Aplin, who also leads Arkansas State in rushing, has completed 58 percent of his passes for six touchdowns, with only two interceptions. Louisville has shown signs of an improved pass rush early this season, registering 11 sacks in their past two games. They'll need to keep up the heat on Aplin to disrupt his timing with receivers like Dwayne Frampton, who leads Arkansas State with 26 catches this season.