1. Is this Boston College defense legit? The Eagles enter Saturday's game as the nation's top-reated defense, ranking first in points allowed, rush defense and total defense and a team doesn't hold down that spot midway through a season without being legit. The Boston College defense has given up more than 14 points in a game just once this season, a 34-17 loss at Clemson last weekend. They held FSU to 14 points and Duke just nine points, both BC losses. Their strength is against the rush, a glaring Louisville weakness, but they are suspect against the pass having surrendered over 400 yards in the loss to Clemson.
2. How will the Louisville defense respond following the second half at Florida State? With a lot more determination. They must feel a bit embarrassed by the talking points that surfaced following the loss at Florida State. No one wants to hear that they didn't try or give full effort. With the Eagles mustering just 34 points in games against FBS competition, this game could be just what the doctor ordered for the Cardinals defense.
3. Both teams are struggling on offense, are we looking at a low scoring game on Saturday? On paper it looks like it could be and it seems certain to be a game that is closer than many anticipate. However, the progress that Lamar jackson displayed in the passing game last weekend provides hope that the Cardinals will be effective through the air. Look for the Cardinals to score more than their season average of 26 points per game, but not by much. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles offense will struggle to reach the end zone more than twice.
4. Will the Cardinals begin a winning streak that will lift them into a bowl? Louisville's stretch of six games in the 2015 season ranks as one of the more difficult schedules in the nation and while the second half of the season doesn't present an equally challenging task, it won't be easy. The Cardinals will be favored it most of their remaining contest and should - at minimum - win four of the final six games to become bowl eligible.
5. What type of fan turnout do you expect? Early games always seem to keep crowd energy to a minimum at stadiums across the country and a chance for light rain won't help matters either. It's an important ACC contest, one that Louisville needs to win, so hopefully fans will turnout and provide some energy at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium. Be sure to make CardMarch at 10:15am.