The Louisville Cardinals are 39.5 favorites over Charlotte for the Thursday night opener at 7 p.m. in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
So, one might not think it will take the Cardinals much to get the victory.
Well, maybe not. But there's still a couple of spots U of L must play well to cover the spread and one is the defensive line.
Cardinal Authority has called the Louisville Defensive Line vs. the Charlotte Offensive Line the "key matchup."
Charlotte's offensive line is the most experienced position on the 49ers team with three senior starters. The four seniors have been on the team every year the program has been in existence.
Jamal Covington has started all 30 games he's played at Charlotte, while Casey Perry and Thomas La Bianca are also seniors. Right guard Nate Davis and right tackle Chris Brown are both redshirt sophomores.
"We have some experience there and that's a big help," Charlotte coach Brad Lambert said. "Those guys have been in a lot of games and we knew we had to be old on the line in 2016."
The line will get a major test right off the bat.
Senior DeAngelo Brown is an All-Conference player in the middle for the Cardinals, while Drew Bailey and DeAsian Richardson will start at defensive end and James Hearns and All-American Devonte Fields are the outside linebackers.
Lambert said his line must keep Fields and Hearns off quarterback Kevin Olsen.
"We have to do a good job there," he said. "We can't let those guys run free."
<iframe src="//widgets.boxxspring.com/MzAsMzk4Mzk1MjQ" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>