Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

5 players to watch for on the Virginia Cavaliers team that hosts Louisville on Saturday at noon

Cardinal Authority gets you prepared for this week's match up between the No. 7 Louisville Cardinals and the Virginia Cavaliers. We take a look at five players to watch for on the Cavaliers roster. The game is slated for noon on Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino has warned his football team that Virginia is a "very good team."

The Cardinals might be 32-point favorites for Saturday's game, but Petrino said the 2-5 Cavaliers are "a much improved team with good players." The two teams will meet on Saturday at noon in Charlottesville, Va.

Cardinal Authority has you covered on all of the takes of the game. Here's a look at five players to watch when the Cavaliers meet the Cardinals:

1. Quin Blanding, Safety, Junior - The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Blanding is a hard-hitting free safety for the Cavaliers. He has 75 tackles, one interception and three pass break ups. NFL.com's Bucky Brooks in a recent NFL Draft profile of Blanding called him "the new prototype at the position as a rangy playmaker with corner-like cover skills and rugged run-stopping ability."

2. Micah Kiser, Linebacker, Junior - The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Kiser leads the team in tackles with 77, plus he has 5.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. Kiser also has four forced fumbles, six pass break ups, three QB hurries and 1 fumble recovery.

3. Jackson Matteo, Center, Senior - The 6-foot-5, 290-pound Matteo is on the Rimington Trophy Watch list and has started 18 straight games in the middle of the line for the Cavaliers. He's a former walk-on who has played his way into being one of the leaders of the team.

4. Eric Smith, Right tackle, Senior - At 6-foot-5 and 300 pounds, Smith is the anchor of the right side of the line. He has started 31 straight games for the Cavaliers and has played in 40 for his career.

5. Kelvin Rainey, Sabre, Senior - Rainey has 182 career tackles, including six last season against the Cardinals. He has 48 this season, including three tackles for a loss. He finished last season among the top 30 in the ACC in tackles.


Cardinal Authority Top Stories