Alabama-Louisville Preview/Prediction

Nick Saban

The Louisville Cardinals meet the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday in Orlando. 14Powers.com evaluates several critical phases of both teams and predicts the winner and final score of the game.

MATCHUP EDGE COMMENTS
Louisville RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
Alabama RUSHING DEFENSE
UofL running back Dae Williams had 38 carries for 235 yards and three touchdowns last season. Alabama defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs had 51 tackles in 2017.
Louisville PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
Alabama PASSING DEFENSE
Jawon Pass will start at QB for the Cards, replacing Lamar Jackson. Cardinal wide receiver Jaylen Smith was All-ACC selection in 2017, Smith paced the Cardinals with 60 receptions for 980 yards and 7 scores. All of Alabama's starting defensive backs for 2017 have moved on.
Alabama RUSHING OFFENSE
VS.
Louisville RUSHING DEFENSE
Bama RB Damien Harris gained 1,000 yards ad 11 TDs in just 135 carries last season. Sophomore linebacker Dorian Etheridge led the Cardinals in tackls a year ago as a true freshman.
Alabama PASSING OFFENSE
VS.
Louisville PASSING DEFENSE
At Alabama may start Jalen Hurts who started every game last season completing 60 percent of his passes or sophomore Tua Tagovailoa completed 63 percent of his much fewer passes. Tagovailoa, however, made one of the biggest TD throws in CFB history CFB Playoff Championship game.
SPECIAL TEAMS Alabama graduated both their starting punter and kicker from last year. UofL kicker Blanton Creque made 17 of 20 kicks last season. Cardinal punter Mason King average 43 yards per punt in 2017.
COACHING Nick Saban is 223-62-1 with six national titles in his career. He's 132-20 at Bama. Louisville's Bobby Petrino is 117-48 overall and 75-27 at UofL.
INTANGIBLES Alabama leads the series 2-1. The last meeting was in 1991. Louisville won 34-7. With the game being played in Orlando there should be very large contingents of fans from both schools.

Final Comments: While this would have been a better game for the neutral with Lamar Jackson under center, Nick Saban will not hate at all that he is now in the NFL. The Crimson Tide has too much physicality and talent on defense for a Louisville team that will be breaking in a new quarterback to follow a legend.

Prediction

Alabama 38, Louisville 7

Saturday‘s game starts at 8:00 PM ET (7:00 PM CT). TV: ABC.

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