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Matchup breakdowns: Virginia at Louisville

Matchup breakdowns: Virginia at Louisville

Virginia Miami Football

Virginia Cavaliers running back Mike Hollins (7) runs ahead of Miami Hurricanes safety James Williams for a touchdown during the first half of a NCAA college football game, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

A look at how has the edge in Saturday's ACC tilt between Virginia and Louisville.

Quarterbacks

Brennan Armstrong leads the ACC in passing yards, throwing for 373.5 per game. Malik Cunningham leads the ACC in rushing touchdowns with 10. Both quarterbacks are among the best in the ACC, and fans should enjoy this weekend’s quarterback showdown. Edge, Push.

Running backs

Jalen Mitchell is Louisville’s top back, and he’s averaging 66.2 yards per game. He’s a solid player. UVa finally used its running backs last week, getting 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries from Wayne Taulapapa and Mike Hollins. Edge, Push.

Receivers/tight ends

Billy Kemp IV continues to slowly rack up yardage as an underrated threat. He’s up to 443 yards now, and he’s one of four UVa receiving options that ranks in the top 25 in the ACC in receiving yards per game. Louisville tight end Marshon Ford is the team’s lone player on that list. Edge, Virginia.

Offensive line

UVa switched the line up a little against Miami, giving Bobby Haskins time at left tackle and using Ryan Nelson at the left guard position. The Cavaliers seemed to like the change, and we’ll see how much they use it this week. Louisville, in part due to Cunningham’s speed, has done well to limit sacks. The Cardinals also run the ball well. Edge, Push.

Defensive line

Mandy Alonso had a massive game last week, recording three tackles for loss and two sacks against Miami. It was one of the few dominant showing from a defensive line this fall. Louisville and Virginia allow more rushing yards per game than any other ACC teams. Edge, Virginia.

Linebackers

Noah Taylor is a force at linebacker for the Wahoos, as is Nick Jackson. The Cardinals might have more talent across the entire position group. Yassir Abdullah, C.J. Avery, Jaylin Alderman and Jack Fagot all make a bunch of plays for Louisville. Abdullah has five tackles for loss this fall, and Alderman had the go-ahead interception return for a touchdown against UCF. Edge, Louisville

Secondary

Louisville’s defense allows more passing yards per game than any team in the ACC, but the Cardinals also have five interceptions compared to eight passing touchdowns allowed. Competition — Louisville has played Ole Miss, UCF and Wake Forest — plays a factor in the subpar yardage stats. UVa’s passing defense has struggled against good teams, and the Cavaliers have allowed 11 passing touchdowns to two interceptions. Edge, Louisville.

Special teams

Louisville earns the edge because the Cardinals have better statistics in the return game. Hassan Hall is a dangerous returner. Each team is decent in punt and kickoff coverage as well as field-goal kicking. Edge, Louisville.

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