Tuesday, December 27, 2011

BELK Bowl Bettors Preview- NC St. vs Louiville

by John Huffstetler

Plays- 5-1
Leans 4-1

Tuesday 8:00 PM EST- NC St. (7-5) (-2) vs. Louisville (7-5) O/U 44- This game matches two teams who started their respective seasons slowly. NC St. started 2-3 with their only wins coming against Non-FBS foes, while Louisville started the season 2-4 with two pathetic home losses to Florida International and Marshall. Both teams, however, managed to salvage their seasons with strong efforts in the 2nd half in conference play. Louisville tied for the conference lead with a 5-2 record, including an impressive road victory against the Big East BCS automatic qualifier, West Virginia. Impressive coaching from Charlie Strong and a mid-season switch to true frosh Teddy Bridgewater at QB precipitated the late season surge. Meanwhile, NC St. strengthened late because of improved health and performance on the defensive side of the ball, with Terrell Manning and JR Sweezy returning after missing early season games. Entering the 11th game of the season, the Wolfpack lacked a signature win, but then they managed to upset eventual ACC champion, Clemson, in blow out fashion (37-13).

Play- Both teams are clearly better than earlier in the season, but the early season losses to Fla Intl and Marshall and the overall weakness of the Big East make Louisville impossible to play. I don't entirely trust NC St. either. Louisville has an outstanding run defense and should be able to make NC St. one-dimensional. Slight Lean to NC St. because of the weakness of the Big East. Play the Under at 44. Although L-Ville managed to put points on the board late in the season against WVA, SFlorida, and UConn, NC St's defense is a step up in class from these squads. As mentioned before, LVille's outstanding run defense should limit NC St. offensively and force Mike Glennon to win the game with his arm, which might not happen.

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