The Rutgers University football program is hoping to earn its fifth straight victory Friday night (8 p.m. on ESPN2) as it travels to Papa John's Cardinals Stadium to face the University of Louisville in a Big East Conference match up. Last year, the Cardinals defeated the Scarlet Knights, 40-13, at High Point Solutions Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. to become bowl eligible. The Scarlet Knights can do the same thing Friday night with a road victory.
For those Rutgers fan that don't know much about the Cardinals, here's a brief scouting report.
After leading the Cardinals to their first bowl victory in the three seasons, Charlie Strong earned himself a contract extension Tuesday. Last year, Strong clinched the Cardinals bowl berth with a 40-13 victory over Rutgers.
It has been a bumpy road for Louisville, which has lost three straight games. Last week, the Cardinals began their Big East schedule by losing at the University of Cincinnati, 25-14. Louisville's two victories came against Murray State University, 21-9, in Week 1 and at the University of Kentucky, 24-17, in Week 3.
The Cardinals are in the process of rebuilding and have decided to make true freshman Teddy Bridgewater their starting quarterback. In his three games as a starter, Bridgewater has tossed for four touchdowns and five interceptions. Currently, Louisville ranks fourth out of eight Big East teams in total passing (221.67 yard per game).
At running back, sophomore Dominique Brown has carried the ball a team-best 60 times, but has just 211-rushing yards. Louisville rushing offense is ranked seventh out of eight Big East teams.
Overall, Louisville has yet to score more than 24 points in a game.
This season, it has been the Louisville defense that has helped keep the Cardinals in games this season. Right now, the Cardinals have allowed an average of 305 total yards per game, the second-lowest total in the league, and is allowing just 17.67 points per game, the third-lowest.
Senior linebacker Dexter Heyman leads the Cardinals with 46 tackles, while sophomore Preston Brown has 42.
This is very winnable game for the Scarlet Knights. However, the Big East is known for its upsets on a week-by-week basis. The Louisville defense can hold Rutgers in check, but can the Cardinals score enough points? I think the game is tight, but Rutgers moves to 3-0 in the Big East.