(3) Louisville Cardinals at Houston Cougars
Louisville: As of now, they are still sitting on the outside looking in of the College Football Playoff and I felt they should’ve been there in the latest standings on Tuesday with Clemson losing, but it didn’t turn out that way. They’ve been on the map all year and they have my pick to win the Heisman. Lamar Jackson has been the talk of college football this season. He’s been the most exciting player to watch this year and already has that “Heisman moment” that I always discuss and that was when he lead the Cardinals to a big time statement win over Florida State in the third week of the season. They don’t necessarily have a clear path to the CFP unless Clemson drops another game but I don’t see that happening against Wake Forest this weekend. This is another must win game for the third-ranked team in the nation.
Houston: At one time, this was a team that was considered to be a playoff contender at one point. We all discussed how great of a job Tom Herman has done with them. Remember how they started the season? With a statement win over the Oklahoma Sooners and it gets no better than that and after that win, they dominated in their next five games and they looked like a lock for a New Year’s Six bowl game appearance. Ever since their shocking loss to Navy and then a loss to SMU, their chances of making the postseason have all been erased. A win tonight over a third-ranked Louisville team could easily put Greg Ward back into consideration for the Heisman and it would knock Louisville out of the playoff conversation.
Louisville Player To Watch: Jaire Alexander– He’s one of the best-kept secrets in all of the nation. He’s intercepted five passes this year and Louisville’s defensive front will have to be aggressive with trying to defend Ward. If they can make him pass the ball tonight and force him into early throws, he could have a big game.
Houston Player To Watch: Ed Oliver– Houston has a fast and athletic defense and it starts with this guy wrecking havoc in the trenches. If he can push through this offensive line and try to get to Jackson, the Houston defense will thrive off that and sometimes it takes one guy to be that sparkplug. Ed can be just that.
Prediction: Two electrifying quarterbacks will be squaring off against one another. Houston is good defensively, but I don’t think they have enough to keep Jackson contained. I’m taking Louisville on the road in this one. Louisville 40 Houston 21.