It’s been two weeks since Louisville has played a game and the team seemed to be a little bit rusty as a result in the first half of their ACC showdown against Duke on Friday night.
Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson marched the Cardinals down the field on a 10 play, 80 yard touchdown drive to open the game but was part of an otherwise ineffective offense inside the red zone as they took a 10-7 lead into the locker room after two quarters.
Jackson finished the half 8-of-16 for 129 yards and a touchdown through the air while chipping in 52 more yards on the ground. The team averaged nearly seven yards a play but didn’t have that many chances (just five total drives) to score as Duke won the time of possession battle quite handily.
Blue Devils quarterback Daniel Jones was efficient with just two incompletions in the first half while throwing for 90 yards and getting the team in position to make this a much more interesting game than one would have assumed. The team’s defense was very impressive in holding the Cardinals to just 10 points thanks in part to Joe Giles-Harris’ six tackles.
Rain did start to come down toward the end of the second quarter so perhaps that is one factor to consider in a game that is a lot closer than expected considering Louisville has one of the best offenses in the country. Duke coach David Cutcliffe has to be ecstatic at the way his team played in the first half but it will take another heroic effort in order to pull off the upset on the road.