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Louisville at Marshall: Preview, channel, start time, how to watch Lamar Jackson

There is no hotter team in college football right now than Louisville. Fresh off a 63-20 win over Florida State, the No. 3 Cardinals travel to Huntington for a 8 p.m. ET game on Saturday against Marshall with potential look-ahead ramifications before an Oct. 1 game at Clemson.

Louisville is a 27-point favorite for the CBS Sports Network game of the week.

Viewing information

Date: Saturday, Sept. 24Time: 8 p.m. ETLocation: Huntington, W.Va.

TV: CBS Sports Network [Channel Finder]Online: CBSSports.com (Select channel providers)


Louisville: It's all about "Action" Lamar Jackson, who is, as Pro Football Focus puts it, the most unstoppable force in the college game right now. The true sophomore has electrified through three games with 18 touchdowns -- that ranks better than 114 other FBS teams -- and is second nationally with 459 yards of total offense per game (at an astonishing 10.51 yards per play). At the risk of giving him the Heisman prematurely, there's simply no one in that conversation playing better football right now.

If Louisville wants to realize its dreams of sending Jackson to New York for the Heisman ceremony and reaching the College Football Playoff, it can't let up now. The Oct. 1 game at Clemson is has "College GameDay" written all of it and will invite eyeballs from around the country, but the Cardinals have to avoid a look-ahead game vs. the Thundering Herd first. (Similarly, Clemson must get past Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where the Tigers haven't won in 2003.) Louisville is nearly a four-touchdown favorite per Bovada.lv, but Marshall will be looking to re-route itself after a surprising 65-38 loss to Akron.

Marshall: Just as Louisville wants to take care of business -- a win by a single point or 40 is a win all the same -- Marshall wants to play spoiler in the biggest way possible. There's a big opportunity on its plate, too. The Herd's non-conference slate is tough and there's one more game beyond Louisville (at Pitt on Oct. 1) before Conference USA play gets going. Getting a win somewhere in this stretch would be huge for Marshall, so why not against the Cardinals? If nothing else, it would get the bad taste of the loss to Akron out of Marshall's mouth.

Players to watch

Brandon Radcliff, RB, Louisville: Jackson's too easy of a choice. We know what he can do. But if the Herd's defense is able to contain Jackson somehow -- they will most certainly be keying in on him -- Radcliff might need a breakout game in Jackson's place. The senior hasn't had the full workload yet at just under 10 touches per game, but he's explosive at 10.96 yards per rush. That's higher than Jackson's still-absurdly-high 9.47 average and actually leads all runners in the FBS. If nothing else, Louisville would prefer that Jackson not be the team's leading rusher all season, so expect Radcliff's carries to go up.

Chase Litton, QB, Marshall: We will, however, focus on Marshall's rising star at quarterback, Chase Litton. The sophomore has thrown for 722 yards, 10 touchdowns and three picks in two games. However, six of those touchdowns came in Week 2 against Morgan State and all three picks came against the Zips, a game in which the Herd had to play from behind. Still, this is a quarterback who had a solid debut in 2015 succeeding Rakeem Cato and is on his way to being one of the better quarterbacks in Conference USA.

Matchup to watch

Louisville's pass rush vs. Marshall's offense: Jackson got the attention, but Louisville defensive coordinator Todd Grantham deserves credit for drawing up a terrific game plan for Florida State. The Seminoles couldn't block what Louisville threw at them, racking up five sacks in the process. The defense has 13 on the season, which is tied for fifth in the nation. This is an active defensive front seven, though Louisville gets most of its production out of the linebacker unit in the base 3-4. It should come as no surprise that the Cardinals rank 15th in the nation in 3rd down defense. Louisville's offense is explosive enough to score points, but keeping Marshall's offense off the field is what makes this game a blowout.

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