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Louisville (4-4, 2-1 Big East) at No. 24 West Virginia (6-2, 2-1), 12 p.m. (Big East Network).

Line: West Virginia by 13 1/2.

Series record: West Virginia leads 10-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The game pits Louisville, a team left out of Big 12 expansion plans, against West Virginia, the school that last week accepted the conference’s invitation. The winner can forge a first-place tie if Cincinnati loses at Pittsburgh, while the loser will need to make up lost ground with three regular-season games remaining.

KEY MATCHUP

West Virginia QB Geno Smith vs. Louisville’s defense. The Cardinals have the Big East’s top defense, allowing 296 yards per game, while Smith leads the conference’s top offense and is averaging 339 yards passing. The junior has thrown for 20 touchdowns and just five interceptions, including TD tosses to seven receivers.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

West Virginia: WRs Stedman Bailey, Tavon Austin and Ivan McCartney. The trio are among the conference leaders in receptions, with Bailey leading the league with 815 yards. Austin has a team-high 56 catches and is the league’s top punt returner at 14.5 yards per attempt.

Louisville: QB Teddy Bridgewater. The freshman had two first-quarter scoring tosses and completed 17 of 24 passes for 198 yards in a 27-10 win over Syracuse. He took over starting duties from Will Stein in the fourth game of the season and has thrown for seven TDs with six interceptions.

FACTS & FIGURES

Louisville coach Charlie Strong is looking for his first win against a ranked opponent. … The Cardinals are last in the Big East in scoring offense at 17.6 points per game. … West Virginia’s Tyler Bitancurt leads the Big East in kick scoring but has missed extra-point tries in each of the last two games. … West Virginia limited Louisville to 171 total yards and nine first downs in a 17-10 win last year. Louisville’s last win in the series came at home in 2006 when the Cardinals earned the league’s Bowl Championship Series berth.

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