Raise your hand if you thought Louisville football would be sitting at 5-3 after 8 games. Nobody? Not surprising but here we are.
While we didn’t expect it, we are not unhappy about it.
Before the season, odds of hitting the Powerball seemed better than Louisville making a bowl game. Las Vegas set the Cards expected win total at 3.5. Most Card fans thought that total seemed a little low but nobody really thought Louisville would be sitting here with 5 wins discussing if they can win their final 4 games and be in the discussion for an Orange Bowl birth.
Can they win out?
Let’s look at the what stands between the Cards and the possibility of a 9 win season.
NOV 9 (SAT) 3:30 P.M. at CORAL GABLES, FL.
The Hurricanes, coming off wins over Pitt and Florida State are 5-4 and 3-3 in the division. Most Las Vegas casinos had the Canes’ win total set at 8.5. So no matter how they do in their last 3 games, the season will end in disappointment. But no matter how disappointed they are, Louisville stands in their way of bowl eligibility.
The Canes leading receiver, Sophomore tight end Brevin Jordan, leads the Miami football team with 495 receiving yards and is second with 35 receptions and third with three touchdown catches. After Louisville struggled to cover the tight end against Wake Forest, Jordan seemed to be a huge concern. Well, Jordan suffered a foot injury in the fourth quarter against FSU and will be a game-time decision against Louisville.
Jarren Williams was back at QB for Miami against Florida State and threw the ball all around. Williams completed passes to seven different receivers.
To me, the key for a Louisville victory is putting pressure on QB. Miami allows 3.89 sacks per game while Louisville averages 2.25 sacks per game. Louisville doesn’t have to get sacks but pressure on Williams could lead to good things for a defense who has six interceptions in the last six games.
It’s worth noting that Miami defense ranks 14th in the country. (3 spots better that Virginia)
NOV 16 (SAT) 7:30 P.M. at RALEIGH, NC
The Wolfpack are currently 4-4 and 1-3 in the conference. They are likely to be 4-5 when Louisville comes to town as they play Clemson this week. Their only conference win was a 16-10 home win against Syracuse.
The biggest strength of N.C. State offense is their offensive line. But as you are well aware, the guy responsible for that offensive line now roams the sidelines of the Cardinals. Yes, you can call it the Ledford bowl but I won’t.
Defensively the Wolfpack had been decimated with injuries in the secondary but, as a total defense, still rank 48th in the country. That ranking is mainly because they have the 27th best rushing defense.
NOV 23 (SAT) TBA at LOUISVILLE, KY CARDINAL STADIUM
Offensively, Syracuse averaged 463 yards and 40.3 points per game last season but this year is a different story. Through nine games in the 2019-20 season, Syracuse is averaging 24.3 points and 376 yards per game.
NOV 30 (SAT) NOON at LEXINGTON, KY
It’s a rivalry game. All bets are off. However, it appears to be the tale of two programs heading in different directions. KY is coming off a 10 win season while Louisville is coming off a 2 win season.
KY is currently 4-4 and 2-4 in the SEC. UK will play Tennessee, Vanderbilt and UT Martin, before Louisville comes to town so it’s very likely the Wildcats will have 7 wins come game day.
The winner of this game is usually the team who wins the rushing battle. Louisville ranks 23rd in the country with 218 rushing yards per game. That number may increase after Louisville rushes for over 300 yards against N.C, State. UK ranks 32nd in rushing at 201 yards per game. Rushing defense, UK ranks 82nd giving up 175 yards per game. The Cards rank 85th giving up 177 yards per game.
Looks like a 50/50 game. Could be an instant classic that comes down to special teams.
I believe there is a small chance Louisville goes 4-0 but I’m a Louisville fan so I’m accustomed to pain, therefore I don’t expect the best result. I believe Louisville will go 3-1 with the loss coming at either Miami or Kentucky. Worst case scenario, Louisville goes 2-2 and finishes the season at 7-5. If you told me Louisville would end up with 7 wins this season, I would have said that you are crazy. Glad to meet you, Crazy!
As Always, GO CARDS!