Friday September 1st will be here very soon and excitement is at a level Card fans haven’t seen in a while.
It’s also that time of year where I accurately predict every game on the schedule.
Looking over the schedule very quickly, the first thing I notice (as most of you did too) is the absence of the names Clemson and Florida State. I also notice a tough three game stretch at NC State, home against Notre Dame and on the road against Pitt. That three game stretch could be the difference between a good year and a great year.
On a positive note, Louisville is projected to be the betting favorite in all 12 of their games in 2023…
Number of games projected as favorite in 2023 via @_Collin1 power ratings:
12-Alabama, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Washington
11-Clemson, Florida State (FSU at Clemson is projected as a pick)
11-Liberty, UNC, Ohio State, Oklahoma, South Alabama, Texas, Toledo, Tulane,…
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) July 5, 2023
…BUT… don’t let those power rating predictions fool you. Louisville will not be the betting favorite in all 12 games this season. I’ll go ahead and predict that the Cards will be game time betting underdogs in four, possibly five, games this season.
Now let’s get to MY predictions,
Friday, September 1st at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta GA. – Georgia Tech
Tech seems to be a team on the rise and they added some nice pieces in the transfer portal including former 4 star recruit and Texas A&M QB, Haynes King, as well as our guy Trevion Cooley in the backfield. We all know Cooley is a beast and I wish he was still in the Ville but things happen and now the Cards must stop him from running wild. Tech finished 12th in the ACC last season in total defense and they gave up about 190 rushing yards per game. Their pass rush isn’t very effective either. I feel like it will be a really good time in Atlanta for Labor Day weekend. See ya in the A T L
Cards win 31-21 Win probability 65.8%
Thursday, September 7th vs Murray State
Home opener on a Thursday night… seems like a good time to me. Murray was not very good last year and I don’t see anything on paper to think they have improved enough to compete in this one. We should get to see plenty of Louisville’s underclassmen get on the field. Most Louisville fans will start heading out shortly after halftime.
Cards win 56- 7 Win probability 98.8%
Saturday, September 16th at Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN. – Indiana
Many of you were not born or too young to remember the last time Louisville played Indiana. And while the Hoosiers have had some recent success, I don’t think this is going to be a good year for them. It’s worth pointing out that IU lost to Purdue 30-16 at home last year. IU has added some really good pieces in the transfer portal in the off season, but their depth is really an issue. While IU might hang early, that lack of depth will help Louisville pull away late.
Cards win 41- 21 Wi Probability 71.2%
Saturday, September 23rd vs Boston College
The quick look at BC is their offense is not good but their defense is pretty solid. Might be the first real test for the Cards new offense and a great tune up to see what adjustments need to be made heading into a pivotal three game stretch after this one. Bottom line here is that the Cards might have a few “struggles” on offense but inability of BC to score makes this a victory for the Cards.
Cards win 24-10 Win Probability 78.6%
Friday, September 29th at NC State
I hate playing at Carter-Finley stadium. When Louisville comes to town, they always treat it like their national championship game. This one will be no different. State will start Virginia transfer, Brennan Armstrong, at QB and they return three starters on the O-line. Last year on defense, State surrendered under 20 points per game as well as just 100 rushing yards per game. This year their defense could be better with a few players returning from injury as well as outside linebacker Payton Wilson deciding to skip the NFL draft and come back for a sixth year. I don’t like the way this one looks on paper.
Cards lose 28 – 21 Win Probability 32.2%
Saturday, October 7th vs Notre Dame
The whole city will be up and ready for this game. This could very well be Jeff Brohm’s first (of many) signature wins. I’ll predict the Irish will be a 6.5 point favorite on game day. For the 2nd week in a row, the Cards will face a familiar QB in a new uniform as Wake Forest transfer, Sam Hartman, will lead the Irish. Their offense should be pretty solid, especially the run game. Their defense last season was good until opposing teams got into the red zone where the Irish allowed 32 scores in 34 possessions. If the Cards cab get to the red zone enough, they can pull out a W.
Cards win 30 -28 Win Probability 21.2%
Saturday, October 14th at Pittsburgh
Cards are a little beat up after an epic battle with the Irish. But it’s another week with a familiar opposing QB in Boston College grad transfer, Phil Jurkovec. Pitt returns their top 2 receivers as well as their tight end. They do lose super star running back Isreal Abinakanda. Despite only returning five starters, Pitt’s defense will always be tough under Pat Narduzzi. I think it’s gonna be tough sledding in Pittsburgh.
Cards lose 21-17 Win Probability 29.2%
Saturday, October 21st – BYE WEEK
Saturday, October 28th vs Duke
Duke will be the surprise team of the ACC this season. Louisville will still be favored to win but only because they are the home team. Duke returns 17 starters with nine on offense and eight of them on the defensive side of the ball. However Duke secondary has some questions that need answers quickly. Jack Plummer and the Cards could have a big day in the air. This one will be much closer than Card fans want and they should all be in their seats until the clock hits 0:00.
Cards win 35-31 Win Probability 67.6%
Saturday, November 4th vs Virginia Tech
Tech needed a lot of help in the off season after scoring on 19.3 points per game in 2022. They did bring in 3 receivers, a running back and a QB but nothing head turning. Their O-line is suspect at best. Cards D-line should have a big day. While Tech should be a little better than their 3 win team of 2022, I don’t think the come into the Ville and get a win.
Cards win 45-13 Win Probability 71.5%
Thursday, November 9th vs Virginia
Another Thursday night home game. Virginia returns nine starters with only three on offense. Virginia averaged 17 points per game and failed to score more than 30 points against a FBS opponent last season. Their defense is only slightly better with huge questions at linebacker and at the corners.
Cards win 35-3 Win Probability 78.5%
Saturday, November 18th at Miami
I just have a feeling Miami puts it all together when the Cards come to town. Miami is always loaded with talent and this season is no different. With potentially one of the best O-lines in the country and plenty of play makers at the skill positions, Miami will be a huge test to the Cards defense. The Canes D will be tough also but there are some questions at the corners. We shall see but I got a bad feeling here.
Cards lose 38-10 Win Probability 29.1%
Saturday, November 24th vs Kentucky
I’ve gone back and forth on this game so much. The Cards have been on the wrong end for a while now but they are closing the gap. UK will still have a top level defense and picking up transfer QB Devin Leary was huge. I think he is a star. UK has won the battle in the trenches with their size but that differential isn’t as big as it once was. The big difference this year is that the Cards have a coach who actually understands the rivalry and will have his team playing at their best. Being at home never hurts either. I can see this game going either way but I’ll predict the Cards get it done at home this year.
Cards win 35-28 Win Probability 41.4%
Best case scenario 10-2
Worst case scenario 6-6
My Realistic Prediction 8-4
As Always, GO CARDS!