Author Archives: Justin Krueger

Evaluating Each Heisman Candidate & Why They Will (or Won’t) Win

Lamar Jackson

Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was invited to his second Heisman Trophy ceremony on Monday, alongside Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and Stanford running back Bryce Love. Jackson is looking to become the second man to win college football’s hallmark award twice, joining Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75).

Here’s an evaluation of each candidate, and why they each have a shot to win (or not) the 2017 award.

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Everything You Need To Know: The Governor’s Cup


How to Watch: Noon kickoff on SEC Network

Spread: Louisville -10

Last Time: In one of the biggest upsets of 2016, Kentucky stunned the Cardinals after Austin MacGinnis hit a 47-yard field goal with 12 seconds left to pull out a 41-38 win over their rival. The Wildcats capitalized on four turnovers, including the late-game fumble that eventually led to MacGinnis’ field goal at the very end.

Kentucky leads the all-time series 15-14, but Louisville has won five of the last six in the rivalry.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville v. Syracuse


How to Watch: Kickoff at 3:30 p.m., ESPNU

Spread: Louisville -13 (Bovada)

Last Time: It was a historic performance for the entire Louisville offense, as #13 Louisville roared to a 62-28 win over Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. The Cards scored touchdowns on three of their first five offensive plays, and set a school-record with 845 total yards of offense. Lamar Jackson led the way with an ACC-record 610 total yards (411 passing, 199 rushing), including the highlight-reel hurdling touchdown that arguably gave him his first of many Heisman moments in 2016.

Louisville leads the all-time series 9-6.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville v. Virginia


How to Watch: Kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU

Spread: Louisville -11.5

Last Time: In a tougher than expected contest, the Cardinals got all they could handle against a gritty Virginia Cavaliers team. Trailing 17-14 heading into the final quarter, the Cards responded with 18 points in the final quarter, including the game-winning 25-yard pass from Lamar Jackson to Jaylen Smith. Jackson finished with 361 yards and four touchdowns, as #5 U of L escaped Charlottesville with a 32-25 victory.

Louisville leads the all-time series 3-2. All three games in the ACC have been decided by one possession.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville At Wake Forest

Dez Fitzpatrick

How to Watch: Kickoff at 12:20, ACC Network

Spread: Louisville -3

Last Time: Despite three first half fumbles, Louisville rebounded with 41 unanswered points in the second half, 34 of them in the final quarter. The sixth-ranked Cardinals held the Deacons without a touchdown, forced three turnovers and allowed 214 total yards. Brandon Radcliff led the way with 141 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, as Louisville won 44-12.

Louisville leads the all-time series 4-0.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville At Florida State


How to Watch: Noon kickoff on ESPN

Spread: Florida State -7

Last Time: With College Gameday visiting Louisville for the first time, the Cardinals made the most of their opportunity. Lamar Jackson launched his Heisman campaign into the stratosphere with 362 total yards (216 passing, 146 rushing) and five total touchdowns. #10 Louisville rolled to a 63-20 win over #2 Florida State, the worst loss in FSU history. Brandon Radcliff and James Quick each had 100 yard games, and Jaire Alexander had a 69-yard touchdown on a punt return.

FSU leads the all-time series 14-3.

Meet Florida State:

Since then, it’s been an up-and-down road for both teams. Louisville rolled to a 9-1 start in 2016, but since then has lost five of its last seven to Power Five teams. Florida State finished that season with an Orange Bowl win over Michigan, but lost Deondre Francois for the season and sits at 2-3 entering tomorrow’s game.

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No More Excuses For Louisville Football

Lamar jackson

The trajectory of Louisville football may have never taken a steeper curve than in the last 365+ days. And it may never stoop lower than the humiliating loss Louisville suffered on Saturday.

A 45-42 loss to Boston College has left fans stunned, disappointed and moreover, angry. Louisville lost to a team that was 115th in total offense, entering the game. A team that was 2-17 in its last 19 conference games.

A team that, last year, Louisville pulverized in a 52-7 blowout in Chestnut Hill. Despite Louisville playing Jekyll & Hyde football throughout October and November of last year, they still added a landslide win. There were comments made about Boston College’s head coach possibly losing his job, and the Eagles program taking a lot of backward steps.

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CSZ Picks Louisville v. Boston College


Justin Krueger: 37-14. Boston College will present some challenges for Louisville, but aren’t offensively equipped to beat them on the road. Expect Harold Landry to have a solid outing, but Lamar Jackson should be the difference in a tune-up before facing Florida State.

Jeremy Wahman: 34-6. Lamar gets 487 total yards, four total touchdowns. Defense forces three turnovers.

Shawn Barbour: 42-7

Jacob Pratt & Paige Sherrard: 42-10

Mitch Motley: 45-14

Cody Higdon: 35-24. Lamar has 450 yards and defense has two turnovers.

Samuel Basden: 38-20. Lamar throws for three touchdowns and runs for another.


Everything You Need to Know: Louisville v. Boston College

Javonte Bagley

How to Watch: Kickoff at 12:20 p.m., WAVE TV (ACC Network Extra stream)

Spread: Louisville -22

Last Time: Lamar Jackson had a highlight-reel day with seven total touchdowns and 416 total yards (231 passing, 185 rushing) in a 55-7 blowout of the Eagles. The Cardinals allowed 207 total yards and forced three turnovers in the process, and had zero penalties in the game.

Louisville leads the all-time series 6-3.

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CSZ Picks Louisville v. NC State Game


Jeremy Wahman: 34-31 Louisville. Lamar has three touchdowns and 457 total yards, one defensive / special teams touchdown makes the difference. Read the rest of this entry

Everything You Need to Know: Louisville at NC State


How to Watch: Kickoff at 8:00, ESPN

Spread: Louisville -4.5 (O/U 66), per Bovada

Last Time: Lamar Jackson threw for 355 yards and three touchdowns, while #7 Louisville rolled to a 54-13 win over the Wolfpack. Cole Hikutini led all Louisville receivers with six catches for 118 yards and a touchdown. Louisville’s defense forced three interceptions, while the Cardinals rolled to a 44-0 halftime lead.

Louisville leads the all-time series 6-1, winning all three games since joining the ACC.

Meet the NC State Wolfpack:

After a disastrous loss against South Carolina to open the season, the Wolfpack have since rebounded to win four straight. This includes a road win at Florida State, their first win over a ranked opponent since 2012.

Many pegged them as a dark horse for the ACC this season. After taking down Florida State in Tallahassee, head coach Dave Doeren sees an opportunity to put themselves in the mix. The fifth-year coach has taken the Wolfpack to three straight bowl games, winning two of them. Doeren also led Northern Illinois to an Orange Bowl appearance in 2012, as well as back-to-back MAC championships.

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Q & A with Red and White Podcast’s Evan Roberts


Before tomorrow night’s game at North Carolina State, CSZ had the opportunity to sit down with Red and White Podcast’s Evan Roberts. You can follow him on Twitter (@ER) and his podcast (@redwhitepodcast). Red and White Podcast is also available on Stitcher, Soundcloud and on

JK: Most media members had NC State labeled as a dark horse for the ACC this year. Those expectations were tempered initially with the opening loss to South Carolina. Has it been in the discussion again, after winning on the road at Florida State?

ER: The hype is real and palpable around Raleigh. I think most people are able to excuse the first game for a variety of reasons. USC has played everyone close, NC State was without some key offensive linemen and we beat them in every facet of the game other than the score. Add that to the FSU victory and then somehow not doing what we normally do in those situations which would be losing to Syracuse in between FSU and Louisville. This is a good team and people see that, but we have to temper expectations on these sorts of things because we’ve just not done it consistently.

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CSZ Picks Louisville v. Murray State


All CSZ contributors rule this game in favor of Louisville.

Justin Krueger: 66-6. In what has been a chaotic week for Louisville fans, football should serve as a brief escape from another scandal. Louisville should put Murray State away quickly, and we’ll see Jawon Pass and Colin Wilson in extended time.

P.S., that score is not an indicator of any bad juju.

Cody Higdon: 56-3. Puma comes in the second half and rips Murray State.

Paige Sherrard: 42-7. We see a Puma on the field. Lamar has two rushing touchdowns and beer/liquor sales hit an all-time high.

Jeremy Wahman: 69-6 (writer’s note: nice). Lamar and Malik rush for 100 yards each and two touchdowns. Puma throws for two touchdowns and we have a Clay Bolin sighting, finally.

Shawn Barbour: 56-3. Lamar throws for two touchdowns, rushes for one. Jawon Pass throws for two. Malik Williams rushes for two and Wilson for one.

Jeff Nunn: 59-0. Colin Wilson gets his first 100-yard game. Lamar has four touchdowns before halftime.

Mitch Motley: 62-7. Colin Wilson has three touchdowns, and Lamar gets back to Lamar with four touchdowns of his own.

Katie Goben: 45-3. Puma owns the second half and we finally see Alexander for a play.

Everything You Need to Know: Louisville v. Murray State


How to Watch: Kickoff at 3:30 p.m. on Fox Sports South

Spread: unavailable

Last Time: In Bobby Petrino’s second game back at Louisville, the Cardinals rolled to a 66-21 victory over the Racers. LJ Scott led the team with 126 rushing yards and a touchdown, while Brandon Radcliff added 97 yards and two touchdowns. Reggie Bonnafon also had a solid outing, throwing 8/11 in relief duty with three total touchdowns (one passing, two rushing).

The Cardinals lead the all-time series 13-6. In two of the last three meetings, Louisville has scored 65+ against Murray State.

Meet the Murray State Racers:

Murray State represents the Ohio Valley Conference in the FCS, led by third-year head coach Mitch Stewart. Stewart took over the Racers after Chris Hatcher left to take over the job at Samford University.

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CSZ Picks Louisville v. Kent State



Justin Krueger: Louisville 59-10. The next two games should serve as confidence builders for Louisville, before heading back into conference play in October.

Kent State is 118th in rushing defense, and 126th in total offense. I’d expect Lamar Jackson to again put up absurd numbers in this one, and a super productive day from Jaylen Smith. The hope is that Malik Williams gets more touches to ease the burden on Jackson in the running game, but we’ll see how it goes the next two weeks.

As for the backups, let’s see what Puma Pass has to offer.

Jeremy Wahman: Louisville 56-3. Lamar has a huge day, and the Cards get their confidence back. 300 plus yards on the ground! 2 QB’s with 150+ yards passing

Cody Higdon: Louisville 63-3. Puma comes in the second half and has a field day.

Jeff Nunn: Louisville 48-3. The debut of Jawon Pass and a monster day for Malik Williams.

Shawn Barbour: Louisville 63-6. Basing this on my belief, the team will come out hungry for this game.

Katie Goben: Louisville 38-10. We get our first look at Jawon Pass, Jaire plays in the first quarter and Dez continues to leap over people.

Mitch Motley: Louisville 72-7. Lamar has a similar performance to the one against Charlotte last year and the backups continue to score.

Everything You Need To Know: Louisville v. Kent State


How to Watch: Kickoff at noon on ACC Network.

Spread: Louisville -44 (Bovada)

Last Time: Larry Poole ran for a 30-yard touchdown in the first quarter, as the Golden Flashes held Louisville to 228 total yards in a 10-3 win. Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Lambert was a part of the Kent State roster at the time, while current Alabama head coach Nick Saban served as an assistant under Don James.

Kent State leads the all-time series 9-8.

Meet Kent State:

Kent State enters tomorrow’s game with a 1-2 record, their lone win a seven-point victory over FCS Howard. The Flashes have yet to score a touchdown this season against FBS competition. They’ve only scored three against Clemson in the season-opener, and were shutout at Marshall last week.

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CSZ Makes Their Predictions For Clemson Game

Justin Krueger: 34-28 Clemson. I’ve watched Clemson multiple times throughout the week, and their defensive line is flat-out impressive. Louisville’s offensive line has played better, but this will be an exponentially tougher test than Purdue or UNC. I also have questions about Louisville’s secondary, especially if Jaire Alexander sits out again.

Louisville will have their opportunities, and Lamar Jackson will surely keep them in the game. But I don’t know if it’ll be enough tomorrow night.

Mitch Motley: 38-28 Louisville

Shawn Barbour: 35-31 Louisville

Cody Higdon: 38-35 Louisville. Blanton Creque redeems Wallace’s kick from last season.

Jeremy Wahman: 28-24 Louisville. Lamar dominates, held under 400 total yards but three touchdowns.

Jeff Nunn: 35-34 Louisville. The defense is the strength of this team, and they’re just as good as last year, if not better. Although Clemson is 3-0 against Louisville, I feel this is the year that Louisville gets it done.

Paige Sherrard: 28-24 Louisville. Dez Fitzpatrick continues to shine, James Hearns has crucial tackles, Jaire Alexander returns & lights up Clemson’s offense & Lamar Jackson has two passing TDs & two rushing TDs.


Everything You Need to Know: Louisville v. Clemson


How to Watch: Kickoff at 8:12 p.m. on Saturday, ABC

Spread: Clemson -2.5

Last Time: Trailing 28-10 at halftime, Louisville roared back with 26 unanswered points to take an eight-point lead midway through the fourth quarter. Clemson responded with two touchdowns in a three-minute stretch, taking a 42-36 lead. Lamar Jackson led the Cardinals into a fourth-and-goal opportunity, but fell short as James Quick ran out of bounds.

Clemson leads the all-time series 3-0, with each game coming down to the final possession.

Meet the Clemson Tigers:

A lot has changed for Clemson, since that epic game last October. The Tigers fell against Pittsburgh in mid-November, but rebounded to claim the ACC title and, eventually, a last-second win against Alabama to win the national championship. The Tigers are one of the premier programs in the country, with a potent coaching combo in head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

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Everything You Need To Know: Louisville at UNC

Lamar Jackson

How to Watch/Listen: Kickoff at noon on ESPN

Spread: Louisville -10

Last Time: The last time Louisville and North Carolina played came in 2012.

Louisville marched to a 36-7 halftime lead, thanks to stellar performances from Teddy Bridgewater (23/28, 279 yards, three touchdowns) and Jeremy Wright (20 carries, 114 yards, one touchdown). The Tar Heels rallied to a near comeback, but Andrew Johnson tipped a goal-line pass on fourth down to prevent it. UNC’s Bryn Renner finished with 363 yards and five touchdowns, as the Cards survived 39-34.

Louisville leads the series 4-3, winning three of the last four.

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CSZ Staff Makes Their 2017 Season Predictions



2017 Season Predictions

Justin: 10-2. I can understand the argument for 11-1, 10-2 or even 9-3. Louisville has the talent for yet another big season, but for them to succeed and reach double-digit wins, they have to do three things; shore up the turnover problems, find a work-horse running back and have a top 30 defense (at least). If Louisville wants to take the next step, they cannot play down to their competition (ex: games against Wake Forest and Virginia).

For now, I think 10-2 is the safe prediction. Lamar will remind everyone why he is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, and perhaps win it again. Louisville, for once, will finish their home slate undefeated but fall short twice on the road (@ Florida State and either NC State or Kentucky).

Shawn: 11-1 with close wins v. Clemson, NC State, Wake Forest and Virginia. Close loss at FSU. Every other game we should have a good chance to see Jawon Pass play.

Jeremy: 12-1 with NY6 bowl victory against Ohio State. Just outside of the playoff.

Mitch: 11-1 with a CFP berth.

Higgy: 12-0, it’s an omen Bobby always does best in his fourth year.

Katie: 11-1, I believe it will be a close game at GSU. I think the loss to FSU keeps us out of the playoffs and it becomes deja vu from the Clemson loss last year. Lamar repeats as Heisman.

Jeff Nunn: I think this is the year the Cards do not have a head scratching loss, and go 11-1. With a road loss to FSU, the Cards won’t get to play in the ACC Championship. They’ll win a New Year’s Six Bowl game and finish sixth in the final poll.

Paige Sherrard: 10-2. We drop a game to FSU and some random team we shouldn’t lose to, but it’s that game we have every season. Lamar Jackson has a stellar Heisman campaign. We go to a New Years Six bowl.