Game by Game Predictions from CardinalSports.com staff
The football analysts and staff at CardinalSports.com are as happy to see football here as anyone. That being the case, we'll have a healthy mixture of preseason predictions stuff and Notre Dame preview stuff all week beginning with Scott Satterfield's press conference yesterday. Today, the football folks are happy to go on the record with our game by game predictions for the season.
Louisville comes out with energy and hangs around through the first half. Notre Dame's depth wears Louisville down and the Irish pull away in the 2nd half.
Notre Dame 30 Louisville 13
Will Louisville be able to turn the page from the week prior? Yes. Louisville rolls the Colonels. Satterfield gets his first win in Cardinal Stadium.
Louisville 49 EKU 10
Louisville escapes Nashville with an ugly, but much-needed win over the Tops. Louisville moves to 2-1.
Louisville 27 Western Kentucky 17
Louisville travels down to Tallahassee in a game that is very winnable. Louisville has their chances, but Florida State's athletes get the best of Louisville down the stretch.
Louisville 21 Florida State 34
Boston College tests Louisville's run defense early and often. The Eagles escape with a "grind it out" win.
Louisville 20 Boston College 28
I like Louisville to sneak a win here on the road for their first ACC victory. I don't see any reason why Louisville shouldn't handle business against the Deacs.
Louisville 35 Wake Forest 31
The defending national champions are better at the game of football than Louisville. By a lot. Clemson wins, big,
Louisville 7 Clemson 45
I am going to circle this game as the game in year one of the Satterfield era where we see the difference in coaching. Louisville upsets a very good Virginia team.
Louisville 24 Virginia 23
I hate this matchup for Louisville. After watching Miami take Florida down to the last minute, I don't feel very optimistic about this one. On the road, in South Beach, the Canes are too much.
Louisville 14 Miami 31
Facing an NC State team that lost a lot from a year ago, Louisville plays an admirable game. In the end, the Wolfpack score a late TD to put Louisville away.
Louisville 21 NC State 28
Coming off a season that saw Syracuse football do things they aren't accustomed to, the Orange stroll into town and overlook Louisville. Hassan Hall gets loose down the sideline for a game-winning TD.
Louisville 38 Syracuse 34
The season finale in Lexington goes to the bad guys. Although I'm not high on Kentucky at all this year, I don't think Louisville wins this one. Ugh.
Louisville 17 Kentucky 28
Week 1 starts Satterfield’s tenure off with a bang with national semifinalist Notre Dame coming to town. The Irish are led by one of my favorite QBs in all of college football, Ian Book, and he shouldn’t have too much trouble carving up a defense that was less than stellar last year. However, ND are without highly touted linebacker Te’Von Coney and lineman Jerry Tillery, leaving their Achilles heel (run defense) from last year even more exposed. Satterfield dials up the right plays to expose what the Irish are lacking and give a better Notre Dame team fits all night.
Notre Dame 38 – Louisville 24
Cards carry some momentum and frustration from a fight that went better than expected in Week 1 into Week 2. Unfortunately for the Colonels, they’ll be on the receiving end of this frustration. Puma and the running backs stretch their legs (and arms?) against our friends from Richmond.
Louisville 42 – Eastern Kentucky 13
Louisville travels to the Music City to face on the other directional football team in the state who surely are feeling like they missed a golden opportunity against us last season. I fear that Tyson Helton and his Hilltoppers are able to get things on offense clicking quickly and give UofL headaches early on. Both offenses take advantage of each other’s’ defenses and WKU makes it a little too close for comfort.
Louisville 31 – Western Kentucky 27
Louisville heads south to meet Willie Taggart whose seat is already scorching hot after dropping games to Boise State and Virginia. The ‘Noles don’t look much improved from last year, but Taggart pulls out all the stops as each game from here on out is do-or-die for him. Expect a super gross game for the third year in a row.
Florida State 24 – Louisville 17
After letting Louisville hang around way too long in last year’s game, BC returns only 53% of their production which ranks 110th in the country. With a ton of key pieces gone from an Eagles squad that was mediocre at best, this game must be a priority for Satterfield to try and steal a win. Louisville hits a very green BC defense (128th in returning production) in the mouth and ends an embarrassing two-year losing streak.
Louisville 27 – Boston College 24
Everyone tends to be down on Wake this year and like this game as one that UofL steals, but I’m not buying it. Aside from some holes on the o-line and at the WR spot, the offense returns a lot of talent, and that’s probably all Dave Clawson needs to upend the Cardinal’s defense in rebuild mode. Louisville’s biggest football rival beats them in another very annoying game.
Wake Forest 31 – Louisville 17
Yikes. Can’t be worse than last year, right? Clemson rolls, but Travis Etienne is MVP of the game, not Trevor Lawrence.
Clemson 52 – Louisville 17
This is always my least favorite game on the schedule because the games never make any damn sense. Bronco Mendenhall has the Hoos garnering some media buzz this offseason as the Atlantic is expected (again) to be down. Bryce Perkins is a star, and Virginia continues on to their execution date with Clemson in the ACCCG.
Virginia 35 – Louisville 24
Even though I’m glad I got to watch Miami in Week 0 before making these picks, I still have no idea if they’re decent or if Florida was trying to lose the game on purpose. Regardless, the Hurricane’s have a bevy of talent by way of transfers that Louisville just can’t match with this year. Miami’s defense stifles Puma and the running backs in a sleepy Hard Rock Stadium.
Miami 28 – Louisville 7
Forget about Wake Forest, this is the other ACC game Satterfield should be circling on the calendar. The Wolfpack have been heavily reliant on great o-line play (Dwayne Ledford is the man) and QB play. Unfortunately for them the offense ranks 2nd-to-last in the country in returning production. UofL’s defense is beginning to settle in at this point and the offense musters up enough points to pull the upset in Raleigh.
Louisville 17 – N.C. State 14
What Dino Babers has been able to do at ‘Cuse has been very impressive. While Syracuse loses a lot on offense from last year, I actually like Tommy DeVito stepping in for the human wrecking ball, Eric Dungey. Babers keeps his offense buzzing with the new QB, which is just enough to take down the Cards on the road.
Syracuse 38 – Louisville 31
A lot of the numbers I have seen are giving UK a 2-touchdown advantage in the Bourbon Bowl (don’t argue with me), but I’m just not seeing it. Say what you will about Benny Snell being a solid running back, but the defense is what carried Kentucky last year and it just so happens that defense now ranks 128th in the country in returning production. The Cats don’t have Josh Allen to save them each game this year, and Satterfield has things rolling by the time the Cards get to Lexington. The away team takes the trophy for the 5th year in a row.
Louisville 28 – Kentucky 24
Notre Dame – Scott Satterfield said he didn’t see a lot of weaknesses when he studied Notre Dame. That sounds like coach speak to me because according to Bill Connelly’s returning production rankings the Irish are ranked 97th out of 130 teams. There is a lot of talent filling in holes but that talent is untested and getting them week one is a plus factor for Louisville. That being said Ian Book returns at QB and the ‘Cards are still facing a tough ask in stopping the number nine team in the country.
Notre Dame 38 – Louisville 17.
EKU – if Louisville loses this game cancel the season.
Louisville 45 – Eastern Kentucky 7
Western Kentucky - The Toppers are coming off a 3-9 season and will break in new head coach Tyson Helton who has no prior experience in that capacity. They return their leading rusher and leading receiver from last year but that’s not saying much. I know they gave Louisville a run for their money last season and this was before they appeared to quit but I’m still rolling with Louisville here.
Louisville 27 – Western Kentucky 17
Florida State – Last year Bobby Petrino’s play calling snatched defeat from the jaws of victory against a bad FSU team. I expect FSU to be just as inept this season as they were last year, both teams return pretty much the same players except FSU will be without 1st round pick Brian Burns at DE and Noonie Murray who caught the game winner last year. FSU’s offensive line is once again an open sore this season and losing to Louisville in Doak will ignite Willie Taggart’s seat. Stoops to Tally?
Louisville 24 – Florida State 20
Boston College - The Eagles check in at 110th according to Bill Connelly’s returning production rankings Bill Connelly’s returning production rankings. They do get Card’ killer AJ Dillon back healthy however as well as last season’s starting quarterback Anthony Brown. On defense however they only return three starters. Louisville played BC tough last season and with so many holes to fill on defense I pick the Cards to win.
Louisville 28 – Boston College 27
Wake Forest – The Demon Deacs return starting QB Sam Hartman and leading rusher Cade Carney but lose Matt Colburn and All-ACC WR Greg Dortch. They only return five starters on defense. Last year they allowed 35 points to Louisville but scored 56. They won’t sore that much this season without Dortch and Colburn. Louisville continues to shock the college football community starting the season 5-1.
Louisville 24 – Wake Forest 20
Clemson – It was a good run but all runs come to an end.
Clemson 56 – Louisville 21
Virginia – The Cavs are the most interesting boring team in the country to me thanks to quarterback Bryce Perkins. Bronco Mendenhall will enjoy 8 of his starters returning to his defense that held Louisville’s offense to 3-points last season.
Virginia 31 – Louisville 13
Miami - I know it was technically week zero and the Gators always have a nice pass rush but the Canes’ offensive line gave up ten sacks and sixteen tackles for a loss. Before the season started I thought Miami could contend for the Coastal but now I’m not sure they make a bowl game. Louisville has a bye week before they travel to Miami and the ‘Canes will be fresh off a road game against hated rivals FSU. I think Miami beats FSU for the second straight season and rides that confidence to a win.
Miami 28 – Louisville 10
North Carolina State – The Wolfpack lose QB Ryan Finley, last year’s leading rusher Reggie Gallaspy, and their two 1,000 yard receivers Kelvin Harmon and Jakobi Meyers. They also lose this game to Louisville.
Louisville 24 – NC State 20.
Syracuse - The Orangemen won ten games last season thanks to the gritty play of Eric Dungey and the havoc created by Dino Baber’s hurry up offense. With Dungey gone, Tommy Devito stepping in, and ‘Cuse replacing four of its five offensive lineman I expect the offense to take a step back. I also expect Louisville’s offense to sustain drives better this year keeping Baber’s quick strike offense on the sidelines. That being said, dynamic running back Moe Williams and three receivers who caught 40 passes return. Tommy Devitto is also a promising prospect. I like ‘Cuse in this one.
Syracuse 34 – Louisville 24.
Kentucky – Kentucky lost everyone from last season’s team but they have a cupcake schedule and play in a down SEC East this year, they do however still boast a strong offensive line, Lynn Bowden, and AJ Rose. I think Kentucky comes into this one with seven wins and notches its' eight in front of their fans against their hated in-state rival.
Kentucky 27 – Louisville 20.
Final record: 6 – 6
The Louisville defense will surprise many with how it holds up against the Notre Dame defense. For about a half. But in the end, it's the lack of Louisville offense that wears both units down and allowed Notre Dame to pull away to a final score that doesn't show how competitive a good portion of the game is.
Score: Louisville 13 Notre Dame 38
This will be more of an indicator of the changed mindset and increased moral toughness of the Louisville football program than most realize. To get up off the mat from Notre Dame in six days and grind to paste a solid FCS team will show things won't be the same in Louisville going forward. Louisville rushes for 300+ yards and cruises.
Louisville will let Western make this feel more competitive than it ever truly is. This is part of the process of learning to be the same team week in and week out. After a shaky start that makes Louisville fans nervous, Louisville gets the snowball rolling downhill and pulls away.
Louisville will have its first true road test against a Florida State team in its fourth game in the Art Briles system. I'm not a believer in James Blackmon at quarterback. Like, at all. But Louisville's offense takes an apparent step backward and can't keep up with the Seminoles in a loss.
I'm calling this the first significant victory of the Scott Satterfield era. In what will be one of the manliest, most physical football games of the season, Louisville will turn Boston College over and steal a win late that keeps bowl hopes alive.
At Wake Forest
In yet another sign that this is a team that's only just begun to develop mental toughness and consistency, going on the road to Wake Forest after an encouraging win, the Cardinals fall victim to a team five years ahead of them in the culture and consistency department.
Clemson will see the difference on the field early. Louisville will feel the difference on the field for the remainder of the game. Clemson rolls from the second quarter forward.
Call this the second impressive win of the Satterfield era. Louisville was within one score of Virginia for much of the 2018 game and we all know how mentally and physically fragile that team was. At home, Louisville keeps bowl hopes alive by a thread and steals this one.
The Miami offense proves to be just a little too much for a Louisville offense that still hasn't developed a punishing passing attack by this point in the seasons. Hurricanes win.
At NC State
I am a declared skeptic of NC State having lost Ryan Finley, a host of linemen, and big personalities (like Dwayne Ledford) from its coaching staff. Plus, NC State has a tendency to lose late season games like this. I'll take Louisville pulling a late upset that once again makes Wolfpack fans think God still hates them.
I am not even 1% a declared skeptic of Syracuse and Dino Babers. The Orange will be past the point of breaking in a new quarterback by this game and the difference will show. People always focus on the offense with Babers but he has all-conference level players at every level of the defense. Orange win.
Louisville is probably a year away from being able to win this game. The worst matchup by this time of the year will be a team like Kentucky with plenty of depth and a settled determination to run the ball deliberately and downhill. Kentucky is that. Wildcats end the road team winning streak.
Final Record: 5-7