Louisville fall camp complete, time to talk about the schedule!
By Eric the Red
Pre season talk is now turning to the schedule. With only days remaining until the start of the best season of the year, football season, it is time to talk about the possibilities for the regular season match ups!
The season has all of the games needed to put Louisville on the collision course with the playoffs, now all the Cards have to do is put it all together. Let’s preview the schedule!
Louisville vs Charlotte 49ers
This will be the first meeting for Louisville and the football 49ers. With Charlotte having a challenging 2015 season record of 2-10 and lacking a conference win, this should be a tune up game for Louisville, showing off. Read about the Charlotte 49ers.
Louisville at Syracuse Orange
The Cardinals 14th meeting with Syracuse happens at the Carrier Dome Friday night. Louisville leads the meetings 8-6 and The Orange are looking to bring a more competitive lineup after coming up short last season with a 4-8 record. This would seem to be another tune up game however anything can happen in the noise the fans create in the Dome. Yes, Louisville won last seasons meeting 41-17 so…..
Louisville vs Florida State Seminoles
Wait, could it be? Louisville will play FSU on a Saturday in daylight?!?! Yes! We all remember the game that helped to put Louisville on the national map, especially this writer who was there in section 228 and still has his water logged ticket. We all also remember the battle Louisville won for the first half of last seasons game, and this season we look forward to seeing that missing second half. The Seminoles finished the season ranked 14th, and was shocked by Houston getting the better with a Peach Bowl win 38-24. Big challenge #1 for Louisville as both the Cardinals and Seminoles have retribution in mind this season.
Louisville at Marshall Thundering Herd
Coming off what hopes to be a big Louisville victory, the Cards cannot afford to take their foot off the gas. If we know anything about fans from West Virginia is that they are passionate about their teams, and with it being a home game along with a series Louisville leads 16-12 The Herd wants to improve on their last season record of 10-3. Home game for Marshall, with national TV, 8pm kick off, and a coach named Doc Holliday… of all games on the schedule this could be the trap game to worry about.
Louisville at Clemson Tigers
Louisville returns to Death Valley to meet the National Champion runner up. Louisville had several opportunities to pull the upset last season at home when they fell 20-17 to The Tigers. Clemson finished the season #2 and with a healthy Deshawn Watson, they look to finish the season with a national championship. Most are saying Watson could be one of the best QB’s playing this season. For Louisville, Clemson is the benchmark game of the season. Clemson will come into this game highly ranked; however the performance in the first 4 games could make this a national game of the week. Last season, the QB’s had a passing battle, however this season should bring in the rushing game for the Cards. A balanced team could bring a game of the ages, and a possible win for Louisville in Death Valley. The Clemson fans were very gracious of our home field hospitality, lets hope that same level of good nature continues after the game which I think could be an upset, with Louisville outlasting Clemson, and putting Jackson into national awards talk. Hey, someone has to break from talking chalk!
Louisville at Duke Blue Devils
Duke has a football team? Yes friend, they do and they have come a long way since the first meeting with the Cards home blowout. Last season the Dukies went .500 in conference play, 8-5 overall and bested Indiana in the Pinstripe Bowl. While not finishing last season ranked in the top 25, or starting this season with a preseason poll placement, Duke is gradually improving recruiting which should be a good game for Louisville to get a 3rd and 4th quarter of back ups onto the field giving the starters a breather after the Clemson match up.
Louisville vs NC State Wolfpack
The Wolfpack is coming off a respectable 7-6 season with what I would call continued building, and they look to recruiting to contest the top programs in the conference. This is not a game to disregard, as any team with everything to gain will give their all when tested. Louisville should walk away from this game with a win and experience for all teams.
Louisville at Virginia Cavaliers
Virginia played Louisville to a close 31-38 loss last season and aside from being dominated by Boise State and UCLA, they played every team close. Virginia is still a strong team to take seriously, especially playing at Virginia where Louisville has yet to win. The series is tied 2-2, with both teams winning their respective home games. With new head coach Bronco Mendenhall, the team is more than eager to prove what they can accomplish. Depth will be a concern this season for the Cavaliers, but with newly found momentum and excitement they are eager to show what they can do. Louisville will want to show what they can do too in looking for their first win in Charlottesville.
Louisville at Boston College Eagles
Louisville heads north this Saturday to the land of chowda’ and all things ‘wicked cool’ as they battle the Eagles. Last season the Eagles finished unranked with a 3-9 record, so this season they are looking to continue to improve as they work to disrupt Louisville… Okay, let’s be honest. Boston is going to give a solid effort, however Louisville will look to stack up statistics to either heal wounds from a loss, or stand out from the crowd.
Louisville at Wake Forest Demon Deacons
After Louisville beating WF in the bowl game, this is a rivalry game. Granted, Louisville has won all three meetings so far. Okay it is a grudge game for Wake Forest and being one of the last 4 teams in their division, it may be some time before they are competitive again as the Deamon Deacons are working on recruiting but just not able to recruit at the same level of the leagues top of class Clemson, FSU, Louisville, UNC.
Louisville at Houston Cougars
Redemption game. Last seasons loss was tempered as the Cougars went on to beat Florida State in the Peach Bowl. They are legit, and the series is tied. Houston finished ranked 8th and they are posed to have another big season. It was not just a missed kick or two that lost last seasons meeting, as Louisville was still trying to find a stop from the offensive line. Still it there was no shortage of scoring with a 34-31 game. This season’s unknown offense provides more what if’s on this game and what answers special teams have for kicking. Louisville is pre season polling at 23, Houston at 13. They are bringing back a strong team and this will be another strong test for Louisville. If the offensive line can hold to give Jackson, Cole, and the WR’s time to get position, the Cards should be able to show dominance on the scoreboard. This should be a close game.
Louisville vs Kentucky Wildcats
Final game of the season and Louisville will want to put a distinct end to the season here. Could this be the season for UK to break 6-6? I would like to think so both for this game and for their program. To come into the final game of the season with signature wins, could make this rival game a must watch game. If UK were to pull off some signature wins in the SEC it could become VERY interesting. UK wants retribution for letting last seasons meeting fall away to a newly installed 2nd half of Lamar Jackson. Louisville wants to push their agenda from start to finish. At this point in the season, Louisville fans are wondering why such a fuss was made to move this game from the season opener to the end of the season.
Entering the UK game, Louisville fans will know if the awards watch lists candidates are now finalist, if the Cardinals are possible contenders for a FBS playoff spot, and maybe, possibly, have a contender to make a trip to NYC. This all rides on the shoulders of the untested offense. Will it perform to the anticipated levels not seen since Teddy and Co. won the Sugar Bowl? So many exciting possibilities, and they all start September 1st!