Game Preview: Cards v Canes

Game Preview: Cards v Canes

Cardinal Authority provides a preview of today's important ACC contest between Louisville and Miami.

Game Day Schedule

CardMarch: 5:45 p.m.
Gates Open: 6:30 p.m.
Enter Stadium: 7:20 p.m.
Pre-game Show: 7:40 p.m.
Kickoff: 8:01 p.m.

U of L will be conducting a special pre-game show and have asked fans to end their tailgating and begin entering the stadium 40 minutes prior to kickoff.

There will also be a special halftime show, so stay in your seats.

The sold out contest will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.

The Backdrop

The next stage – a long awaited one - for University of Louisville football program has arrived and the script for the first few steps couldn't have been written much better.

For decades the Cardinals program has been one on the rise and on Monday night it will play its first game in the final stop in a journey that has multiple conference stops along the way. Getting the Miami Hurricanes, a program that has the Howard Schnellenberger connection, to be the first opponent that U of L faces as a member of the ACC was perfect scheduling.

While Louisville has won two straight over the Hurricanes, by an average score of 34-8, the makeup of the two teams will be significantly different than when they met in the Russell Athletic Bowl last December.

Both program's have new quarterbacks. In addition to playing in a new conference, U of L also welcomes back Bobby Petrino as head coach. The defenses for both squads have been rebuilt, with the Cardinals transitioning to a 3-4 scheme. Both teams have new offensive threats, including Hurricane standout running back Duke Johnson who missed the bowl game with an injury.

Series History

The Cardinals have won the last two meetings in the series, including last year’s bowl game and a 31-7 win over Miami at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in 2006 when Bobby Petrino last roamed the sidelines for the Cardinals. The Hurricanes lead the overall series 9-2-1 and are 4-1 all-time in Louisville versus the Cardinals.

When the two last met, Miami took a 2-0 lead on a first quarter safety, but the Cardinals responded with 36 unanswered points, highlighted by three touchdown passes and a rushing score by former quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The first-round pick by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2014 NFL Draft, Bridgewater threw for a career-high 447 yards and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player. Wide receiver DeVante Parker caught nine passes for 142 yards and one touchdown, while the Cardinals held the Hurricanes to 174 yards of total offense.

Noteworthy

**Louisville wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas played his college football at Miami from 1988-1992. Thomas left Coral Gables with the school’s all-time record for receptions (144) and two national championships (1989, 1991). He was inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

**U of L has 30 players on its roster from the state of Florida.

**The Cardinals were 22-1 at home under head coach Bobby Petrino when he first coached the Cardinals from 2003-06. Louisville won a school record 20 straight games at home at one point during that span, with the only loss coming at the hands of Memphis — 37-7 in 2003. During those 24 home games, the Cardinals scored 40 or more points 16 times, including 70 in a win over Cincinnati in 2004

**The ACC is the fifth different conference that the football program has competed in during its history. The Cardinals were members of the Missouri Valley Conference, Conference USA, the Big East Conference, the American Athletic Conference and the ACC this season.

**The Cardinals are playing their first game as members of the ACC. Louisville bolsters a 33-48-1 on-field mark against the current 14-team football alignment of the ACC. The Cardinals have played all but two of the ACC’s football schools (Georgia Tech & Clemson) and their first ACC opponent was Miami on Nov. 11, 1933, a 33-7 win for the Hurricanes. The Cardinals will play Clemson for the first time in school history on Oct. 11.

Predictions

The Cardinals enter the game as 3.5 point favorites and they receive a sweep in the Cardinal Authority staff predictions.

Jody Demling: I know Miami will be better than they were in the Russell Athletic Bowl, but still not good enough. Cards 34, Miami 24

Michael McCammon: It'll be closer than the past two meetings, but the result will be the same. Bobby Petrino guides the program to a win in ACC debut. Cardinals 37 Hurricanes 27

Evan Stewart: Both teams will start new quarterbacks, but are expected to have strong running games. Louisville wins 24-17.

To view the Cardinal Authority game-by-game predictions, click here.

Social Updates

Cardinal Authority's Jody Demling and Michael McCammon will provide updates before, during and after the game via the Cardinal Authority forums and social media.

Beginning near kickoff, Cardinal Authority will host a live game thread in the Insiders forum, which is located here. Fans are encouraged to participate in the discussion. Additionally, there is a game thread in the Cardinal Authority football forum, The CardMarch, located here.

You can also keep up the action via the Cardinal Authority Social Stream. Information and link can be found here.

Follow publisher Jody Demling on Twitter at @jdemling and senior writer Michael McCammon at @mcmichael20.

Also, be sure to follow Cardinal Authority on Instagram by clicking here.

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