Louisville Cardinals Have ‘Strong’ Chance to Finish Regular-Season Undefeated
Don’t look now but the Louisville Cardinals could run the table. At least in the regular-season. The Cardinals, who defeated SEC member Kentucky 32-14 with sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater only playing just over two quarters, currently own a spot in the Top 25. That’s something none of the opponents on Louisville’s schedule can boast.
With a win over in-state foe Kentucky under its belt, Louisville has spent this week preparing for Missouri State. Then there’s North Carolina, next week.
This weekend, the Cardinals will try to avoid a letdown like the one they had last season. Head coach Charlie Strong‘s 2011 Louisville team faltered its second time out. Marshall upended Louisville 17-13 last season, just one week after the Cardinals had defeated Kentucky.
Louisville’s first test on the road will come in Miami but the Cardinals won’t be in the path of any Hurricanes. Instead, Louisville will visit Florida International University on Sept. 22. Still, FIU will present a challenge to the Cardinals. Florida International prevailed over Louisville in last season’s meeting between the two college football programs.
After beginning the season at home for back-to-back-to-back dates, Louisville will visit FIU, Southern Miss and Pittsburgh for three games in four weeks. The Cardinals will enjoy an open date during the first week of October.
Following a road game at Pittsburgh, Louisville will return home to host USF, Cincinnati and Temple.
In the final three weeks of the regular-season, Louisville will visit Syracuse, entertain Connecticut in a home finale and make a trek to New Jersey. Rutgers will host Louisville in a regular-season finale in late-November.
Louisville showcased its offensive versatility against Kentucky on Sunday. Look for Bridgewater to execute well against Missouri State. Barring injury, Bridgewater will lead Louisville throughout the season. The sophomore signal-caller set a school record for completion percentage in a game at 90.5 as he connected on 19-of-21 pass attempts for 232 yards. The accurate Bridgewater spread the football around, completing passes to nine different receivers while going 4-for-4 for 77 yards on third down plays.
Complimenting Louisville’s aerial attack, Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry both rushed for over 100 yards in the season-opening victory. The Cardinals rolled up 466 yards of total offense.
Louisville played turnover-free football in the win over Kentucky. Taking care of the football will be key each week for the Cardinals. Turnovers plagued Louisville in six losses last season.
Two seasons in as Louisville head coach, Strong is 14-12. The Cardinals have been to a pair of bowl games and appear ready for a breakout season. Louisville football fans were treated to a second straight bowl appearance and a conference championship last season. In 2011, Louisville won a share of the program’s second BIG EAST championship. Seventeen starters are back from that title team and Louisville entered the season picked to win the eight-team BIG EAST Conference.