According to Sportsline.com, the Louisville Cardinals are a three point favorite over the Miami Hurricanes on Monday. The Cardinals are the newcomer to the ACC, and they will be hosting their first ever conference game on during prime time on ESPN. That’s not the only change going on through the Louisville program.
Head coach Bobby Petrino is back at Louisville after replacing Charlie Strong. From 2003- 2006, Bobby Petrino brought the Louisville program to new heights. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Petrino compiled up a (41-9) record. In 2006, the Cardinals finished with a (12-1) record, and Louisville was ready really join the elite. However, Petrino dashed for greener pastures in the NFL.
Not only did Petrino leave Louisville at the moment of truth, his vacancy was filled by Steve Kragthorpe. During those three seasons, Louisville didn’t have one winning season, while finishing .500 once. However, Kragthorpe gave way to Charlie Strong in 2010, and the Louisville program has been on the rise ever since.
Now after stops with the Arkansas Razorbacks and Western Kentucky, Petrino has a chance to finish what he started with the Louisville program. He doesn’t have to go far to make the Cardinals a national championship contender either. The Cardinals have won 35 games in the last three seasons.
The Miami Hurricanes started the 2013 season with seven straight wins before losing to Florida State in the beginning of November. They ended the season (9-4), but capped the season off with a disappointing loss to Louisville. They’ll have their chance to exact revenge with a new cast of characters.
Both teams will be replacing starting quarterbacks in week one. Miami will go with True freshman Brad Kaaya to start. He will be making his first appearance as a Hurricane on the road in hostile territory. Louisville has tabbed Will Gardner to be Tedd Bridgewater’s replacement. Gardner is a big strong armed quarterback that has thrown eight passes in his college career. Two of those passes have gone for touchdowns.
Louisville will be without leading receiver, DeVante Parker for 6-8 weeks and his lack of presence will be sorely missed against the Hurricanes. Parker injured his foot during practice less than two weeks ago.
Defensively, the Louisville Cardinals will have their focus set on the Miami running game. The Hurricanes have Duke Johnson back in the lineup after suffering a season ending knee injury in 2013. If Johnson is able to showcase his explosiveness in the open field, the Hurricanes will have a chance for a mild upset.
Wherever Bobby Petrino has gone, his teams have progressed extremely well in the win/loss column. After a 12 win season, there’s just not much improvement to be made for the Louisville Cardinals. They are at home, representing the ACC for the first time. Miami had some great offensive games and they had some poor ones as well. The Hurricanes score nine points against Louisville in December. Let’s see how the fare to open the season.