The Low Post News

College Football: Miami at Louisville Preview

MiamiThe first ACC matchup of the year features two teams looking to contend for an outside shot at a conference title. The Louisville Cardinals head into their first season in the Atlantic Coast Conference after losing head coach Charlie Strong to the University of Texas and star quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to the NFL. The Cards, coming off of a 12-1 season, replace Strong with former Arkansas head man Bobby Petrino, who coached Louisville from 2003-2006.

Al Golden’s Miami team is looking to improve upon a solid 2013, where they went 9-4 with an ACC record of 4-2. Although the Cardinals graduated Bridgewater, they should be plenty exciting offensively under Petrino. Talented sophomore Will Gardner will quarterback the Cardinals, looking to spread the ball out amongst a talented corps of wide receivers led by seniors DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers. 2013 featured a talented Louisville defense that was led by experience, a strong defensive line, and the defensive prowess of Charlie Strong. 2014, however, will feature an inexperienced defense amidst a transition to the 3-4 defense.

The Hurricanes will also turn to a youngster to replace a senior quarterback, with talented freshman Brad Kaaya replacing 2-year starter Stephen Morris. Miami returns all-ACC running back Duke Johnson, who could prove to be one of the best tailbacks in the country after rushing for nearly 1000 yards in 2013.

Look for the ‘Canes to focus on a fast-paced running attack centered on Johnson. Miami is “Linebacker U” once again, as The Hurricanes’ defense will be anchored by star senior linebacker Denzel “the President” Perryman.They should be a strong unit despite some inexperience. Both teams are looking to prove that they belong at the top of a talented ACC.

Keys to the Game

–          Miami

  • Johnson will be the key to the Hurricanes’ offense. If Kaaya is as good as advertised, he and Johnson will form a formidable backfield duo. Look for the Hurricane defense to try and create some turnovers against a young Louisville team.

–          Louisville

  • The Cardinals’ first game in the ACC will not be easy. They should look to turn this game into a high-scoring affair, to negate the ‘Canes strong running game. The inexperienced Cardinals will need to play beyond their years to avoid any costly mistakes.

Key Injuries:

Miami: QB Ryan Williams (ACL, return 9/20), WR Rashawn Scott (collarbone, return 9/27), S Rayshawn Jenkins (back, out for season)

Louisville: WR Devante Parker (foot, status unknown), RB Michael Dyer (quad, probable)

Line/Odds: Louisville by +3 points

Louisville and Miami met in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl with the Cardinals defeating the Hurricanes 36-9. But that was before Louisville’s move to the ACC from the American Athletic Conference, and before the departures of Strong, Bridgewater, and Morris. These will be two completely different teams than those that met last December, but poises to be an entertaining affair with all the excitement of a midseason contest.

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