It appears Louisville is going to be joining the ACC early. At least in football that is.
The Cardinals will travel to Orlando for the Russell Athletic Bowl to face off against the Miami Hurricanes. It has been widely speculated that the Louisville may open the 2014 season with the Canes’ as well. Other opening opponent’s have also been tossed around as well, but nevertheless, the Canes are a firm test for the Cardinals. Louisville was at times, mystifying during the 2013 Louisville season. Still 11-1, the Russell Athletic Bowl will provide a barometer for Louisville as the Cardinals join the ACC in 2014. It’s also a test that the Cardinals should pass.
Here is a few quick thoughts on the match-up that’s nearly three weeks away.
Teddy Bridgewater Travels Home:
It screams ironic doesn’t it? That Teddy Bridgewater could potentially end his collegiate career in Florida against the school he was committed to, and inside a stadium that he played for a 6-A Championship in at Miami Northwestern. Now Bridgewater returns, having risen from local to now NATIONAL prominence and will give the Florida area an up-close and potentially final look at his development since leaving for Louisville.
The last time Teddy Bridgewater played in this specific stadium – the Citrus Bowl – he was playing for a Championship. It was the 2008 6-A High School Florida Championship in Bridgewater’s Sophomore season. Northwestern High School along with QB Teddy Bridgewater, WR Eli Rogers, WR Michalee Harris and RB Corvin Lamb – all Cardinals now – lost to Seminole High School. High School Sophomore Bridgewater connected for a 72-yard TD pass to Michalee Harris on the second playoff game, threw for two more and ran for one, while Miami Northwestern surrendered a 21-point lead in the loss.
Charles Gaines v Stacey Coley
Instantly when I saw that Louisville would get Miami, this was one of the first match-ups that popped into my head. Why? Because these are two of the most exciting players on each respective team.
I think it’s fair to say that Gaines has developed into the best true corner on the Louisville Football team. He has next level speed and has recorded an interception in three consecutive games.
Stacy Coley, is an electrifying Freshman WR for Miami. It didn’t take long for Coley to make a impact. In his third game of the season, he had 4 receptions for 96 yards. Coley doesn’t just present a threat in the passing game though. He’s scored on a punt, reception, run and kickoff this season. Charles Gaines? He’s scored on an interception, blocked punt, and a kickoff return.
Two play-makers. Two impact players. This one is going to be fun.
The Clint Hurtt Return
Over 30 players or school officials are from the Miami Metro Area. None of them will receive as much attention as one Defensive Line Coach for the Louisville Cardinals.
Clint Hurtt received a show-clause penalty for serving a primary role in the recent – and well publicized – NCAA violations by the Miami Hurricanes. Miami lost some scholarships and went through a period of which their fans would rather forget.
You can bet some will take it personal. You can bet some will be trying to exact revenge – warranted or not – on Hurtt in this large format. It’s sure to be a storyline to watch.
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