Whatever you might say about Louisville fans, it’s clear that they made the proper burnt offerings and sang the appropriate paens. A basketball game on Tuesday, followed by a football game coming off of a big win and a bye week, with a volleyball match in the middle. All in Miami, Florida. Ding, ding, ding! Yes, please. After UofL men’s basketball demolished the Hurricanes on Tuesday, Chris Mack was asked about his opinion of the traveling support from Card Nation. His joking response? “We did our part….”

READ: Blankenbaker’s Stat Comparison

Now it falls to Scott Satterfield, Louisville football, and the sea of red to fill Hard Rock Stadium and grab a win to earn bowl eligibility.

Game Info:

Louisville: 5-3 Overall / 3-2 ACC
Miami: 5-4 Overall / 3-3 ACC

DATE: Saturday 9 Nov 2019
TIME: 3:30 p.m. EST
LOCATION: Hard Rock Stadium
(Miami Gardens, FL)
Tailgate – 80°F Mostly cloudy
Chance of scattered showers
Breezy w/ wind gusts up to 25 mph
At Kickoff – 78°F Mostly cloudy
Chance of scattered showers
Breezy w/ wind gusts up to 25 mph
End Of Game – 76°F Partly cloudy
Slight chance of widely scattered showers
Breezy w/ wind gusts up to 25 mph

READ: The Night That Changed Louisville Football

Hurricane Force Defense

After scoring exhibitions against the likes of Florida State and Boston College, the Cardinals will face the third of their ACC top five defenses in consecutive games. The Miami turnover chain has been mocked, praised, and spawned countless imitations (including a brief attempt at Louisville) but it’s assuredly nothing to be trifled with. It has, however, spawned one bit of bad news for the Hurricanes. Against FSU, R-So. safety Bubba Bolden celebrated a bit too hard with fellow safety Gurvan Hall after a pick and came down awkwardly on an ankle. He got the chain but he’s out for the season, thus depriving Miami of some of its defensive prowess.

Led by defensive end Greg Rousseau, it’s no surprise that the Hurricane’s defense is resurgent under former defensive coordinator and first year head coach Manny Diaz. Holding opponents on average to under 20 points a game, the ‘Canes have managed to turn nearly every contest into a slugfest. Apparently those knockout blows apply equally to opponent coaches, with the win against FSU being the final nail in Willie Taggart’s coffin.

Throwing Into The Wind

Jarren Williams will likely return for the Hurricanes at QB, having started against FSU after missing most of three games due to injury. Concern had been raised about his ability to throw the deep ball but the performance against the Seminoles has drawn doubt to that assessment. The ‘Canes offensive line play has been much improved of late, and will present a challenge for the Louisville defense. While not any offensive juggernaut by any standard, Miami has found ways to eek out enough points to get the wins.

The energy will be high at Hard Rock Stadium (home of the Dolphins) for Miami’s senior night. A sizable senior class will take the field with just as much on the line as the Cardinals. Louisville will need to see another great performance from Javian Hawkins and Micale Cunningham to top Miami’s stout defense. Protection of the ball will, of course, be crucial. And while initially leaving much to be desired, the Louisville defense is on the rise and the more thunder they steal from the turnover chain, the better.

Hard Rock The Hurricanes

And so Louisville sits on the precipice. In a season where most predictions gave the Cardinals two or three wins maximum, Scott Satterfield and company have led the Cardinals to within striking distance of a bowl. The biggest remaining question is who will be the QB and when. We’ll see Micale Cunningham in at the start with no doubt, but whether rotation with Evan Conley will still be a major or minor factor remains to be seen.

Defensively the Cards have come on strong, even if the turnover gloves were ditched. Sure, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but on Saturday it will be better to imitate Miami’s defensive prowess without the accompanying pomp. With the improved performances of late, we’ll hopefully see a low scoring game with the Cardinals eeking out the win.

Card Nation will travel, and Miami will be painted red regardless of the outcome on the field. As Mark Blankenbaker has written, the Orange Bowl in 2004 was the night that changed Louisville’s trajectory. Get a win on Saturday, and that trajectory will once again be pointed firmly upwards.

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