--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
Tomorrow, the Louisville Cardinals face off against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in Nashville; hoping for a better showing than when the series re-started in 2018.
When the series was announced, both teams were in vastly different situations. In October 2016, the Cardinals were facing an all-time high; after defeating Florida State in the school’s first College Gameday appearance, and Lamar Jackson dominating the Heisman conversation. Western Kentucky also came off a 10-win regular season; and was coached by former Louisville quarterback Jeff Brohm.
Brohm is at Purdue, and the Hilltoppers have sputtered. Louisville had a disastrous 2018. Despite this, there’s plenty to look at for tomorrow.
Louisville and WKU have played 32 games, with the first matchup coming in 1922. The Cardinals won last year 20-17, in come-from-behind fashion that surprised most fans. Before that game, Louisville played in 1998.
Both teams played eight consecutive times from 1982-1990. Since that time, Louisville has won all 10 times.
Last year, Western led Louisville 14-3 at halftime. A pair of one-yard rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter by Dae Williams prevented the Cardinals from losing at home against the Hilltoppers for the first time since 1975.
What to expect tomorrow
The Cardinals dominated Eastern Kentucky last week, winning 42-0 and recording their first shutout since 2013. After the first two games, it appears Louisville’s in a better position than they were last year.
WKU is 1-1 this season, and is scoring nearly as many as they’ve allowed. They allowed 24.5 points a game, against Central Arkansas and Florida International. They lost to Central Arkansas in Week one at home.
Central Arkansas is an FCS team. There’s typically a clear talent divide between the two subdivisions of Division-I College Football.
Louisville will get another opportunity to practice their craft before taking on Florida State on September 21st. The Cardinals destroyed their FCS opponent, and competed with Notre Dame for three quarters.
Prediction: Louisville 35, Western Kentucky 10