--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
We won’t get an accurate look at the Louisville Cardinals football team for a few weeks.
After playing the toughest team in the nation, the Louisville Cardinals play a couple games against opponents that *hopefully* aren’t up to Louisville’s level. The Cards have their home opener against a team from the FCS, and their second home game against a Western Kentucky team still finding their way with a second-year coach in Conference-USA.
The FCS team is Indiana State. The Sycamores won their first game, but finished a dismal 0-11 in 2017. Curt Mallory won his first game at Memorial Stadium last week, defeating division-II Quincy 49-0. Their offense was highly one-sided, which will be broken down in RCC’s Week two preview.
Western Kentucky was trounced by No. 5 Wisconsin in their first game. The Hilltoppers managed only a field goal against the Badgers, in the third quarter. They had a more balanced attack than Indiana State, but are still managing to find their way after head coach Jeff Brohm departed for Purdue two seasons ago.
Mike Sanford Jr managed six wins and a bowl game last season. They lost to Georgia State in the Cure Bowl.
WKU will be a good team in time. They’ll be a better test than Indiana State. But Louisville will still be favored to win by at least double-digits, especially with the game being at Cardinal Stadium.
Louisville travels to Charlottesville in Week four. While most of the nation is not high on Bronco Mendenhall and the Cavaliers, they still have played Louisville tough in the past. They bring in a new quarterback, with an ability to pass and rush.
Week four is also a close game. ESPN’s football power index only gives Louisville a 55.3 percent chance at winning. ESPN has Louisville at over 90% for their previous two games.
After Western Kentucky, the Cardinals host Florida State.
An accurate depiction for what Louisville can do will be between Western Kentucky and Virginia. WKU will look to be in the Conference USA race, and Virginia is still an ACC team.
No offense to Indiana State, but the only takeaway the nation will have is if the Cardinals blow the game.