thoughts on 2018 Louisville football
By Mike Gilpatrick
January 18th, 2018
January 18th, 2018
The Louisville football schedule was released yesterday. While the first actual game may be seven months away, it’s never too early to predict how the season may go.
Here’s the schedule:
Week 1: Alabama, September 1st, Orlando
Week 2: Indiana State, September 8th
Week 3: Western Kentucky, September 15th
Week 4: At Virginia, September 22nd,
Week 5: Florida State, September 29th
Week 6: Georgia Tech, October 5th
Week 7: At Boston College, October 13th
Week 8: Bye
Week 9: Wake Forest, October 27th
Week 10: At Clemson, November 3rd
Week 11: At Syracuse, November 9th
Week 12: NC State, November 17th
Week 13: Kentucky, November 24th
Keep in mind that these are my *very* early predictions. They’ll change as we get closer to the season. There’s not a final roster. There’s not even a roster at all for 2018. The off-season could bring about a ton of changes.
With that disclaimer, Louisville should at the very least win eight games. They could win as many as 10. I think the two definite losses are against Alabama, and Clemson.
If Lamar Jackson was under center, I think the Cards would keep it close in Death Valley. But, Jawon Pass, as good as he is; is still green. He barely had playing time last year; only coming into games that weren’t close. In the six games he entered, he completed 23 passes for 238 yards and 2 touchdowns, while rushing 13 attempts for 62 yards and a score.
It’s not that large of a sample size, but Pass was a four-star prospect by all major scouting sites, and was a US Army All-American. He has size, at 6-4, 220; but will need time against real teams to get used to reading opposing defenses and making good decisions. By the end of the season, I believe he’ll have it together.
But, Week one, it’ll be the opposite.
Alabama is the toughest opponent Louisville will face. There’s a reason Nick Saban has seven national titles since 2008. The Crimson Tide only have three losses since 2015. They had the best defense in 2017. Their offensive line is huge, Louisville’s defensive front can only hope they slip up. Vegas has the line at like 26 points.
It’s not going to go well.
After that, Louisville may win seven straight. Indiana State should be a cupcake win. While Western Kentucky is decent, Conference-USA isn’t the same level as the ACC. Louisville defeated Virginia the past few years. The toughest game in the stretch will be against Florida State.
The core of the Seminole team will be the same, but they were a victim of the coaching carousel. Jimbo Fisher went to Texas A&M, and their new coach may need some time to settle into his old team. That coach, Willie Taggart, was a grad of Western Kentucky, and a former head coach of the Hilltoppers.
After FSU, Louisville will get revenge against Boston College. I think the defense settled in under Peter Sirmon the latter part of the season. Louisville also has a couple games against Wake Forest and NC State that were losses from 2017, that the team may get revenge against.
Louisville also travels to Clemson, who will again be tough. If Pass is ready, it may be a closer game.
Regardless, it should be a fun season. It’s a new era in Louisville football, and seeing how Pass performs will be interesting.