KEYS TO THE GAME
On the road for the first time and with so many players from the area, the biggest concern for the Louisville coaching staff is focus.
The Cardinals have stressed a "business-like" attitude and that will be critical against a team that beat the Cardinals at home last season.
Offensively, Teddy Bridgewater is one of the hottest quarterbacks in the country and is expected to continue throwing the ball all over the field and to a large number of receivers. He's hit 12 receivers already this season.
The Cardinals are averaging 35.3 points a game, while Bridgewater is hitting 81.8 percent of his passes. U of L is averaging 177.7 yards rushing a game.
The U of L defense has faced three up-tempo, no-huddle offenses and expects to see more of it. The Cardinals must control the line of scrimmage and expect to see the front four try to get more pressure on FIU.
Florida International (1-2)
Florida International comes into the game off a 33-20 loss at Central Florida. But the Panthers did outscore UCF 20-10 in the second half.
Darian Mallary leads the Panthers with 164 yards rushing and five touchdowns, while Kedrick Rhodes had rushed for 225 yards.
Quarterback Jake Medlock ahs completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 711 yards and four TDs, while three receivers have over 100 yards.
Three seniors are tops on the defense – Johnathan Cyprien, Winston Fraser and Jordan Hunt. They are the leading tacklers. Tourek Williams has 4.5 tackles for a loss for the Panthers.
The two teams have met only once before this season.
Florida International won last year's game – the first meeting between the school's 24-17 at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium/
The two schools are also playing this season in basketball.
**The Cardinals are 34-25 all-time against teams from the Sun Belt Conference.
**Louisville is 28-12 in non-conference action since joining the BIG EAST in 2005.
**Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater, Michaelee Harris, Corvin Lamb, Jermaine Reve and Eli Rogers all attended Northwestern High School in Miami with FIU's Kenneth Dillard, E.J. Hilliard, Dominique Rhymes, Billy Rolle, Donald Senat, Clinton Taylor and Wayne Times.
**The Cardinals' Gerod Holliman and Andrew Johnson attended Miami South- ridge High School as did the Panthers' Jeremiah McKinnon.?
**Louisville's Lamar Atkins and Keith Brown attended Miami Norland as did FIU's Tourek Williams.
**FIU, in its 11th season playing football and eighth at the FBS level, are playing a school, Louisville, whose program dates back to 1912. Aside from UCF (1979 began, 1996 FBS), FIU's first two opponents, Duke and Akron, had 212 collective years playing college football (Duke, 100; Akron 112).
**The Panthers scored 21 points in the first half of last year's win at U of L.
**FIU doesn't have any players on its roster from Kentucky.
KEY INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
**QB Teddy Bridgewater (72 of 88 passing, 855 yards, 5 TDs).
**RB Senorise Perry (51 rushes, 266 yards, 3 TDs).
**RB Jeremy Wright (52 rushes, 262 yards, 4 TDs).
**WR Damian Copeland (10 catches, 129 yards).
**S Calvin Pryor (23 tackles, 1 interception).
**QB Jake Medlock (59 of 103 passing, 711 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs).
**RB Kedrick Rhodes (47 rushes, 225 yards, 1 TDs).
**WR Wayne Times (17 catches, 182 yards).
WHO WILL GET THE WIN
LOUISVILLE WINS IF . . .
The Miami-area high school players can control their emotions, take it as a business trip and just execute the game plan. The Cardinals should win the game and should be able to move the ball a lot on the Panthers.
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL WINS IF . . .
One could be the weather. There's a chance for rain and they could hamper Bridgewater's game, plus the Panthers have to hope the Cardinals come in on the road for the first time and don't take the game too serious.
U of L offensive coordinator Shawn Watson on spreading ball around to wide receivers: "That's the way we are built now all of those guys have a chance to get the ball. It's just whatever way the defense plays us. They have to contend with all of them. I don't know who you try and take out."
JODY DEMLING'S PICK
Louisville 38, Florida International 14
ENJOY THE GAME!