Game Preview: Cards v Racers

Cardinal Authority provides a preview of tonight's contest between Louisville and Murray State

GAME DAY SCHEDULE

CardMarch: 4:45pm
Gates Open: 5:30pm
Happy Hour: 5:30 pm (Norton Terrace)
Pregame: 6:45 pm
Kickoff: 7:00 pm

THE SETTING

The schedule couldn't have been scripted much better. Following an emotional and key ACC victory over Miami just five days ago, the 25th-ranked University of Louisville Cardinals return to Papa John's Cardinal Stadium to face FCS in-state foe Murray State.

The usual expectation when a nationally-ranked FBS opponent squares off against an FCS squad is that the outcome is never in doubt. While there may be an occasional upset or a close contest, the normal result is an easy double-digit win, allowing more players on the depth chart to receive valuable game experience.

Murray State (1-0) is coming off a 73-26 rout of Division III opponent Union College last Saturday, which saw the Racers gain over 500 yards of offense, including 298 on the ground. Murray State will utilize a no-huddle offense and has multiple athletes that can make a big play on the ground or air.

With a short week to prepare, expect U of L head coach Bobby Petrino to utilize his depth chart throughout the contest. The fresh legs will allow the Cardinals to build a quick lead and pull away with ease.

SERIES HISTORY

The two programs haven't played much over the years, with Louisville holding a 12-6 lead in the all-time series. U of L is 9-4 against the Racers in Louisville.

Louisville has won four-straight meetings, taking victories in 1987, 1990, 2007, and 2011. In the two most recent meetings, the Cards handled the Racers 21-9 in 2011 and 73-10 in 2007. Louisville has never faced Murray State with Bobby Petrino as the Cardinals’ head coach.

NOTEWORTHY

**U of L is expected to be without the services of senior wide receiver DeVante Parker (broken toe) and senior running back Michael Dyer (thigh contusion).

**With the 31-13 win over Miami on Monday night, head coach Bobby Petrino is 23-1 all-time at home in his five seasons as head coach. Louisville won a school record 18 straight games at home during Petrino’s first stint at Louisville. During his 24 home games, the Cardinals scored 40 or more points 16 times, including 70 in a win over Cincinnati in 2004.

**Former Teammates....

  Louisville’s Pat Thomas (QB) and Murray State’s St. Pierre Anilus (LB) both helped lead Georgia Military College to an 11-1 record in 2013.

  Cardinal redshirt freshman Chris Miele (WR) and Racer sophomore Thomas Chapman (DT) both played for Oliver Lucas at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville.

  Murray State junior Jalen Harrington (WR) is a former Louisville Cardinal. Harrington spent two seasons at Louisville, redshirting in 2011 and helping Louisville to an 11-2 record in 2012. A wide receiver for the Racers, Harrington played tight end and linebacker at UofL, making seven tackles in 2012 and catching a pass in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

**Saturday’s game marks the Cardinals’ 51st meeting against an opponent from the Ohio Valley Conference. Louisville owns a 32-17-1 mark against the league’s current nine-team configuration. The Cardinals most recently faced an OVC opponent in 2013, when they defeated Eastern Kentucky 44-7 on Sept. 7. Before that, Louisville hosted, and defeated, Eastern Kentucky in 2010, Murray State in 2011 and 2007, and Tennesse Tech in 2008.

PREDICTIONS

The Cardinal Authority staff, publisher Jody Demling, senior writer Michael McCammon and intern Evan Stewart all pick the Cardinals to handle the Racers fairly easily. The trio selected Louisville to defeat Murray State by an average score of 56-10.

Social Updates

Cardinal Authority's Jody Demling and Michael McCammon will provide updates before, during and after the game via the Cardinal Authority forums and social media.

Beginning near kickoff, Cardinal Authority will host a live game thread in the Insiders forum, which is located here. Fans are encouraged to participate in the discussion. Additionally, there is a game thread in the Cardinal Authority football forum, The CardMarch, located here.

You can also keep up the action via the Cardinal Authority Social Stream, which can be accessed here.

Follow publisher Jody Demling on Twitter at @jdemling and senior writer Michael McCammon at @mcmichael20.

Also, be sure to follow Cardinal Authority on Instagram by clicking here.


Cardinal Authority Top Stories