Game Preview: Cards v Panthers

Cardinal Authority previews Louisville's game at FIU on Saturday afternoon.

Game Details

Where: FIU Stadium, Miami, Fla.
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: 840 WHAS
Weather: Low 80s, 60% thunderstorms
Surface: Field Turf

The Backdrop

Saturday's game is the fourth meeting between the two programs, with Louisville holding a 2-1 edge in the series. After upsetting the Cardinals 24-17 in 2011, FIU has dropped the last two, including falling last season 72-0.

Facing the Panthers should be the perfect remedy for the Cardinals as they attempt to rebound following the 23-21 loss at Virginia last weekend. Despite FIU hanging close in a home loss to Pittsburgh last Saturday, U of L enters the game as more than a three touchdown favorite.

If the Panthers have a strength it is on defense, where they rank among the among the nation's top 20 in total defense, turnover margin and sacks. They're also dangerous on kick returns, averaging 39 yards per, which ranks third in the NCAA.

Statistical Comparison

U of L
Total Offense
74 407.0 117 285.3
Passing Offense
74 229.0 97 202.7
Passing Efficiency
80 128.9 96 121.2
Rushing Offense
54 178.0 114 82.7
Scoring Offense
36 39.3 92 23.7
First Downs
47 69 97 48
Third Downs
49 0.458 124 0.222
Rushing Defense
8 75.0 76 167.7
Pass Defense
35 198.7 71 123.3
Pass Eff. Defense
39 113.9 21 104.5
Total Defense
11 273.7 16 291.0
Net Punting
95 35.07 101 34.25
Kickoff Returns
12 26.50 3 39.0
Turnover Margin
49 0.33 8 1,67
Sacks 62 2.00 13 3.67
Tackles For Loss
85 6.33 47 6.3
Sacks Allowed
98 2.67 117


**Louisville is currently riding a consecutive game scoring streak that spans 175 games dating back to the 2000 season. The streak ranks as the third longest in the ACC behind Virginia Tech (247) and Georgia Tech (214)

**Head coach Bobby Petrino has been extremely successful at home, but his teams have been just as productive on the road. Petrino owns a 17-7 record on the road during his tenure with the Cardinals and has won seven of his last nine road contests after the 23-21 loss to Virginia on Saturday. He was 9-9 at Arkansas and Western Kentucky on the road.

**Head coach Bobby Petrino hasn’t lost many games during his collegiate coaching career, but even more impressive is that his teams typically don’t lose two games in a row. Petrino has only lost consecutive games seven times during his career, and just once at Louisville. The last time a Petrino-coached squad lost two games in a row was last year at Western Kentucky, when the Hilltoppers fell to Troy and Louisiana-Lafayette.

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.

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.

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