The Louisville Cardinals and Miami Hurricanes open Atlantic Coast Conference action when #17 Miami visits Cardinal Stadium on Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC in a battle of ranked opponents. ESPN’s College GameDay will also make its third appearance to Louisville — the first since 2017.
The Cardinals opened the season with an impressive all-around performance, defeating Western Kentucky 35-21 at Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals recorded 487 yards of total offense, including three touchdown passes by Micale Cunningham, while defense limited WKU to just 248 yards of offense.
The 248 yards allowed by the defense was the fewest yards allowed against an FBS team since the 2017 season when the Cardinals limited Kent to just 150 yards in a 42-3 win over the Golden Flashes.
Wide receiver Braden Smith made his first career reception in the first quarter, a deep ball that netted 63 yards. A junior college transfer, Smith finished with four catches for 110 yards, becoming the first Cardinal to record 100 receiving yards in his Louisville debut since Deion Branch tallied 123 yards against Kentucky in the 2000 season opener.
Miami was equally as impressive in its 31-14 opening win over UAB.
After the Blazers scratched a 7-0 lead, Miami responded with 17 straight points. And after the Blazers drew back to within a field goal in the 3rd quarter, the 'Canes closed out the contest with two more touchdowns for the final 17-point margin.
Miami held the potent UAB offense to just 14 first downs and only 285 yards, while the Hurricane offense had moments of brilliance behind Houston transfer QB D'Eriq King who was making it first start in a Miami uniform. King accounted for 227 yards (144 passing and 83 rushing) with a TD pass and a rushing score. Can'Ron Harris had 134 yards rushing and a pair of scores on just 17 carries (7.9 ypc), including a 66-yard burst that answered UAB's opening score.
Overall, the Miami offense generated 495 yards and 25 first downs.
Linebacker Bradley Jennings, Jr. paced a solid defensive effort for Miami with 2 solo tackles and 4 assists, while 6 different 'Canes registered a QB hurry. Senior defensive Lineman Quincy Roche recorded the only sack, but 7 different players made the stat sheet with a tackle for loss.
The Hurricanes hold a 10-3-1 series advantage over the Cardinals, but Louisville has won three of the last four encounters.
Consensus Odds: Louisville (-2)
Congrove Computer Rankings: Louisville (-10.25)