The Cardinals Host the 9th Ranked Fighting Irish on ABC
The fans at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will see the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Louisville Cardinals when they take their seats on Monday night. Louisville hopes to begin putting its worst season since 1997 in the rear-view mirror. First-year coach Scott Satterfield and his Cardinals open the season tonight against ninth-ranked Notre Dame.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN; LINE: 18.5; O/U: 54.5
The Fighting Irish should give the Cardinals a major test on both sides of the ball. They have plenty of talent back from a team that made the College Football Playoff. They lost to eventual national champion Clemson 30-3 in the semifinals. As usual when Notre Dame plays an Elite team they get hammered. Senior quarterback Ian Book burst on the scene after taking the starting job in the fourth game last season. He completed 68.2 percent of his passes with 19 touchdown throws. Book also chipped in seven interceptions and four rushing scores.
The Irish averaged 37.2 points in their last nine regular-season contests. Irish coach Brian Kelly told reporters at a recent press conference the key to the season will be how well his team runs the ball and defends the run. Notre Dame had many key departures from at running back and on the defensive front.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Notre Dame finished 2018 with a great 12-1 regular season record and their annual shellacking by whomever they play in a Bowl Game, or College Football Playoff game. Junior Tony Jones Jr. will get some time at running back, but sophomore Jafar Armstrong appears primed to get the first shot to take on a major role in the running game. Seniors Chase Claypool and Chris Finke are Book’s top targets. Claypool had 50 catches with 639 yards, and Chris Finke had 49 catches with 571 yards last season. They expect big things from them. The defense is keyed by senior lineman Julian Okwara, who had eight sacks, and junior safety Alohi Gilman, who chipped in 94 tackles and two interceptions.
Louisville finished 2018 with a 2-10 record. They are still reeling from the Bobby Petrino fiasco and look to turn towards turning that around this season. Junior Jawon Pass completed 54 percent of his passes with eight TD’s and 12 interceptions last season. He will get the start at quarterback in the opener. Sophomore Hassan Hall had 303 rushing yards and returns in the backfield. Junior Dez Fitzpatrick had 31 catches and 422 yards and is the top receiver back. QB Malik Cunningham led the team in rushing last year with 497 yards. He has been slowed by a knee injury in preseason but could play.
The Dart Throw: Notre Dame State 34, Louisville 17
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Louisville Cardinals Trends
- Trend Over is 4-1 in Cardinals last 5 games as a home underdog. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 4|1 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 7-1 in Cardinals last 8 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 87.50% (8) 7|1 0
- Under is 4-0 in Cardinals last 4 games as a home favorite of 10.5 or greater. 100.00% (4) 0|4 0
- Over is 4-1 in Cardinals last 5 games as a favorite of 0.5-3.0. 80.00% (5) 4|1 0
Notre Dame Fighting Irish Trends
- Trend Over is 4-1 in Fighting Irish last 5 games as a road favorite. Hit % 80.00% (5) O/U 4|1 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 13-3 in Fighting Irish last 16 games as an underdog of 10.5 or greater. 81.20% (16) 7|1 0
- Under is 9-1 in Fighting Irish last 10 games as a road underdog of 10.5 or greater. 90.00% (10) 1|9 0
- Over is 7-2 in Fighting Irish last 9 games as a road favorite of 0.5-3.0. 77.80% (9) 7|2 0
Notre Dame home to New Mexico Saturday, September 14
Louisville home to Eastern Kentucky Saturday, September 7
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