Image Credit: Louisville Athletics

 

The Cardinals completed one of the greatest one-season turnarounds in college football history in 2019. They swung 6 games to the positive side, going from 2-10 to 8-5. The Cards put the cherry on top with a comfortable Music City bowl victory over Mississippi State. The future looks bright under head coach Satterfield, and since we here at Fifth Quarter eat, sleep, and live college football, what better way to spend a winter’s day than to look towards next season?

2020 Roster Prediction:

Louisville loses some key members in 2020. Gone is offensive linemen Mekhi Becton, Tyler Heycraft, and T.J. McCoy. Gone are receivers Seth Dawkins and other depth pieces, as well as two tight ends. The defense loses multiple linemen, secondary, and linebackers to graduation.  The special teams for the Cards takes the biggest hit of all, losing both kicker Blanton Creque and punter Mason King.

Louisville does keep many key players, and has brought in more young talent to contribute. Coming back are Cunningham, Hawkins, Atwell, and most of the offensive line. The defense boasts Ethridge, Yeast, Montgomery, Goldwire, and brings in contributors like Peterson, Boykin, and Diaby. So after taking into account all the information present before the new year, and before the last 4 scholarships in the 2020 class are spoken for, here is the starting lineup I believe we will see come the season opener:

OFFENSE:

DEFENSE:

2020 Win/Loss Prediction:

Louisville football will play two of college football’s preeminent programs in 2020, as they travel to Clemson and Notre Dame. They will also travel to Boston College, Syracuse, and Virginia. Louisville’s home schedule is headlined by Florida State and Virginia Tech. They will also host NC State, and Wake Forest, as well as non-conference opponents Western Kentucky, Murray State, and Kentucky.

With the ACC projected to be better overall, I see Louisville going somewhere between 10-2 and 9-3. Clemson loses a lot from their offensive line, but Clemson restocks instead of rebuilds. Notre Dame still will be led by quarterback Ian Book, and the South Bend home atmosphere will be an Irish advantage. Along with what should be improved VT and FSU teams coming to town, it’s possible Louisville drops a conference game at home.

3 Bold Predictions for 2020:

  1. Louisville will make the Orange Bowl. Yes, bowl selection is a whole year away. Yes, it is extremely early to guess. But what other teams are head and shoulders better than Louisville in the ACC besides Clemson? The Tigers will likely be playoff contenders, so the second-best ACC team will be selected to spend their New Year in Miami. With Louisville bringing back much of its experience and talent, who’s to say they couldn’t be the team to go? They already finished second in their division and beat the ACC team who earned that berth this year.
  2. Louisville will have a first-round draft pick. Who? Tutu Atwell. His impressive speed has been head-turning the past few seasons. With his growth into the most targeted Cardinal receiver, many teams could show interest in the speedster next draft class.
  3. Louisville will have several first team all-conference players. With the emergence of stars such as Javian Hawkins, Tutu Atwell, Micale Cunningham, and multiple players on the defense, I expect the Cards to have at least 4 players on the 1st-Team All-ACC team. This doesn’t include Cunningham, who I project to be 2nd-Team. You just can’t beat out Trevor Lawrence, and I believe Wake’s Jamie Newman will seek a transfer.

 

Let us know in the comments: What are your way-too-early predictions for this Louisville team?