Photo credit: University of Miami
Once again ladies and gentlemen, Louisville football plays host in a big game.
This year, the team coming to call is the old orange and green. The Miami Hurricanes have come swirling up to Louisville, looking for a big win. The Cardinals will look to do the same at home.
Both teams are ranked. Both teams have talented quarterbacks in Michale (or Malik) Cunningham for Louisville, and D’Eriq King for Miami. Also, both teams have high hopes this season with new ACC schedules due to COVID-19.
Not only will both teams fan bases be glued to the game, but the whole nation. The contest will be the only game between two ranked opponents this week. As well as having the 7:30 p.m. ET slot on ABC, Louisville also will welcome College Gameday to Louisville for the game.
As this is such a big game, it is always nice to know as much about your opponent as possible. That is why we asked our Miami writer Kevin Fielder to answer a few questions for questioning Cards fans. I thank him for his time and for answering our questions.
How has Miami rebounded from the loss of Greg Rousseau?
The transfer in of Quincey Roche, combined with Jaelan Phillips has made that defensive line group solid, despite the loss of Rousseau. Miami generated pressure against UAB and should continue to do so against Louisville.
What is Miami’s strength overall this season?
The defensive line and running back room. Their defensive line has plenty of potential NFL talent, including the aforementioned defensive ends. The defensive tackles room is strong, led by Nesta Jade Silvera.
In the running back room, Cam’Ron Harris leads the way. Harris ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns against UAB. Behind him, Jaylan Knighton and Don Chaney are highly-rated freshmen.
And their weakness?
The secondary. DJ Ivey struggled against UAB and seemed to be out of position multiple times throughout the way. When he was replaced by Te’Cory Couch, it didn’t get much better — though better success was apparent. Miami has just five scholarship cornerbacks on the roster following the transfer of Christian Williams, so it isn’t deep.
D’Eriq King was the most talked about transfer in the offseason. Did he play like it vs. UAB?
D’Eriq King didn’t throw the football well but he didn’t have to against UAB. The Hurricanes were running the ball well and King was an extension for that, averaging 6.9 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown. The throws King made were simple, and he did miss some deep throws, but it was a solid debut for Miami.
How does Manny Diaz’s offense allow for him to succeed?
Rhett Lashlee, the new offensive coordinator, makes the game fast and plays right to King’s success at the position. King is practically a second running back when he’s running and Lashlee uses that often. I expect we’ll see more (run-pass option) offense against Louisville but overall, Lashlee’s offense means that King can play to his strengths.
What part of Louisville’s team will Diaz and company be wary of the most?
Louisville has a strong stable of wide receivers, led by future NFL Draft pick Tutu Atwell, and Miami has a weak secondary. Atwell torched Miami in last year’s match-up and I fear it’ll be similar this season. Even if Atwell gets locked up, Dez Fitzpatrick and Braden Smith are strong and capable of changing a game.
What will Miami try to exploit to come out of Louisville with a win?
Miami will likely try and carry over their success running the football against Louisville. Miami ran wild against UAB and it seems like they’ll have a solid rushing attack against Louisville, who ultimately struggled against it last season. A healthy dose of Harris, Knighton, Chaney and King’s legs seems to be in the cards for Miami.
Scott Satterfield has done a great job rebuilding the Louisville program and I don’t think this game will have a similar score to 2019’s contest which Miami won, 52-27. I still expect a Miami win, but I think it’ll come down to the end. 37-34, Miami.
Will Miami stomp on the bird?
Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. And then more importantly, yes.