Preview: Louisville Cardinals vs. Miami Hurricanes

MatthewMcGavic

No. 17 Miami Hurricanes (1-0, 0-0 ACC) at No. 18 Louisville Cardinals (1-0, 0-0 ACC)

- Kickoff: Saturday, September 19 at 7:30 p.m. EST

- Location: Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

- Weather Conditions: A mainly sunny sky. High 71F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rains 0%.

- How To Watch: ABC

- How To Listen: 840 AM / 93.9 FM

- Betting Favorite: Louisville -2.5

- All-Time Series: Miami leads 10-3-1

- Last Meeting: Miami won 52-27 on Nov. 9, 2019 (Hard Rock Stadium - Miami Gardens, Fla.)

The No. 18 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 and a career-high 343 passing yards, while the defense limited WKU to just 248 yards of offense.

After a 31-14 win in their season opener against UAB, the Hurricanes continue their second season under head coach Manny Diaz for Miami’s first visit to Louisville since 2014. In his first game as a Cane, QB D'Eriq King finished 16-for-24 for 144 passing yards and one touchdown. He rushed for 83 yards and another score, extending his own FBS record to 16 games with at least one rushing TD and one passing TD.

Game Notes

Louisville:

  • The 248 yards allowed by the defense against WKU 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 UofL debut since Deion Branch tallied 123 yards against Kentucky in the 2000 season opener.
  • Quarterback Micale Cunningham has tallied at least three passing touchdowns three times in his career, all coming in the last five games dating back to the 2019 season. He has tossed 25 touchdown passes over the last 12 contests.
  • The Cardinals limited Western Kentucky to an average of 4.3 yards per play, the best mark by a UofL defense since holding the Hilltoppers to 4.1 yards per play in 2019 — a 38-21 win in Nashville.
  • Louisville averaged 6.8 yards per play in the win, recording four plays of over 40 yards, including a 70-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick. The Cardinals ranked 12th nationally in 2019 at 6.7 yards per play.
  • Cunningham led the country in passing yards per completion in 2019 at 18.4 yards per reception. The junior averaged 18.1 yards per completion in the win over WKU, with three completions of over 40+ yards.
  • The Cardinals and Hurricanes open ACC play against one another for the second time as league foes — the first since 2014. Louisville played its first-ever ACC contest against Miami in 2014, defeating the Hurricanes 31-13 at Cardinal Stadium.
  • The Cardinals are 2-4 all-time in Louisville vs. Miami, winning the last two meetings at Cardinal Stadium. Louisville defeated the Hurricanes 31-7 in a battle of ranked opponents in 2006, and won 31-13 in 2014. The last time the two teams faced off as ranked opponents, the 12th-ranked Cardinals defeated the 17th-ranked Hurricanes 31-7 at Cardinal Stadium in 2006.
  • Louisville has played 105 games while being ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 (Top 20 prior to 1989). Louisville is 79-26-0 in those games (.752).
  • The Cardinals have played 20 games in its football history when UofL and the opponent were both ranked in the Top 25. Louisville has a record of 8-12 in those games, including 3-1 at home. The Cardinals are 3-8 in regular season games when both teams are ranked in the Top 25.
  • ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot – college football’s longest-running and most-celebrated pregame show – is making its third stop in The Derby City on Saturday in advance of the Atlantic Coast Conference opener versus Miami at Cardinal Stadium.

Miami:

  • Miami has a 9-7 record all-time in ACC openers since joining the conference in 2004, but lost last year's opener at North Carolina, 28-25, on Sept. 7, 2019.
  • Miami will be opening ACC play on the road for the sixth time in the last seven years (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020).
  • Saturday also marks UM's 22nd appearance as a participant in the game picked for the site of ESPN's College GameDay; Miami's all-time record in "GameDay" games is 13-8, including a 6-4 road record.
  • The Miami Hurricanes opened their 13th season at world-class Hard Rock Stadium on Sept. 10 vs. UAB, improving their mark to a perfect 13-0 in home openers at the facility with a 31-14 victory.
  • RB Cam'Ron Harris rushed for 134 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns - he was one carry shy of tying a career high (18) and two yards shy of tying a career mark (136). He scored on a career-long 66-yard rush in the game's first quarter, and keyed a running attack that totaled 337 yards - the second-most rush yards versus an FBS team since UM joined the ACC in 2004 and most since 2014.
  • Freshmen Jaylan Knighton (59 yards) and Donald Chaney, Jr. (52) added to Miami's ground game.
  • The active FBS sacks leader, DE Quincy Roche recorded his 27th career sack and first as a Hurricane.
  • Graduate transfer QB D'Eriq King had a prolific career with the Cougars, totaling 82 total touchdowns (50 passing, 28 rushing, three receiving, one kickoff return), 4,925 passing yards and 1,421 rushing yards in just 22 starts.
  • After a 2019 season that saw the Hurricanes finish 6-7, head coach Manny Diaz hired SMU offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee to the same post and added Miami legend Ed Reed as chief of staff.
  • Miami boasts one of the nation's top tight end tandems in juniors Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory, who were listed as co-starters on Miami's first game week depth chart heading into Saturday's game.
  • Miami's top-graded offensive lineman versus UAB, redshirt junior Corey Gaynor, was recognized as ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week on Monday. Gaynor made his 14th straight start at center vs. UAB.

Depth Charts

Here are the depth charts for both teams ahead of their primetime matchup: Louisville vs. Miami

Uniform Report

Louisville will be wearing red helmets & pants accompanied by black pants.

Team Captains

Louisville (season): Quarterback Micale Cunningham, wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick, inside linebacker CJ Avery, inside linebacker Dorian Etheridge and tight end Marshon Ford

Miami (season): Quarterback D'Eriq King, safety Amari Carter, linebacker Zach McCloud and offensive lineman Corey Gaynor

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