LOUISVILLE, Ky. - After falling to Virginia in heartbreaking fashion last weekend, Louisville players, coaches and fans alike are eager to get that bad taste out of their mouths.
Unfortunately, that bad taste will have to linger for a little while longer, as the Cardinals (3-3, 1-2 ACC) are heading into their lone bye week of the season. Louisville's next game will come Saturday, Oct. 23, when they host Boston College at Cardinal Stadium.
While the Cardinals are not in action today, there are still plenty of games around college football involving future and past Louisville opponents - giving fans both a glimpse into the future of what to expect, and perhaps a team to pull for in hopes of boosting Louisville's strength of schedule.
Here are a few games Louisville fans should keep tabs on this weekend:
UCF at No. 3 Cincinnati
Channel: ABC at 12:00 p.m. EST
Future Date/Past Result: Louisville defeated UCF 42-35 on Friday, Sept. 17
UCF hasn't looked the same since losing quarterback Dillon Gabriel for the year on the final play of the game against Louisville, as they proceeded to get upset by Navy and barely squeak by East Carolina at home. Meanwhile, Cincinnati could very well make history as the first Group of Five team to crack the College Football Playoff, and quarterback Desmond Ridder is a legitimate Heisman candidate.
Louisville really needs the Knights to right the ship in order to look better themselves. Will it come against the Bearcats? Probably not, but stranger things have happened.
Duke at Virginia
Channel: ESPN3 at 12:30 p.m. EST
Future Date/Past Result: Louisville travels to Duke on Thursday, Nov. 18; Virginia defeated Louisville 34-33 on Saturday, Oct. 9.
I'm sure the last thing Louisville fans want to do is watch the team that just stormed back to beat them, but this will be one to watch and see how the Cavaliers respond. Just one of Virginia's three wins on the season was by more than one score, and Duke heads to Charlottesville as a double-digit underdog. Plus, this could (should) be a game that gives Louisville fans confidence that they will actually beat Duke when they travel to Durham later this year.
No. 22 NC State at Boston College
Channel: ACC Network at 7:30 p.m. EST
Future Date/Past Result: Louisville travels to NC State on Saturday, Oct. 30; Boston College travels to Louisville on Saturday, Oct. 23.
Boston College might be 5-1, but the biggest knock against them is they haven't won any quality games. Their best win is against a 3-3 Missouri team that required overtime, but they did almost pull off the upset special against Clemson. We'll get to see what this Eagles team is made of, when they host No. 22 NC State - one of just two ranked ACC teams.
Wolfpack quarterback Devin Leary is playing very well, running back duo Zonovan Knight and Ricky Person has been impressive, and that defense has been lights out. This won't be an easy task for an Eagles team already missing QB Phill Jurkovec for the season.
No. 13 Ole Miss at Tennessee
Channel: SEC Network at 3:30 p.m. EST
Future Date/Past Result: Ole Miss defeated Louisville 43-24 on Monday, Sept. 6.
After getting thoroughly humbled by Alabama, the Lane Train was able to get back on the tracks with a thrilling win against a really good Arkansas squad. Louisville fans obviously want Ole Miss to continue marching onwards, but the Rebels don't have an easy task this weekend.
Tennessee looks solid under first-year head coach Josh Heupel, and this will be Lane Kiffin's first visit back to Neyland Stadium since bolting the Vols for USC. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral and that offense still look sharp, but this could be an emotional trap game is there ever was one.
Pitt at Virginia Tech
Channel: ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. EST
Future Date: Neither team plays Louisville in 2021.
Full disclosure: this game has zero ties to Louisville's schedule. But... this will be a very interesting game to watch within the realm of the ACC.
At the halfway point of the season, Pitt sits atop the wild and wacky Coastal Division - with Virginia Tech right behind them. Panthers QB Kenny Pickett might be the hottest player in the conference right now, but escaping Lane Stadium with a victory is never easy. Considering the Hokies just suffered a home loss to Notre Dame, and are struggling to find their identity, they will be certainly looking to make a statement against Pitt.
No. 11 Kentucky at No. 1 Georgia
Channel: CBS at 3:30 p.m. EST
Future Date: Kentucky travels to Louisville on Saturday, Nov. 27
Not only is this the marquee matchup of the weekend, but it's also one that Louisville fans will be paying very close attention to.
If you like offense, you might want to skip on this fame - or at least hate watch it. The Wildcats and Bulldogs boast two of the best defenses in the country, with Georgia at No. 1 in total defense and Kentucky at No. 18. Over on offense, it's not as smooth sailing. UGA is embroiled with quarterback controversy between JT Daniels and Stetson Bennett, and Kentucky can't seem to stop turning the ball over.
Yet here we are, just a few AP votes away from a top ten matchup between undefeated teams. It's almost silly how big of a favorite that Georgia is (-21.5), but if Kentucky can cover the spread, or perhaps more, a lot could be on the line for the Governor's Cup between the Cards and Cats.
(Photo of Louisville Players: Cindy Rice Shelton - Louisville Report)
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