Lee Ann Herring-Olvedo MESPORTS SOUTH
Follow her on Twitter @Misskyus2011
LOUISVILLE,KY– If any two teams have been waiting patiently for their bus to arrive it might just be the Miami Hurricanes and the Louisville Cardinals. As the sun sets and the lights shine brightly down on S. Floyd St. at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville you can be sure that each of them is ready to bust it big and write their ticket to victory. It sure has been a hard long climb dodging lions and their journey has been far from a worthwhile rhapsody. However, when it’s all said and done I think tonight might just be when one of these ball clubs starts to paint their gridiron masterpiece.
Saturday, September 19, 2020
Kick-Off: 7:30 ET
Venue: Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
Could the “U” finally be back? Call me crazy but could Manny Diaz and the Canes finally have found their identity on the offense that is built to last? In the Canes 31-14 victory over UAB last week Miami finally was able to find consistency and success on offense by simply running the ball again and again. A big part of the Canes newfound success comes from their new OC Rhett Lashlee (Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie). Lashlee has readjusted this playbook to focus on what are the Cane’s strongest suits and runs with it literally and going with it full speed ahead. This evening’s match-up will be a good test to see where it really stands against a strong Cards team. However, the Cards better be ready to saddle up because Miami is going to be coming out of the gate hard and fast and if they keep on running the ball down the Cards enough their rushing attack could spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for Louisville.
Talk about identity crisis being something both these two ball clubs have struggled with accepting on opposites of the gridiron. I know, I know the Cards were able to hold the Hilltoppers last week 3.4 yards per carrying. Believe me, I was excited to see that they may have started to finally sift through and work out their defensive identity crisis. However, I am not sold on the idea that they have reached that milestone enough to have it resolved. Today will be a good test to see just where it stands especially with the Cane’s new offensive approach and going up against a lot of D’Eriq King and Cam’Ron Harris.
The Game Changers
The QB Dual
D’Eriq King: Arguably one of the most explosive college football transfers seems to have settled in just fine down in South Beach. The former Houston transfer seems to be just what the doctor ordered to help cure this offensive identity crisis that the Canes have battled with. Just a game in and he has made a strong impact alongside his explosive receiving core, especially in RB Cam’Ron Harris. King had an explosive debut against UAB where he passed for 144 yds and a touchdown and ran for 83 yards. This new spread offense was bringing the heat and it was in part to Kings side kick Cam’Ron Harris who rushed for 134 yards and not one but two touchdowns. This QB & RB combo is ready to set Cardinal Stadium a blazing and really will show if that Louisville Defense has the stamina to keep up.
Micale Cunningham: While the Cards may not always stand out I think its about time that they are at least given some respect for the QBs they seem to produce even amidst their team woes that have been able to make all the difference under pressure. It should be no surprise that the Cardinals bring their own secret weapon on offense with dual-threat gunslinger Micale Cunningham. Cunnigham blew the roof off the Hilltoppers passing for 343 yards and accounted for four touchdowns. You can be sure Cunningham will be ready to avenge last seasons loss on the road in Miami at home.
The Coaches Edge
Scott Satterfield and Manny Diaz may have inherited to totally different ball clubs but both can say each has there fair share of issues that they have had to work through in order to get their teams back out the quicksand they never seem to be able to escape. In this evening’s match up these two fiery coaches will have all eyes on them to see if, in fact, their “process” to rebuilding and revival has been worth it to an extent. While the plays on the field will be a strong determinant in just which teams come out on top. The play calling is going to be just as key because each coach will have to make strong counter moves to be able to get their ball club no just going but put the effort. You can bet that each of these coaches will be thinking closer not to pass on those 4th downs or Opportunites for extra points. With both of these teams trying to run the gauntlet on their new revived offense and defense you can be sure that Satterfield and Diaz better be ready to coach hard tonight. This is going to be one interesting game of chess and which one of these gentlemen can out coach the other when it comes to the micro play calling of the game?
Both these teams have a chance to make a statement in one of the most unusual college football seasons in history. Both come in with a lot to prove but which one really has the walk to back to back it up. We shall see tonight. It is no doubt they have a new aura about them and finally seem to be getting a sense of who they are where it counts after plenty of times falling on their butt. In the end, I think the difference will be the Canes bringing a stronger balanced team on offense and defense than the Cardinals have at this point. Even though the Cardinals look to be working out their defensive shortcomings and looked a hell of a lot better than they have in the past I don’t think its quite where it needs to be to hold off the run game King and company are going to bring tonight. It’s going to come down to who can quickly counteract whatever is thrown their way and not get worn down. Miami edges out the Cards tonight 41-31.
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