Staff Prediction: Louisville
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, September 2, 2019
Charlotte Edmonds – Managing Editor
It’s hard to believe the Cardinals are only three years removed from their Heisman Trophy-winning season considering the 2-10 record they posted this last season. Now as they prepare to host Notre Dame on Monday, the Cardinals will be put to the test to see which team shows up. With head coach Scott Satterfield making his first season opening appearance with Louisville, it’ll be interesting to see what a summer of offseason preparation can do for this program. While they may be able to build on some pieces and inch closer to their former glory, Louisville’s defense has too far to go and Notre Dame’s offense is too experienced to not walk away with a win. The Irish have a tendency to play down to their competition early in the season so this certainly shouldn’t be a game they overlook, but if they take care of business and follow their routes there’s no reason they don’t leave victorious.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 51, Louisville 17
Connor Mulvena – Sports Editor
The excitement of this Irish squad to get out there against real competition, especially among the defense, was palpable in this week’s press conferences. After a loss to Clemson which had many people claiming Notre Dame shouldn’t have been in the playoff in the first place, you’d have to imagine the team is ready for a statement victory on the road against a team like Louisville. The Cardinals struggled immensely on defense last year, and with Lamar Jackson, among many other key playmakers, gone to the NFL, and a new coaching staff, Louisville’s program is a work in progress right now. Plus, Cardinal Stadium isn’t necessarily the toughest place to play on the road. I expect the Irish to come out high energy. I expect them to let it loose in the air, and I expect senior quarterback Ian Book to put on a show in the first half. As for the defense, the Irish should be just fine.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Louisville 10
Hayden Adams – Associate Sports Editor
Louisville went 9-4 when Lamar Jackson won the Heisman as a junior, followed by an 8-5 campaign his senior year. A team doesn’t simply fall from 8-5 to 2-10 because they lost their best player, unless there is deep-seeded dysfunction within the program. Getting rid of Bobby Petrino and his staff and replacing them with Scott Satterfield is a step in the right direction. That said, it’s going to take a while for Louisville to even get close to where they used to be.
Notre Dame has experienced and talented players throughout the offense and defense, especially on the o-line, in the secondary and at defensive end. Louisville was abysmal last year in rushing defense and protecting the quarterback, not to mention this is the first game of their first year learning a new system. If Notre Dame gets off to a hot start, this game could get ugly. However, plan for the Irish to work through some kinks on both sides of the ball and, since Louisville has a solid kicker in Blanton Creque, for Louisville to get some points through the uprights, plus a garbage-time score.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 42, Louisville 20
Ellen Geyer – Sports Writer
After an embarrassing end to the 2018 season, Notre Dame will come out of the locker room ready to play tonight. A hot start from Ian Book and his offensive corp will be backed by defensive intensity from pre-season AP All-American Julian Okwara. Jon Doerer will have the chance to prove himself on special teams with a field goal or two, but a third quarter slump will let Louisville return the favor. Irish 38, Cardinals 6.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Louisville 6.
Jack Concannon- Sports Writer
I like the Irish offense to put up points on the Louisville defense. This is a defense that was gashed for 485 yards per game last year, near the bottom of all of FBS. On the flip side, I have my concerns about the Irish defense. They’re making replacements at defensive tackle and several linebacker spots. As the Irish cycle through several potential replacements, I expect the defense to show some week 1 growing pains. A solid win for the Irish, but perhaps not quite by the margin some expect.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 38, Louisville 21