Just when many University of Louisville fans were ready to avert their eyes from the current football season, UofL came within six points of upsetting Notre Dame last Saturday. On the road, South Bend, the big house. The undefeated and fourth-ranked Irish were ready to go down.
Still a disappointing outcome, but the five-point loss may have had the effect of the breathing new life into Louisville’s 2020 season. The much-maligned UofL defense limiting a team that was averaging more than 40 points per game to only one touchdown. Finally, the defense showing signs of life, showing it is capable of better things.
The next opportunity, this Saturday at noon at Cardinal Stadium, is against another legendary college football foe. Imagine one’s surprise for a Louisville team with a 1-4 won-lost record to be favored over Florida State. The oddsmakers are almost unanimous that the Cardinals can handle FSU. The optimism could well be brief and fleeting but the NCAAF odds here have Louisville as a 4.5-point favorite over the Seminoles.
Another crack at Florida State, a program that had its way for more than 50 years before a Lamar Jackson-led UofL team manhandled the Seminoles 66-20 in 2016, easily their worst loss ever. Since then, however, Florida State has won three straight games against Louisville. That was then, this is now, the betting pros again showing some respect for UofL.
“We talked this last week about getting more pressure on quarterbacks, so I think the encouraging play and those things go hand in hand,” said Louisville Coach Scott Satterfield. “With getting more pressure; the throw is more rushed, and the corners are able to contest on the back end. Therefore, not giving up those big plays was absolutely encouraging.”
Please let it be so. Maybe the oddsmakers are comparing how both teams fared again Notre Dame. The Irish handled the Seminoles fairly easily 42-26 while barely getting past Louisville 12-7. Maybe they’re assuming there’s no way the Cardinals are that bad offensively. These folks don’t take the game lightly so maybe, just maybe, they know something.
Louisville fans will be counting on that Saturday.