Though most fans have already dismissed this game as yet another sleep walk on the road to Nov. 2, this is a rivalry game, and in rivalry games the better team always wins (we were never too good at reciting cliches). Though the last two games in the series have been decisively one-sided, we're still just three years removed from one of the best Louisville football games in recent memory (a 43-40 win in the snow at Nippert), and just four years removed from UC beating us at home.
Nevermind that it's also the team's conference opener, a game in which they didn't fare too well (against another seemingly inferior foe) a year ago.
If Louisville truly wants to be as elite as they say they do, then the time has come for the boys in red and white to realize that when you're undefeated in the middle of October, every single game becomes the biggest one of your life and you'd better play as such. All it takes is one, and it doesn't matter who.
Word is that Mark Dantonio handed each Bearcat a nail before the season started and told them that if they beat Louisville, he'd coat all the nails in gold and give them to each player as a keepsake. Not sure how that isn't some sort of violation, but the fact remains that this is the game UC has had circled on their calendar since day one. Just becuase Louisville may not be treating this game as a serious rivalry, doesn't mean Cincinnati isn't.
As far as Brohm playing, there's really nothing for us to say as far as far as whether or not we'd like to see him out there, because quite frankly we have no idea what the status of his thumb is. Sure we'd love to see him out there, but we'd also like to see Mike Bush in the backfield with him, doesn't mean it's what's best for all parties concerned. We haven't the slightest idea as to how Brian feels throwing a football right now, if he says he wants to play a couple series' and BP signs off on it, then we're all for it.
Should be a highly interesting day of football, and one that could be very telling as far as how the next two or three weeks are going to play out.
To be completely honest, we just plain don't like Cincinnati, and even if they were playing us 3 on 11, we'd still want to win, and we'd still want to win by a lot.
Site: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium; Louisville, KY
Favorite: Louisville by 26 1/2
Series: Cincinnati leads 26-18-1
Last Four Meetings:
Cincinnati 24, Louisville 14 (H)
Louisville 43, Cincinnati 40 (A)
Louisville 70, Cincinnati 7 (H)
Louisville 46, Cincinnati 22 (A)
--Louisville has won 8 of the last 9 meetings.
--Louisville's 14 game home winning streak is second best in the country, behind only USC (29).
--Louisville leads the nation in scoring and total offense. The Cardinals also rank fifth nationally in rush defense and second in rushing touchdowns.
--Cincinnati quarterback Dustin Grutza has completed 69 percent of his passes in the last four games since being named the starter. He passed for a season-high 230 yards and led the Bearcats with 72 rushing yards against Akron last week.
Game will be a success if: We win by at least three scores. Stripling and Smith rush for at least 165 yards combined. Anthony Allen gets some early touches and looks composed. Nate Harris gets involved in the game. Special teams don't look ridiculously awful. Defense allows no more than one play of 30-yards or more. Front seven put pressure on Grutza and don't let him get in any type of a rhythm. Team comes out with some fire and maintains the intensity until the game is out of reach.
Game will be a horrible horrible failure if: The unthinkable. Team looks like they expect to win on talent alone again. Running game looks even worse than it did last Friday. Rod Council comes back, but doesn't look 100%. Special teams allow a touchdown or turn the ball over. Will Gay does something that makes us sad. Somebody lays a hand on Art Carmody.
Rod Council is set to return to action this afternoon.
Game Attire: No real reason to keep posting this, other than we know you both look forward to it all week. Red "Got Pitino" underneath white "Cardinals Rule."
Anxiety Level: 4. We have a bad feeling that we might not look all that good, but there's no doubt in our minds that the mighty Cardinals will prevail over the less mighty and more awkward Bearcats.
Poll Results: A noticeable spike after last Friday night's game leads to a decisive answer of no in regards to the question "Is Pat Carter the right guy to return punts."
29%- Still reserving judgment
Mad props to all who voted. Yeah we said mad props, what? Parking lot. Taco Bell. Midnight.
Star of the Game: Pat Carter didn't work out all that well, so we're going to try and redeem ourselves with the selection of Latarrius Thomas. Maybe a little pick 6, perhaps a nice kickoff return, we don't know, that's why we watch.
Pregame Quote to Make You Hope We Spurrier it Up: We could have chosen Dantonio calling the "legend of the Cardinal logo" a conspiracy, but instead we'll go with your basic irresponsible prediction.
"Now we're going to get the Keg of Nails back."---Cincinnati center Jeff Reinstatler in the aftermath of last week's win over Toledo.
Official CC Prediction: Louisville 34, Cincinnati 14.
Might not be pretty early, message boards will likely be freaking out, but we will win this game and isn't that really what this whole thing is all about. What's that? It's not? It's about money? Well, whatever Louisville's going to win this game.
As always, feel free to post any Keg of Nails or non-Keg of nails related comments in the comments section.