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Game Day: Louisville at Cincinnati

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LOUISVILLE (3-3, 0-1) AT CINCINNATI (6-0, 1-0)

No game breakdowns this week, because what can you really say other than good offense vs. good defense, and good offense vs. really, really bad defense? I wouldn't be surprised if Louisville won this game by three touchdowns, and I wouldn't be surprised if they lost it be three touchdowns, and I suspect that's how it's going to be for the majority of the games from here on out.

Game Time: 7:00 p.m.

Television: ESPNU

Location: Nippert Stadium: Cincinnati, OH

Favorite: Cincinnati by 9.5

All-Time Series: Cincinnati leads 26-19-1

Last Five Meetings:

Louisville 23, Cincinnati 17 (2006)
Louisville 46, Cincinnati 22 (2005)
Louisville 70, Cincinnati 7 (2004)
Louisville 43, Cincinnati 40 (2003)
Cincinnati 24, Louisville 14 (2002)

Anxiety Level: 6.5. This should probably be changed to "excitement level," because it's really hard to be anxious about games in which your team is a ten-point underdog. At the same time, this is a rivalry game that Louisville has dominated for the last decade and I'd hate to see that end, so I suppose "nervous" could be an appropriate adjective for my feelings tonight.

Game Attire: Cold weather is here and so is my red long-sleeved shirt with "Louisville Cardinals" across the chest in white. "Cardinals" is also in white down the left sleeve (act like you don't care). Make a play pal.

Pre-Game Meal: TBD

Bilal Powell Playing Alert Level: Electric Lime (Low to Very Low)

Predicted Star of the Game: Lamar Myles

If Louisville wins they're going to have to play at least a little defense, and if that happens there's a 100% chance that it's going to be this guy leading the charge.

Poll Results:

Interesting to see how it evened out as the week went on.

"Does Louisville win any of the four games against Cincinnati, WVU, USF and Rutgers?"

  1. No: 141 votes (51%)
  2. Yes 132 cotes (49%)
Notable and Quotable:

--Louisville has won eight of nine in this series.

--Cincinnati has not defeated Louisville at home since a 28-9 win in 1997.

--In just six games, Cincinnati has forced nine fumbles and intercepted 16 passes. Their 25 total takeaways lead the country.

--Louisville is 10-15 all-time at Cincinnati, but have won four in a row on the road in the series and seven of eight.

-- "Louisville has shown a consistency in their program that we haven't showed yet. We're 6-0 at the moment. I don't want to look at this game and say we've arrived, because we haven't. We're moving in the right direction, but I'm not ready to say we've made it, that we're on par with Louisville." --Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly

--"What bothers me is they're the same things we've been doing on defense for a long time here. Obviously, we're doing it with some different guys, so we're going to have to simplify and make sure we do things our guys are capable of doing. If we have to do it by just playing one defense, then we'll do that." --Steve Kragthorpe

--"I've never even seen the keg of nails. So it means a lot to go out and get this."-- UC linebacker Ryan Manalac

--"We're going against a guy who's probably the best quarterback in the country. It's a great opportunity to make a point that we do have one of the best pass defenses in the country."-- UC safety Haruki Nakamura

--"You could say yes or you could say no. We want to be UC. We don't want to take from anybody else. We've definitely looked at Louisville the past two years and said they're the power of the Big East. We would like to be somebody like that."-- UC tight end Doug Jones

--"They play the ball really well. They don't do a whole lot of different things on defense. They just play three or four different defenses, but they play them well."-- Brian Brohm

CC Prediction: Cincinnati 34, Louisville 30

I'm actually more confident than I was before the Utah game, but it'd be borderline irresponsible to pick Louisville at this point.