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Louisville football schedule preview: November

The final part of a monthly look at the Louisville Football Schedule, this time focused on November.

Andy Lyons

At last, we’ve reached the final month of the season here on the here on the now world-renowned WWLBTM (Who Will Louisville Beat This Month?) series. Yesterday, we took a look at the month of October, forecasting a difficult month for the Cards as they get into the meat of their ACC schedule. Today, we’re wrapping it all up, previewing November.

Notre Dame and Kentucky highlight the November slate, which only features three games. That means it’s going to be exciting, despite the two-week layoff leading up to the matchup with the Fighting Irish. That two-week layoff will probably feel excruciatingly long. Man… Anyway, let’s finish strong in our look through the Louisville schedule and get this show on the road.


Like October, November can’t really do much better than September in the self-titled song category either, but we did find one that was so perfect that it didn’t matter what the song actually sounded like or meant. Your choices are:

8th of November – Big & Rich

Louisville plays Boston College on the 8th of November this season, so this has to be played at tailgates in Chestnut Hill no matter what. It fits somewhere in the tailgate mix, you may just have to force it a bit.


I’m Shipping Up To Boston – Dropkick Murphys

Somehow, both choices ended up revolving around the Boston College game. Since it’s the least appetizing game of the month, I guess it deserved this moment in the spotlight that doesn’t at all involve the actual game. No it didn’t.


One thing before we get going, here’s the SB Nation preview of Louisville that we’ve been working off of.

Boston College Eagles – Road – Saturday, November 8th, TBA, TV TBA

SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s Boston College Preview

The Gist: In his second season at Boston College, Steve Addazio may have a bigger challenge on his hands than he did last year when he led the Eagles to a 7-6 record. Running back Andre Williams is gone, as are a lot of other key players on both sides of the ball for B.C. They’ll still run the ball plenty, and they have a couple of options to do so (freshman Jon Hilliman and sophomore returnee Myles Willis, for example) that could make them quite good at it. The Eagles will have to replace both tackles on the offensive line, but they have three seniors returning that should solidify the group.

Big plays were the monkey on the back of a B.C. defense that was pretty good otherwise in 2013. They’ll lose their best two defensive linemen and linebackers that generated a solid pass rush last year. Replacing Kasim Edebali’s 8.5 sacks will be difficult, but four upperclassmen return to the D-line along with some highly regarded freshmen. The Eagles return a ton of experience in the secondary, namely cornerback Manny Asprilla and safeties Sean Sylvia and Dominique Williams. This is a talented bunch, but the numbers didn’t necessarily add up in the end. Maybe that will change this season.

The Verdict: Road games can always be difficult for reasons that sometimes seem hard to put your finger on. Boston College will probably feel like the least important game, but they likely won’t be a pushover. Still, Louisville should be the favorite here and should win.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Road – Saturday, November 22nd, 3:30 p.m, NBC

SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s Notre Dame Preview

The Gist: Long live independence! Already everyone’s favorite team, Notre Dame will be an exciting matchup for Louisville as a pseudo-conference game. Even better, it will be broadcast live on the Notre Dame Football Network, or NBC for short (they laugh at your networks that you have to share with other teams, SEC and B1G). Brian Kelly’s Irish are back this season with Everett Golson back in business. They were 9-4 last season with some good wins (USC, Michigan State) and a close loss that would have been a big win (at Stanford).

As always, Notre Dame isn’t lacking in talent or recruiting ability. Golson will almost certainly lead the offense with good experience and a diverse skill set. He’s a good dual-threat signal caller that will have plenty of weapons at his disposal. Cam McDaniel, Tarean Folston and five-star redshirt Greg Bryant are all back to make up a talented stable of backs. Four-star receivers are everywhere on this roster, including last year’s leader in DaVaris Daniels, who may be in trouble with the recent academics probe at Notre Dame. Zack Martin and Chris Watt leave from the offensive line, but experience and talent remains, as three returnees along the O-line have 11 or more career starts.

Brian VanGorder enters his first season as the Irish’s defensive coordinator, and he’ll have some big shoes to fill. Stephon Tuitt and Louis Nix III are gone from the D-line, but like every other position on this roster, there are plenty of four and five-star options to take their place. That doesn’t always translate into equal success, obviously, but it gives them a better chance. Three of Notre Dame’s top-tackling linebackers are gone as well, and they’ll need sophomore Jaylon Smith – another five-star recruit – to lead the unit in his second season. In the secondary, the Irish were adept at limiting big plays last season. They return plenty this season (sprinkle in a few more five-stars, rinse, repeat) and should be very good again in 2014.

The Verdict: The toughest matchup of the month for Louisville by a long shot, the Irish are the best-equipped team (other than maybe Florida State) to deal with the Cardinals’ high-flying offense. They’ll make things hard, but this won’t be impossible for a Louisville team that should be improved and battle-tested by this point in the season.

Kentucky Wildcats – Home – Saturday, November 29th, TBA, TV TBA

SB Nation’s Bill Connelly’s Kentucky Preview

The Gist: Go ahead and throw this gridiron showdown in the Ohio State v. Michigan/Auburn v. Alabama category since it’s now in a more rivalry-y spot in the season. Not really. It’s been strange (but pretty refreshing) not hearing trash talk flying about this game in August, and it will be interesting to see how intense the talk is in November when Kentucky could easily be just a four or five-win team. The BBN could be well into their basketball frenzy by now, but maybe not. Who knows? Ok, they probably will be.

The best is probably yet to come for the Cats, as most of best offensive talent on paper is just getting to campus. Maxwell Smith is back, and if he can get some of that young talent to develop quickly, Kentucky could be much better much faster. In a murderous SEC, that’s probably unlikely, but it could happen.

Alvin Dupree and Za’Darius Smith will lead a defensive line that had to do a lot to help a very bad defense last season. The Wildcats were bad against the run and the pass, and while the D-line could create good pressure, what’s behind them isn’t all that scary. In fact, the Kentucky secondary was fairly atrocious in 2013, so having most of that unit return may not actually be a positive thing.

The Verdict: Things are starting to turn around for Kentucky recruiting wise, but it hasn’t come close to turning things around on the football field. It doesn’t seem like any huge leap is going to happen for the Wildcats this season given the conference they play in, and that’s fine with Bobby Petrino and the Cardinals. Petrino loves to beat Kentucky no matter where he coaches, and he’s pretty good at it, too. Louisville should win this one to close out the regular season.

Thus ends a look at every game on the Louisville football schedule this season. 2014 is a big year that will be full of real excitement, real challenges and probably some real growing pains. Still, if things fall into place, Louisville could easily be 9-3 when it’s all said and done. Sure, they could be 7-5, too. The fact remains that this Cardinal squad is well equipped to succeed in their new conference, and it will be fascinating to watch them get to it.

Ten more days.

P.S. Be sure to take a peek at all of Bill Connelly’s previews. They’re excellent, and provided the majority of the data used throughout these three posts.