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Tuesday Afternoon Cardinal News and Notes

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It's school picture season. Don't blow it.

I_medium Spread check: NC State by 4.5.

I_medium The U of L men's soccer team is back in action tonight against Ohio StateHere's your match preview.

I_medium Apparently NC State's weekly uniform report occurs in art museum exhibit form.

I_medium Juco prospect Bashir Ahmed, who met with Rick Pitino last week, plans on taking an official visit to U of L at some point.

I_medium Your first AP preview for Saturday's game is now available.

"I think it's natural when you're in a conference game for the hair to stand up on your neck maybe a little bit more," Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren said Monday. "We don't approach it that way as coaches and we try to train our players to not care who's on the other side, to really care about yourself and your performance."

North Carolina State has won seven straight dating to last season and is one of 17 teams at 4-0 in the Bowl Subdivision ranks, according to STATS. It's also the only ACC team at 4-0 in the ACC, though Clemson, Florida State and Miami are also unbeaten.

The Wolfpack rank ninth nationally in scoring offense (46.3 points) and 16th in rushing offense (259 yards), while the defense ranks No. 8 in scoring (12 points) and No. 3 in total defense (205.8 yards).

Individually, Matt Dayes ranks 17th nationally in total rushing yards with four straight 100-yard games and is tied for the national lead with nine rushing scores to lead a ground game that got stronger when Shadrach Thornton returned from a two-game suspension.

Quarterback Jacoby Brissett leads the nation by completing nearly 78 percent of his passes.

But that production came against two teams picked to finish sixth or lower in the Sun Belt Conference (Troy and South Alabama), another team picked to finish next to last in its Conference USA division (Old Dominion) and Eastern Kentucky of the Championship Subdivision. North Carolina State won those games by an average of more than 34 points.

I_medium A very happy (1 day belated) 21st birthday to David Levitch, who can still expect to be carded everywhere he goes from now until 2035.

I_medium The countdown is on.

I_medium Grizzly Bear Blues, SB Nation's Memphis Grizzlies site, profiles Russ Smith.

I_medium The Cards are still sitting at No. 12 in the latest ACC power rankings from ESPN.

12. Louisville Cardinals (1-3). The Cardinals finally won a game, but it was against overmatched Samford. Lamar Jackson had a big game, so perhaps that helps his confidence going into a huge road game at NC State. A win there allows the Cardinals to stay in the Atlantic race with no margin for error the rest of the way.

I_medium Football Outsiders' S&P Ratings have Louisville at No. 27, the highest-ranked three-loss team in the country.

I_medium Backing the Pack, SB Nation's NC State site, examines the Wolfpack's impressive numbers through the first four weeks of the season .... which have nothing to do with the team's schedule.

I_medium De'Aaron Fox's high school coach talks about what he saw during his visit to U of L over the weekend.

"What (Fox) did see at Louisville is he's going to work," said Olatunbosun, who is Fox's coach at Cypress Lakes High near Houston and joined his star player for an official visit to U of L this weekend.

"If you don't want to work every day, don't come here. If you want to work and have a chance to play in front of a fun environment -- Kentucky is a basketball state with fans who love the game -- if you don't want to work every day and be about something special, then don't come here."

Over the course of the visit, which was a major moment in U of L's 2016 recruiting efforts, Fox, Olatunbosun and Fox's family watched the team practice and several individual instruction workouts. They saw the Louisville-Samford football game and sat down for meetings with U of L's academic support staff and the hoops coaching staff.

Fox also spent quite a bit of time with U of L's players, and the team's chemistry, which coach Rick Pitino has raved about all summer, was obvious to the visitors.

"(Fox) hung out with all the guys, which I thought was cool," Olatunbosun said. "(Pitino) is coaching a group of good guys. Sometimes you can coach guys who are selfish and about themselves and you win, but it doesn't feel good. But they're all really good kids. They work hard. They've bought into it. Sometimes that trumps extreme talent -- and the guys are still all really talented."

...

"When you wake up and look in the media, every time he's going somewhere new," Olatunbosun said. "First, it's Texas. Now it's UK. Next week, I don't know, it'll be Louisville. I think he's truly going through the process."

I_medium In SHOCKING news, SMU has been banned from the postseason for 2015-16, and Larry Brown has been suspended for 10% of the Mustangs' games.

I_medium Congrats to the U of L men's golf team for taking down Alabama in match play.

I_medium Apparently there's a bizzaro version of the CCBM that is being worn at offices in China to help employees feel less stressed at work.

No idea.

I_medium Steve Jones examines what we learned from Louisville's first win of the season.

I_medium The Numerical says the ACC might be the second best conference in college football.

2. The battle for No. 2 is tight and unclear.

Stats like this aren't declarative, especially this early in the season. I don't want you to look at the above table and think, "Is he telling me the ACC is the second-best conference in the land?" I'm not. It's blurry. But ...is the ACC the second-best conference in the land?

According to F/+, the league currently boasts the No. 4 (Clemson) and 6 (Florida State) teams in the country, and the conference's typical strength -- lots of solid teams -- is certainly coming to the forefront this year. Georgia Tech, Duke, Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Miami all rank between 18th and 35th, and more importantly, the bottom portion of the conference is improving. Wake Forest (90th) still has a way to go but no longer has the worst offense in the universe. Syracuse (74th) is not amazing but isn't the hopeless team I thought it might be. Boston College (56th) has bottomed out offensively but has had, to date, one of the best defenses in the country. North Carolina (54th) doesn't have a hopeless defense!

I_medium Boston College running back Jon Hilliman is the latest ACC standout to go down with a major injury,

I_medium Here's NC State coach Dave Doeren previewing Louisville.

I_medium To no one's surprise, Brandon Robinson committed to North Carolina yesterday.

I_medium MICKY.

I_medium Terry Rozier was a standout on the opening day of training camp in Boston.

I_medium And finally, we'll start previewing the game against NC State this afternoon from 3-6 on Ramsey & Rutherford. Craig Swabek will also stop by to give his perspective from the U of L side of things. As always, you can listen live on ESPNLouisville.com.