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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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Hooray for a weekend with both Louisville basketball and Louisville football, and hooray for our veterans.

I_medium Spread check (basketball): Louisville by 22.

I_medium Spread check (football): Louisville by 35.

I_medium I answered some questions for SB Nation's Wake Forest site, Blogger So Dear, right here.

I_medium Stacy Thomas is finally getting his chance to be a starter on the Louisville defense, and he is making the most of it.

I_medium This is, without question, the laziest assessment of the Louisville football team that you're going to see this year.

I_medium Steve Jones gives three keys for Louisville's game against Wake Forest, and then predicts a 45-14 Cardinal victory.

I_medium In his first season at Kentucky State, John L. Smith has been named as the SIAC Coach of the Year. The Thoroughbreds will play for the conference championship on Saturday.

I_medium Vote for our guy Gary the Redbird as the best college football fan in the country.

I_medium Jeff Greer profiles Donovan Mitchell, who is awesome.

That adjustment wasn't hard, either, Smith said. Mitchell, his peers and mentors say, is well-rounded, grounded and positive, characteristics that keep him honest and even-keeled and make him adept at adapting.

Mitchell, whose dad, Donovan Sr., is a former professional baseball player, was a standout baseball player himself. He estimates his fastball is around 90 miles per hour these days, and he still closely follows the sport. (Donovan Sr. works for the New York Mets.)

He was elected class prefect (another name for class president) for his senior year at Brewster. And, his mom said, he is a heck of a drummer.

"There are just so many great things about him as a person," Nicole Mitchell said. "We always talked about how you don't have to just be an athlete."

Those qualities, in addition to his knack for rebounding, scoring and playing solid defense, made Mitchell an attractive prospect for college basketball programs. Boston College and Providence College were on him the earliest, but other schools started recruiting him once his career at Brewster and with his AAU team, The City, took off.

It became "a circus," his mom said.

Florida State and Villanova pursued him, but once Louisville offered him a scholarship and he visited U of L's campus, Mitchell was sold.

"It was done: In his mind, he knew that he wanted to play for one of the bluebloods, and I put that Louisville in that category," Smith said.

I_medium On ESPN today, Mel Kiper ranked Cole Hikutini as the sixth-best tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft class. Don't be surprised if he winds up even higher.

I_medium Scout's updated class of 2017 recruiting rankings have Louisville at No. 9.

I_medium Cool throwback.

I_medium Quentin Snider and Rick Pitino go way back.

I_medium Louisville is a No. 3 seed in the preseason Bracketology from SB Nation's Chris Dobbertean.

I_medium Same, Jonah.

I_medium Mike DeCourcy breaks down yet another useless NCAA rule.

I_medium Sports Illustrated's college football staff doesn't see this as the weekend where the teams Louisville needs to lose do them any favors.

I_medium We had him on the show earlier this week, but I have to give a CC shoutout to my man Jahyde Brown, who sits in front of me at home games.

Despite playing with kids older than him, Jahyde rushed for over 2,500 yards and 32 touchdowns this season while leading his team to the MYLA championship and winning the Mighty Mite Heisman Award. His team got to play the championship game last weekend down on the field at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium where Jahyde's idol, Lamar Jackson, also plays.

I don't think it's too soon to offer.

I_medium Artavis Scott's stat line says a lot about Clemson's offense.

I_medium U of L football says thank you to America's veterans.

I_medium CBS has a viewer's guide for opening night in college basketball, which features all top 25 teams in action, and two really good games in the Armed Forces Classic.

I_medium Louisville basketball posters will be made available to the public on Monday.

I_medium Lamar Jackson is within reach of a number of ridiculous milestones.

There's a lot more on the horizon: He can set the ACC single-season rushing touchdown record with two more. That mark is held by Georgia Tech's Tevin Washington (20 in 2012).

Jackson can set the single-season record for touchdown responsibility. He's four touchdowns ahead of Colt Brennan's 2006 pace through nine games. Brennan finished with 63.

The Louisville star can also become the second player in ACC history with at least 3,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season, joining Watson.

And, with one more rushing touchdown, he can become the fourth player from a Power 5 school with 20 passing and 20 rushing touchdowns in a season. The previous three -- Tim Tebow, Cam Newton and Johnny Manziel -- all won the Heisman Trophy.

I_medium Scotty Davenport and the third-ranked Bellarmine Knights begin their season on Friday with a top five showdown.

I_medium Lamar Jackson is a semifinalist for the Davey O'Brien Award.

I_medium If you're in the area, stop by and see us. If you're not in the area, put yourself in the area, and then stop by and see us.

I_medium Athlon likes the Cards by three scores Saturday night.

Final Analysis

Louisville shouldn't have a hard time with Wake Forest, but this does have the potential to be a close game for a couple of quarters. The Demon Deacons need to rely on their running game, which averages 164 yards per game, to keep Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals' potent offense off the field. If Wake Forest can limit Louisville's offensive possessions, than the Demon Deacons have a chance of hanging around. But even if Jackson and company don't put up huge numbers like last week's totals against Boston College (515 yards, 52 points), the Cardinals have more than enough firepower to win this game.

Prediction: Louisville 41, Wake Forest 20

I_medium The U of L cross country team is headed to Virginia for the NCAA Southeast Regional.

I_medium Strange stat: The No. 17 team in the AP poll or College Football Playoff Rankings has lost in each of the last eight weeks of the college football season. The streak was extended last night when North Carolina saw its chances of winning the Coastal Division likely come to a close thanks to an upset loss at the hands of rival Duke.

Playing the Blue Devils on a week night can get weird. We know.

I_medium And finally, beat Evansville. Then beat Wake Forest.