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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Hudson Hatfield showcasing that feeling when you're so ready for football that even Cal/Hawaii at 10 p.m. on a Friday night has you giddy. Also, Teddy rules.

I_medium The 2016 college football season is officially here ... sort of. Cal and Hawaii will kick things off from Australia in a game which will start on the East Coast at 10 p.m. Here's why the game is being played.

I_medium Game week, y'all.

I_medium The C-J's Steve Jones offers up his official game-by-game predictions for the upcoming Louisville football season, and sees the Cards going 9-3 with losses to the "big three" of Clemson, FSU and Houston.

I_medium This "trap game" talk does not scare us, Marshall.

I_medium The Louisville Cardinal serves up three reasons why you should buy the hype surrounding the Louisville football team this season.

I_medium No one seems to be able to decide if Louisville is "overhyped," "worthy of buying the hype," or "an under-the-radar sleeper." God, we need actual football.

I_medium The group of seniors who started the Charlotte football program will begin their final season on Sept. 1 in Louisville.

On Aug. 31, 2013, that phase ended. Ogunjobi said he vividly remembers being in the locker room, listening to Lambert give a pregame speech. Moments later, there was a prayer and then the team massed in the tunnel, ready to run through a cloud of smoke and take the field at Jerry Richardson Stadium for the first time.

Ogunjobi remembers the scene being curiously loud. It wasn't until he made it to the field that he realized that the noise came from the more than 16,000 fans that had come to cheer them.

"It was insane," Ogunjobi said.

By now, the feeling of taking the field in a 49ers' uniform is nothing new for Charlotte's seniors. But being there from the beginning is a thrill only they know.

"You really feel like you're a part of something," Lambert said. ". Those guys were here on the ground floor. It's really special to them."

And as they head into their final year, Lambert adds that the original 49ers will also always be special to the program they helped start.

"Being able to start something and then being at the finish line, it's crazy," Ogunjobi said.

I_medium Louisville is again one of the 10 college teams you'll be able to play with in the NBA 2K17 video game dynasty mode. The others are Connecticut, Arizona, Illinois, Georgetown, Kansas, Georgia Tech ('sup, Pastner), Oklahoma, Wake Forest, and Michigan State.

I_medium This ACC Digital Network video where league players break down which Game of Thrones characters have died is pretty golden (spoilers, obviously).

I_medium ESPN compares all the Heisman Trophy contenders using advanced stats ... although there's a certain "HEISMAN DARKHORSE" whose presence is noticeably absent.

I_medium CBS asked more than 100 college basketball coaches which fellow coach they'd want their son to play for. Tom Izzo, tony Bennett and Bill Self were the leading voting getters, with a host of other coaches (including Rick Pitino) getting at least one vote.

I_medium It's crazy because this is actually the same mural I have on my bedroom wall.

I_medium David Hale answers some interesting questions in his weekly ACC mailbag.

I_medium takes an early look at the top Naismith Award contenders for 2016-17, a list which features zero Cardinals.

I_medium William Gay had to foot the bill for an expensive evening out with some fellow Steelers after his card got drawn in credit card roulette. There is video.

I_medium CBS' college football experts serve up some ACC superlatives, and Louisville gets one nod for "most underrated team," and (thankfully) none for "most overrated."

Most underrated team

Pittsburgh: The Coastal is one of the weirdest divisions in college football. Four different teams have won it in the past five years, and trying to predict what happens there is near impossible. That said, look for Pitt to take a step forward in 2015. James Conner returns, and if he can return to his 2014 form, he's one of the nation's top running backs. Add that to a defense that should improve in Pat Narduzzi's second season -- they showed some tendencies of Narduzzi's Michigan State's defenses last year, like having a top-30 havoc rate -- and I think there's potential in Pittsburgh for a sneaky division title run.-- Robby Kalland (In agreement: Jon Solomon, Jerry Palm, Chip Patterson)

Louisville: At the risk of qualifying Louisville's potential record too much, we could be talking about the best 9-3 team in college football this year. That the Cardinals get Clemson and Florida State every year is borderline criminal. And who would have thought a road game at Houston (Nov. 17) would be as difficult as it sounds. Without a doubt, Cardinals fans would be elated to get a win in just one of those games. It's possible, though. Sophomore Lamar Jackson is a budding quarterback who, if he develops as a passer, has a tremendously high ceiling. Devonte Fields, formerly with TCU, is among the ACC's best outside linebackers. -- Ben Kercheval

Virginia Tech: The Coastal is always wide open, and I'm skeptical about North Carolina's ability to repeat last season's accomplishments due to its porous run defense. Miami will be solid, but I'm not ready to crown it yet. Then there's the Hokies. The defense slipped last year, but I expect things to return to normal this season, and even in his first year, Justin Fuente will make a very boring offensive team exciting. -- Tom Fornelli

Syracuse: I'm not going to blow smoke at anyone. The Orange will most likely finish sixth or seventh in a loaded Atlantic Division. But Dino Babers is changing the entire culture. He will eventually recruit elite, fast athletes to run his hurry (way) up spread. Since 2010, the former Art Briles assistant at Baylor has worked with offenses that have finished lower than 13th nationally only once. -- Dennis Dodd

I_medium Jeff Greer is bouncing to Europe for the week because he hates Louisville football, but he did take some time out to answer your questions in another "ask me anything" segment.

I_medium Mark your calendars accordingly.

I_medium U of L grad Wesley Korir and the rest of the Kenyan Olympic team are still stranded in a not-so-nice part of Rio while the country's Olympic administrators wait for "a cheap flight" to bring them home.

I_medium The U of L football newsletter notes that the Cardinal players are more eager than you are to get on the field for real.

I_medium Happy birthday, Cameron. And happy almost football season.

I_medium Devonte Fields and Lamar Jackson get love from the CBS staff for being the best defensive player and most entertaining person, respectively, in the ACC.

Devonte Fields, DE, Louisville: Because he didn't even join Louisville's team until the day before fall camp in 2015, a majority of Fields' nation-leading 22.5 tackles for loss came after mid-October (18.0 to be precise). That's got me, and many others, wondering what the total might be now that the former TCU and JUCO standout has fully settled into his role as an edge rusher in Louisville's defense. James and DeMarcus Walker are stars at FSU, but Fields might be one of the best pass rushers in the country this season. -- Chip Patterson (In agreement: Jon Solomon, Tom Fornelli)


Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Everyone knows about Watson. What makes Jackson so exciting is he's only touched the surface of what he can become. He's a blazing open-field runner right now with a powerful arm. If his passing attack continues to develop, there will be no stopping him, and he could be every bit as good as Watson from a physical standpoint. The good news for Jackson is there are few better quarterback tutors than Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino. -- Ben Kercheval

I_medium Lamar Jackson's teammates are confident that the sophomore will exceed expectations in 2016.

I_medium Purdue has extended the contract of basketball coach Matt Painter through the 2021-22 season.

I_medium Hear what De'Asian Richardson and Tony Grantham had to say after Thursday's practice.

I_medium The "OG Board" was back at it yesterday. We'll have chairman Larry Benz on R&R today to discuss.

I_medium The Louisville baseball team continues to spread good vibes throughout the Derby City.

I_medium Blogger So Dear simulated Wake Forest's season 1,000 times and still couldn't get a result with more than nine wins.

I_medium The FEI game projections for college football's opening week have Louisville taking down Charlotte, 41-3. They also have Uk losing to Southern Miss.

I_medium This was an error in judgment, UK social media director.

Side note: does anyone have the old picture with the UK fan on the sidelines getting caught with his hands down his pants? I think it was from the '04 game against Ohio, but I looked for longer than I'd care to admit for it yesterday with no luck.

I_medium The 12th-ranked Louisville field hockey team opens up its 2016 season today at Indiana at 3 p.m.

I_medium And finally, R&R is live from Lynn Stadium today from 3-6, where the men's and women's soccer teams will be playing a double-header. The women take on UAB at 5:15, with the men's 2016 opener against Butler to follow. Here's your match preview.