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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

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My guys Keiji and Ouji spending some time with Milt and Herb pre-pandemic.

—Spread check: Louisville by 5.

—After a hectic freshman season, David Johnson is in a different state of mind heading into what a lot of people believe will be a big sophomore year.

—This would seem to settle the are they this year’s uniforms/are they last year’s postseason uniforms debate.

Thank goodness.

—Tomahawk Nation is out with its podcast previewing the Louisville game.

—The latest CC podcast is here. The episode previewing FSU will be out tomorrow morning.

—Marcus Smith joined The Crunch Zone pod to talk about his new book and recent story in The Players Tribune.

—His team lost Game 2, but Will Smith became both the first Louisville-born player and former Louisville Cardinal to hit a home run in a World Series game.

—Dez Fitzpatrick says going through the dreadful 2018 season has helped him stay focused during Louisville’s current four-game losing streak.

—The latest from Louisville’s own Jack Harlow is here.

—Junior Bridgeman says there is “absolutely no truth” to the report that the Toronto Raptors might spend the 2020-21 NBA season playing in Louisville.

—Athlon likes Florida State to pull the mild upset this weekend.

Final Analysis

Saturday’s contest will ultimately be won at the line of scrimmage. Although Florida State gave up a ton of yards last week to North Carolina, it held the Tar Heels to 2-for-12 on third down and 0-for-3 on fourth down. FSU also limited North Carolina to 4.1 yards per carry. The Seminoles must win the early downs and mitigate Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham’s ability to convert third downs with his legs. FSU finally showed a pulse up front last week defensively. If it does so again, FSU should like its chances.

Prediction: Florida State 31, Louisville 28

—New Wake Forest basketball coach Steve Forbes said on Thursday that the Demon Deacons will be the ACC team left out of this year’s ACC-Big 10 Challenge.

—The Baltimore Ravens are signing Dez Bryant to their practice squad.

—Dan McDonnell was in the house to see Will Smith go deep on Wednesday night.

—Louisville has offered four-star combo guard Mark Armstrong from the class of 2022.

—Here’s a full list of the regional affiliates that will be carrying Saturday’s Louisville-Florida State game. Locally, the game will be available on Fox Sports South.

—Jordan Travis talked with the media on Wednesday and didn’t want to dive too deeply into the storyline of squaring off against his former team on Saturday.

ON EXPERIENCE AT LOUISVILLE EXPERIENCE, IF HE TALKS TO FORMER TEAMMATES

“I’d rather not get into the experience of what happened there, but I still talk to some of my old teammates. We’re pretty close, those are my guys, but this week we’re focused on playing this team and that’s about it.”

ON FOCUS ON RETURNING TO LOUISVILLE

“It’s just a game. I don’t get into stuff like that at all. What happened in the past, happened. I’m at a new school now and I’m with my boys.”

—The Louisville volleyball team stays at No. 6 in this week’s national rankings.

—Here’s a fun ranking of every Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode. No. 1 and No. 2 are both correct.

—Former Wake Forest big man Olivier Sarr has been declared eligible immediately to play at Kentucky this season. Rhode Island transfer Jacob Toppin (Obi’s brother) is also immediately eligible.

—I’d kill for a Red-White Scrimmage next month.

—I adore Spencer Hall’s ranking of Big Ten football programs based solely on how much they personally annoyed him this year.

—Arizona basketball’s long awaited Notice of Allegations from the NCAA is expected to arrive today.

—Tomahawk Nation looks at how Louisville stacks up against Florida State. They also have a nifty preview video for your consumption.

—The U of L volleyball team is headed North for two top 10 showdowns against Pittsburgh.

—Chop Chat has five keys to victory for Florida State against Louisville.

—Cardinal Authority is out with its game preview for Saturday.

—The Louisville defense is not resting on its laurels after a solid performance against Notre Dame.

“All week, guys have been motivated and more locked in than I’ve ever seen before,” Kei’Trel Clark said. “It’s bringing a type of swagger to ourselves, too. Not being cocky because we still lost, there’s no moral victories, but at the end of this day we know what this defense is capable of and there’s a lot of motivation going into this game.”

They are still focused on improving even more.

Louisville’s defense did a good job on Saturday of limiting Notre Dame’s big plays and holding long drives to field goals on all but one drive.

That was a big step forward for a defense that had been prone to blown coverages or miss gap assignments.

But it still left a lot of plays on the field, corner Kei’Trel Clark said after Saturday’s game. That was reinforced by Brown when he met with the media on Wednesday. The key emphasis being third-down conversion percentage.

“That’s been our nemesis and we are trying our best to work on that each and every day. The guys are responding, they are excited and they can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Brown said.

Louisville was 8-of-14 on third down against Notre Dame. The Cardinals are allowing teams to convert third downs at a 47.1% this season. Notre Dame’s ability to extend drives kept the ball out of the hands of the Louisville offense, which ran just 45 plays and totaled 219 yards.

—The talented group of newcomers on the Louisville women’s basketball team are already pushing for playing time.

—Rick Pitino hasn’t coached his first game at Iona and he’s already being talked about as a potential replacement for Pat Chambers at Penn State.

—Rick Bozich adds the Raptors to the list of NBA to Louisville false starts.

—And finally, the Philadelphia Eagles have signed Jamon Brown to their practice squad. Brown started for the Eagles last Sunday and then was released by the team earlier this week.