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Thursday evening Cardinal news and notes

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My dude is geared up and ready to roll.

—Spread check: Louisville by 11.5

—Eric Crawford takes a look at the changes coming to Cardinal Stadium this season.

—A limited number of tickets are still available for Saturday’s game against WKU.

Lower-level seats are priced at $65 and north endzone seats are $30. Tickets can be purchased online at ticketmaster.com only, starting Thursday, September 10 at 10:00 am.

All tickets are allocated in pods and the full block must be purchased. Tickets are socially distanced throughout the stadium. All tickets will be mobile delivery.

—Confidential docs obtained by CBS Sports reveal a thorough, detailed plan to NCAA stakeholders and schools about how a college basketball bubble is planning to be held with at least 16 teams in Dec. at Mohegan Sun. Louisville would not be involved.

—Both of Sports Illustrated’s college football writers like Clemson to win the national title this year.

—Patrick Stevens of the Washington Post previews the decade ahead in ACC football, and says the best is yet to come for Louisville.

Louisville

2000s: 83-41 (46-27)*

2010s: 81-48 (46-31)*

2020s prediction: Best of the 21st century

On the one hand, Louisville is operating in a tougher, deeper league than Conference USA or the Big East or (for one year) the American was in prior conference stops. On the other, the Cardinals have gone 9-4 or 8-5 in five of their six seasons since entering the ACC, a league with considerably more cachet than their previous homes, while also producing a Heisman winner (Lamar Jackson). The quick recovery from a lifeless 2-10 nosedive in Bobby Petrino’s swansong to last year’s 8-5 debut under Scott Satterfield is encouraging. Resources help, and while sharing a division with Clemson isn’t ideal, the Cardinals should be fine under solid program stewardship.

—Our guy Cardinal Strong answers some Louisville-WKU questions for the folks over at The Towel Rack.

—Billy Donovan might be out in Oklahoma City, but that doesn’t mean he’s coming back to the college game.

—Kenny’s back, and this year he’s not taking any shit.

—U of L OL commit Zen Michalski has received a scholarship offer from Ohio State.

—Bud Elliott likes Louisville to cover the 11.5 against WKU.

—Released by the Jets earlier this week, former Louisville WR Josh Bellamy has now been arrested and charged for his role in a $24 million COVID-relief scam.

—ESPN’s Harry Lyles and David Hale highlight the top things to watch for during college football’s opening weekend.

Hale: Western Kentucky DE DeAngelo Malone. If you haven’t watched much of the Hilltoppers before, this should be a nice introduction to their star edge rusher. Malone finished second in the country with 21 tackles for loss last season while adding 11.5 sacks and 16 QB hurries. Now consider that Louisville is replacing left tackle Mekhi Becton, a first-round draft choice, and ranked 99th in pressure rate allowed a year ago.

—Louisville’s O-Line versus Malone could be the key matchup for Saturday night’s game.

—GG Robinson joins the Big Red Louie crew for the latest episode of their podcast.

—Louisville football schedule posters are now available at area Kroger locations.

—Adam Duvall had himself an evening.

—Mr. Bovada has Trevor Lawrence as the runaway betting favorite to win the Heisman.

—The NBA is now targeting Nov. 18 as the date for its 2020 draft. Always thought of the NBA Draft as the perfect lead-in to the Battle 4 Atlantis.

—The NCAA has quickly shot down the idea of an all-inclusive NCAA tournament.

Cool, cool, cool. Now maybe let us know what your plan is.

The LHL’s John Clay was on board with the idea of a 346-team NCAA tournament.

—Pat Forde liked it as well.

—Joe Lunardi hated it.

—Oh dear.

—The Crunch Zone podcast serves up a preview of Saturday’s game against WKU.

—Cardinal Sports Zone also previews WKU in its latest pod.

—Michael Lattin has been selected to be the new PA announcer for home football games at Cardinal Stadium.

—Silver Creek (Ind.) star Trey Kaufman has released his final list of five schools, and it does not include Louisville.

—ACC football is officially back tonight at 8 when Miami — Louisville’s week two opponent — takes on UAB.

—The Ringer’s Rodger Sherman has six key questions for the bizarro college football season that now lies directly in front of us.

—Louisville’s offensive line will get one of its toughest tests of the season right out of the gate.

—Louisville field hockey is the preseason pick to finish fifth in the seven-team ACC.

—ESPN ranks the 25 best ACC football players for 2020. TuTu Atwell and Micale Cunningham both make the list, but no Javian Hawkins.

5. Tutu Atwell, WR, Louisville

Atwell is one of just four receivers in the country to return for 2020 after averaging at least 10 air yards per target and 10 yards after the catch per reception. It’s a perfect distillation of what makes Atwell so special. He’s a deep-ball threat (12 catches, 5 TDs on throws of 20-plus yards) and as tough to bring down as any receiver in FBS (751 yards after the catch, second most among receivers).

...

23. Micale Cunningham, QB, Louisville

Cunningham enters the season as a far different quarterback from the one we saw at the start of 2019, if only from a confidence standpoint. Now add in his comfort in an offense that has made a habit of making big plays, plus his penchant for throwing the deep ball, and you have the makings of an even better season in 2020 — for Cunningham and for the Louisville offense.

—Yahoo has WKU’s Tyson Helton as one of its young coaches in college football to keep an eye on.

—Travis Branham of 247 Sports looks at what the commitment of Mike James means for Cardinal basketball.

—ESPN’s Jeff Borzello ranks Carlik Jones as the best immediately eligible transfer in college basketball for the 2020-21 season. Charles Minlend is No. 24.

—Lamar remains the coolest.

—Fresh off the first regional final appearance in program history, the Louisville volleyball team is the preseason pick to finish second in the ACC.

—SI looks at what a spring without students and a fall without football is doing to some college towns across the country.

—Maybe the best video of 2020.

—Former Cards continue to shine in the WNBA.

—Colorado has become the first NCAA school to partner with a sports betting company.

—Weird college football trend: Army and Navy are never good at the same time.

—U of L volleyball star Tori Dilfer talks about the Cards’ 2019 NCAA tournament run and what could be an even more exciting 2020.

—If this winds up being the case, it would cancel Louisville’s scheduled games against Western Kentucky and Cincinnati, as well as its two games in Las Vegas.

—If you’d like to name Russ Smith as the best local DJ, the LEO’s Best of Louisville voting is now open.

—The CJ’s Dominique Yates and Cameron Teague Robinson talk Louisville vs. Western Kentucky.

—A quick preview of the artificial crowd noise that will be present inside Cardinal Stadium this year.

—Athlon likes Louisville to cover the spread Saturday night.

—Berry Tramel in Oklahoma is taking the Cards, 42-14.

—College Football News also likes Louisville, but by a smaller number.

What’s Going To Happen

It’s going to be a frustrating day for Louisville, who won 38-21 last year.

The offense will get going early, but it’ll stall too often against the WKU defense that should be strong on third downs and should get to QB Micale Cunningham enough to be annoying.

However, the Cardinals will step it up late to pull away. It’ll be a good first victory against a team strong enough to be in the Conference USA championship mix.

Louisville 34, WKU 20

—U of L enters the 2020 season with some major questions at its primary special teams spots.

—If you missed it earlier, the WKU preview episode of the CC Podcast is here (and updated to include the final 13 minutes that were initially cut off).

Keith is still mad about the depth charts.

—And finally, Sunrise Sports serves up its own Louisville-WKU preview.