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Monday evening Cardinal news and notes

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Game Week.

—SSPPPREEEAADDDDD CCCHHHEEECCCCKKKKK: Louisville by 10.5.

—Not gonna lie, getting the email this morning about fresh game notes for the first time in six months was the first time this really felt real. We’re watching the Cards play football in five days.

—Final preparations are ongoing at U of L to safely and efficiently accommodate fans at Cardinal Stadium for Saturday night’s season-opener against Western Kentucky.

—Major congrats to Montrezl Harrell on being named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year.

—BetOnline currently has Louisville as a 50/1 shot to win the 2020 College Football Playoff.

—The 2020 U of L cross country schedule is here.

—Kirk Herbstreit says the ACC doesn’t have the “Clemson and everybody else” feel this season that it has in recent years.

—ESPN’s Harry Lyles ranks the 10 most watchable teams in college football for the upcoming season.

—Western Kentucky knows it’s up against a “big challenge” in Louisville.

“Obviously we played them last year and they are a very talented bunch,” Ellis said. “They lost some good guys up front, but Coach Satterfield does a good job recruiting. We know they’ll have more good players, good defensive linemen. That’s really where they’re whole deal starts, is up front. They’ve got two good linebackers that run around and fly around and make plays in (Dorian Etheridge) and (CJ Avery). They got the corner from Liberty, who is a good football player.

“We’ve got a big challenge ahead of us. We’ll see where we land on Sept. 12.”

Defensively, WKU was among the nation’s leaders a year ago. The Hilltoppers limited opponents to 335 yards per game to rank No. 24 nationally.

“I think our guys mentally are better than what we were last year,” defensive coordinator Clayton White said. “Last year we had the new staff, new everything and trying to really get a good feel for how things are going to go. I feel like mentally, I feel like we better know from a X’s and O’s standpoint and just details of the game, but it’s really hard to tell exactly where you are until after that first and second game.”

—ESPN simulates the entire 2020 NFL season.

—Coming off its first NCAA tournament regional final appearance in program history, the Louisville volleyball team is excited to take on its (altered) 2020 slate.

—I know firsthand how hard preseason predictions are, so I try not to get too worked up about them anymore, but I don’t think the Cards will finish behind Miami in the ACC this season.

—The Carolina Panthers waived Reggie Bonnafon and then signed him to their practice squad. Bonnafon spent last season as the primary backup to Christian McCaffery.

—Matt Norlander of CBS says the way for college basketball to fix its non-conference game problem is to blow it all up and make the non-con slate nothing but a bunch of mini NCAA tournaments.

—I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that the ratings for the Derby were down, but these numbers are still fairly staggering.

—Cardinal Authority projects the top five newcomers on the 2020 U of L football team.

—Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix writes about what life is like inside the NBA bubble.

—The eight-game ACC schedule for the 2020 U of L women’s soccer season has been unveiled. The Cards figure to field an exciting squad led by All-American senior Emina Ekic.

—An eight-game league schedule (plus two exhibition matches) has also been revealed for the men’s soccer squad.

—Happy birthday, Don.

—The CJ’s Cameron Teague makes his predictions for the 2020 Louisville football season.

—After cutting him on Saturday, the Tennessee Titans have re-signed Senorise Perry to their active roster.

—Rodjay Burns continues to appear primed for a big season.

—Oh shit, it’s on.

—The New York Giants have signed former Cardinal walk-on and St. X product Tyler Haycraft to their practice squad.

—More expectations and a brighter spotlight don’t intimidate Micale Cunnigham as he prepares for his junior season.

—Fresh Bobby Pettiford highlights:

—U of L recaps the major takeaways from Scott Satterfield’s first game week press conference of 2020.

Spirits are high and pressure is low for Western Kentucky as the ‘Tops prepare to take on Louisville.

—ESPN’s week one power rankings for the 2020 college football season have Louisville at No. 22.

22. Louisville Cardinals (0-0)

The Cardinals averaged 33.1 points per game a year ago in Scott Satterfield’s first season as coach and should be even better on offense in 2020. Quarterback Micale Cunningham was one of college football’s top breakout players last season, accounting for 28 touchdowns. He has one of the most electrifying players in the country returning in junior receiver Tutu Atwell. The Cardinals’ running game is equally potent with Javian Hawkins, who rushed for a school-record 1,525 yards last season as a redshirt freshman. For all of the Cards’ firepower on offense, the run defense will need to improve dramatically if they want to surpass their eight wins from a year ago.

Up next: vs. Western Kentucky (Sept. 12, 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network)

—If you missed it earlier, a new episode of the CC Podcast is here.

—And finally, the 2020 edition of the Scott Satterfield radio show debuts tonight at 7.