CINCINNATI IS GOING TO RUN THE BALL. A LOT.
UC will enter this game with an unbelievably thin group of receivers. The top six receivers from a production standpoint have either opted out for the draft or entered the transfer portal. The Bearcats will be down to their third tight end as well as a group of wide receivers that have barely put up 200 yards combined on the season and haven’t scored a touchdown.
What Cincy does have is a group of running backs who have been very good this year and a quarterback that is much more comfortable running the ball as opposed to throwing it at this point. UC didn’t show any option plays that I saw this season but I would be surprised if they don’t add in some sort of read-option plays to expand their running game as well as keep the UofL defense off balance.
LOUISVILLE HAS TO STOP THE RUN
This is obvious after my point above but it is also key because UofL cooled off over the last few games when it came to turnovers. The Cards only forced four turnovers over their last four games and three of them came in one game. Stopping the run has always been the key to this defense playing at its best and they will need to do so again tomorrow.
DEON BRANCH SHOULD LET IT ALL HANG OUT
Louisville will enter this game with a skeleton staff made up of quality control coaches but they will be led by Cardinals legend Deion Branch. Branch has been working with the program as the director of player development for the past year after living in the city since he retired from the NFL. Branch has been an assistant high school coach and he has worked with different charities around the city. Being a head football coach at the college level hasn’t seemed to be something that he has angled for.
With all of that being said, I think Branch should be in full “go” mode for this game. Go for the risky fourth downs. Call the fake punts and field goals. Tell your assistants to be as aggressive as possible with their calls.
I’m not sure it’s possible for a coach to have a more favorable situation than Branch. He is playing with house money with Cards fans completely bought in to the coaching change and huge recruiting weekend happening back home that could help continue the positive trend for the program. Getting a win with some fun and exciting plays would just add to his legend.
LOUISVILLE SHOULD HAVE ALL THE MOTIVATION THEY COULD NEED
Your coach literally jumped at the first job offer available to him. He also took a lesser job and didn’t feel it necessary to have a team meeting to tell you in person. I would assume that every player on this team would like to show that they’ll be fine without Scott Satterfield.