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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Beat Duke.

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—Spread check: Louisville by 6.

—The biggest offensive weapons for both Louisville and Duke could be sidelined Saturday afternoon.

—The ACC announced its preseason awards on Thursday evening and the Cardinals were well represented. Senior Olivia Cochran was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel Preseason All-ACC Team while transfers Jayda Curry and Kiki Jefferson were both named to the Newcomer Watch List.

—The U of L women’s basketball team has been picked to finish fourth in the ACC, its lowest preseason league projection in quite a while.

—It looks like any bad weather for tomorrow is going to be limited to the evening and shouldn’t affect tomorrow’s tailgating or game.

—Louisville Report’s Matt McGavic has some takeaways from the last two days of Louisville basketball media sessions.

—U of L football is set to host over 50 prospects this weekend for Homecoming.

—Cardinal Authority previews Louisville vs. Duke.

—Louisville Report looks at the points of emphasis for the Cards vs. the Blue Devils.

‘Stout’ Duke Defense Marching Into Louisville

While quarterback Riley Leonard, the running backs and the rest of the Duke offense generates most of the headlines, where the Blue Devils have really made their hay is on defense. In fact, they enter their matchup with Louisville with one of the top defenses not only in the ACC, but college football.

“They’re stout on defense,” Brohm said. “They play a solid brand of physical football that keeps the ball in front of them. They do some really good things up front in running games and stunts and creating some havoc for your offensive line, and they they’ve just been very good. I think until the Florida State game, you could hardly score any points on them, and they kept that game extremely close to the very end.”

Duke’s defense is currently averaging only 315.9 yards and 13.9 points allowed per game, which comes in 24th and ninth, respectively, in the FBS. While their rushing defense comes in at 60th at 136.4 rushing yards allowed per game, they make up for it by having the No. 2 red zone defense in college football, behind only Michigan.

Where the Blue Devils really excel is in pass coverage. Not only are they allowing only just 179.4 passing yards per game for the 16th-fewest in the FBS, their passing efficiency defensive mark of 104.66 comes in at 8th nationally.

“Their secondary, they’re playing with three corners and two safeties, and one of them is a sophomore I believe, but the rest of them are grad students or seniors,” wide receivers coach Garrick McGee said. “So they’ve played a lot of football, and they don’t make mistakes, they communicate and they play hard.”

What to watch for as Lou City hosts Detroit City in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday.

—Here’s what you need to know if you’re heading to the Lou City playoff match at Lynn Family Stadium on Saturday night.

—The U of L women’s soccer team closed out its 2023 season with a 1-0 upset of No. 25 Duke.

—The Duke Chronicle lays out five things to know before tomorrow’s top 20 showdown in The Ville.

—Very pumped that my son shares a birthday with Jeff Walz.

—Louisville-Duke is discussed at the 55-minute mark of the latest episode of the Yahoo sports college football podcast.

—TCU coaches learned from other staffs about Michigan’s “elaborate” sign-stealing before the CFP semifinal. The Horned Frogs changed signs but used “dummy” signs to trick the Wolverines.

—Burner Ball asked the college basketball community for some sign stealing stories and they did not disappoint.

—Louisville versus Duke is a tale of uncertainty and opportunity.

—Experience matters now more than ever in college basketball. Louisville, with one senior and five players who are new to Division I, ranks among the bottom third of the ACC in that regard. Brooks Holton of the CJ writes about why the Cards are hopeful that age won’t define maturity.


—North Carolina Sports Network has Louisville-Duke as the best game involving a North Carolina team this weekend.

—Northwestern State canceled the remainder of its football season two weeks after a player was killed.

—Racing Louisville has parted ways with head coach Kim Björkegren.

—U of L men’s tennis assistant coach Mario Rincon has accepted an offer to be a national coach for the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

—The Devils Den is predicting a Duke upset on Saturday.


Looking at both teams’ numbers on the year, neither commit many penalties at all. Duke is second in the ACC at just 5.0 per game, while Louisville is a little behind them committing 6.4 miscues each time they take the field. Turnovers are another place where game-changing mistakes can occur, but these teams are similarly well-coached in this area. Both teams have an average turnover margin per game at 0.43. The Cardinals (11) have coughed it up a little more than the Blue Devils (7) so there’s not much of an edge there, either.

There’s a reason these two teams are still in the hunt for the ACC race this late in the season. They’re both very well-coached, play sound and complementary football and stay on schedule offensively. Everything is pointing to this being a close game into the fourth quarter.

Based on everything I’ve heard, Leonard will at least give it a go at quarterback this weekend. If he’s healthy enough to go the entire game, I think that will be enough for the Blue Devils to get the win. But it won’t be easy. This should be a one score game but I’ll give Mike Elko’s group the edge as long as Leonard is under center. If not, switch these numbers in favor of the Cardinals.

17 Duke

13 Louisville

—The folks over at Tomahawk Nation are also liking the Devils.

—Virginia Tech smacked Syracuse 38-10 to move to 3-1 in the ACC. The Hokies are coming to town next week for a game that looks much, much tougher than it did a month ago.

—The ACC Digital Network previews Louisville-Duke in video form.

—Three of the four college football writers at The Athletic like Louisville to cover the spread tomorrow.

—And finally, beat Duke.