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Game Day: Louisville at Georgia Tech

Go Cards.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 22 Pitt at Louisville Photo by James Black/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images


Aflac Kickoff Game

Game Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Atlanta, Ga.

Television: ESPN

Announcers: Anish Shroff (play-by-play), Andre Ware (analyst) and Paul Carcaterra (reporter)

Favorite: Louisville by 7.5

All-Time Series: Georgia Tech leads, 2-0

Last Meeting: Georgia Tech won, 46-27, on Oct. 9, 2020 in Atlanta

Series History:


Louisville Uniforms:

Relevant Videos:

Motivational Tweets:

Excitement Level: 9.3

The Brohms are back, and the vibes surrounding the entire Louisville football program haven’t been this high since Lamar Jackson left. With men’s basketball being so woeful last winter, it feels like we’ve been waiting for this moment even longer than most previous offseasons.

I can’t wait to see the opening act of the new era.

Game Attire: Cards football ringer tee

Homefield Apparel hoops shirts haven’t worked out well for me in recent years, but I’ve got a good feeling about football.

Pregame Meal: Taco soup

It’s either going to have to be a very quick meal after radio or a halftime meal. Anyone’s call at this point.

Bold Prediction:

Jawhar Jordan scores at least three touchdowns

T.J. Capers Playing Alert Level: Antique Brass (very, very low)

We have two new No. 18s on the roster this year. One is highly-touted freshman defensive lineman T.J. Capers, who hasn’t been fully healthy since arriving at U of L. The other is walk-on quarterback Sam Young from Oldham County.

It’s gonna be a slow start for the alert level, and if it becomes apparent that neither of these guys have any shot at seeing the field this season, we may need to make an adjustment.

Predicted Star of the Game: Jawhar Jordan

The offensive star of Louisville’s spring and fall camps goes nuts and shines the brightest in week one.

About Georgia Tech:

via Keith Wynne


Louisville opens their new season with Jeff Brohm as the head coach against a Georgia Tech team that finished last season strong. Brent Key was named as the interim coach early last season and he responded by leading his team to a ranked road win against Pitt. Key brought in a new offensive coordinator this season with the hopes of utilizing his talented skill groups in a more productive way.

With Jeff Sims moving on to Nebraska, Key needed an experienced starter to come in and take over the offense. He did just that when he landed Haynes King from Texas A&M. King has about 10 starts under his belt and he has played fairly well when he has been healthy. King has a good arm from a strength standpoint but his throwing motion is a bit long which can make it easier for defenders to jump routes.

King is solid as a runner and I think his legs could be a factor in this game. If Ron English holds back and doesn’t bring pressure, King could find some opportunities to extend plays with his legs or run for first downs.

Running back is one of the few spots where Tech has a proven commodity. Dontae Smith is a veteran back with over 1,000 yards in his career. The stocky back also has 12 touchdowns and I would say he’s been underused during his career. Smith has a knack for breaking off chunk runs but his toughness stands out to me. He will make it hard to bring him down with one guy. He also does a good job of falling forward when going down.

Trey Cooley (formerly Trevion) transferred to GT from Louisville after last season. He reunites with Norvall Mckenzie who recruited him to the Cards. Cooley got a lot of reps in the Tech spring game and should have the best chance to be the backup this season. Cooley showed off his pass-catching skills in the spring game but he didn’t make many plays outside of a few catches. I’m interested to see if he has more success in a different scheme.

I was very impressed with what I saw from the group of receivers Tech has. Malik Rutherford is a guy I loved coming out of high school but he hasn’t made a major impact as of yet. However, he did look like a guy ready to break out during the spring game. Christian Leary also looked like an Alabama-caliber recruit after transferring in. Leary is quick with the ball in his hands and he has breakaway speed. Both of these guys have the potential of making plays inside the hashes.

On the outside, Dominick Blaylock is a guy to watch out for. He had 15 catches and a touchdown for Georgia last year and brings a veteran presence to the group. Abdul Janneh had a strong season at Duquense last year which included 3 catches and a touchdown against FSU. Avery Boyd had 2 catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game and both catches were impressive. He has great size and jumping ability but on his long touchdown, he got behind the defense on a go route.

Another player that made a few plays in the spring game was Dylan Leonard. The big tight end made a couple of catches and gained some yards after the catch. He wasn’t utilized much last year, but I think the offense as a whole could look different this year with a new quarterback. Luke Benson will also be an option for King at the tight end spot. Both of these guys are veteran options that can test a young group of linebackers for Louisville.

Brent Key made his name as Alabama’s offensive line coach and his reputation helped him remake the group through the transfer portal. That has allowed the staff to add depth while going through their rebuild. With that being said, GT was terrible when it came to avoiding negative plays and sacks last season. The depth will likely help competition in practice but I’m not sure there is anything that I’ve seen that would make me think that this group has improved. UofL should have an edge here and they will need to exploit it.


Brent Key held over some of the staff members after the school removed his interim tag. One of those coaches was defensive coordinator, Andrew Thacker. Thacker has been the DC for five years and his results have been a mixed bag. One thing that can’t be disputed is the fact that he has done well with a handful of individual players. Unfortunately for him, that success has left him with some key roles to fill this season.

Keion White is off to the NFL and GT has to find someone to replace his 14 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. That won’t be an easy task but the group as a whole could be more likely to produce this season. Sylvain Yondjouen is a veteran option at the defensive end spot who should take a step forward as the top pass rusher on the outside. He and Kyle Kennard are my best bet to start at the end spots.

D’Quan Douse is the most productive returner up front. Bryan Hudson will have his hands full as Douse is a solid pass rusher from the interior. Zeek Biggers literally lives up to his name. At 6-6/336, he is one of the biggest linemen UofL will see this year. Markius Scott is the likely starter next to Douse and comes in at 6-4/291. The line doesn’t have a lot of size up front but they have some guys with solid athleticism.

Tech is replacing starters at linebacker but I think they have a couple of good options to choose from. Trenilyas Tatum finished last season with 31 tackles as a backup. He should step into one of the middle linebacker spots with an easy transition. The other spot seems to be more up in the air and the player that stood out to me in the spring game was Braelyn Oliver who is a transfer from Minnesota. Andrew White and Paul Moalo also transferred in and will be a part of the rotation at the very least. While I don’t expect any of these guys to be key playmakers, they do have experience and skill.

Defensive back is probably the best position group for this defense. Plenty of experience returns and Kenyatta Watson played extremely well in the spring game as a new potential starter. Myles Sims is a very big corner who returns for his fifth year at corner. These guys are both physical and they run well for their size. K.J. Wallace transferred in from Notre Dame last year and had a rough year in the slot. Another year in the system will likely help him, but I think he will be the player to watch as he matches up with UofL’s slot receivers.

Safety is the deepest and most experienced group on the roster with three players returning with starting experience. LaMiles Brooks is the top returner in interceptions, tackles, and PBUs. He made a good amount of plays last season in the games that I watched. Clayton Powell-Lee also had a strong season last year and returns at the other safety spot. Jaylon King rounds out the group and provides legit depth and versatility for Thacker.

Tech runs a base nickel package with five defensive backs on the field, so it will be important for UofL to run the ball well against a light front. Thacker may mix things up and play King in the nickel spot to add more size and a better tackler but then he has to cover. At this moment, I wouldn’t say that UofL has an advantage here but it’s fair to say that they should.


—Louisville is 56-42-6 all-time in season openers, but have dropped four of their last five.

—Georgia Tech is 89-37-4 (.702) in 130 all-time season openers.

—This will be Louisville’s earliest conference opener since opening the 2014 season on at home against Miami, a game which was also played on Sept. 1.

—Louisville is 1-2 all-time when opening the season with a conference game. The Cards lost at Syracuse a year ago, beat Miami at home in 2014, and lost to North Texas in 1963.

—Louisville is 0-2 all-time against Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are the only team in the conference beside Clemson that U of L has never beaten.

—A win over Louisville would be Georgia Tech’s 750th in program history.

—Friday’s game will mark the first game for former U of L quarterback Jeff Brohm at Louisville, who returns to his hometown and alma mater to coach the Cardinals. Brohm was hired by U of L on Dec. 5 after spending the last six years as the head coach at Purdue, where he posted a 36-34 mark and guided the Boilermakers to a Big Ten West title in 2022.

—Georgia Tech’s Brent Key is the fifth Georgia Tech alumnus to ever serve as the Yellow Jackets’ football head coach, joining William Alexander (1920-44), Bill Fulcher (1972-73), Pepper Rodgers (1974-79) and Bill Curry (1980-86).

—Key took over as interim head coach in the middle of last season, leading Georgia Tech to a 4-4 record before being named the full-time head coach.

—Louisville has not defeated a power conference opponent in a season-opener since beating Jeff Brohm’s Purdue Boilermakers in Indianapolis in 2017.

—Georgia Tech is 19-21 all-time in ACC openers.

—Louisville is 4-5 all-time in ACC openers. The Card have lost four of their last five league openers, including last season’s season-opener at Syracuse.

—Louisville is 29-29 all-time in conference openers.

—Georgia Tech is 96-28-4 all-time in home openers, and have won 21 of their last 24.

—Georgia Tech is 5-4 all-time when opening a season with an ACC game.

—Louisville hasn’t won its first game under a first-year head coach (excluding Bobby Petrino’s second tenure) since Steve Kragthrope and the Cardinals defeated Murray State (73-10) in 2007.

—Louisville is a 7.5-point favorite in this game according to DraftKings Sportsbook. The Cardinals were 6-2 straight up as a favorite last season.

—Georgia Tech is 1-2 all-time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and 0-2 all-time in the AFLAC Kickoff Game.

—Louisville is 0-2 all-time at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and 0-2 all-time in the AFLAC Kickoff Game. The Cardinals lost to Auburn (31-24) in this game in 2015, and to Ole Miss (43-24) in 2021.

—Georgia Tech ranked among the top 20 nationally in turnover margin (sixth — plus-11), turnovers gained (14th — 24) and fewest turnovers lost (17th — 13) last season.

—Louisville is 15-15-1 all-time in neutral site contests.

—Louisville is 37-37 in ACC games since joining the conference in 2014.

—Louisville will open the regular season in a neutral site contest for only the fifth time in school history. The Cardinals are 1-3 in such games.

—Louisville is 144-106-6 all-time during the month of September.

—Louisville has won 28 games in a row when holding teams to less than 300 yards of offense.

—Former players Amobio Akoye (Louisville) and Ron Rogers (Georgia Tech) will serve as the honorary captains for Friday night’s game.

—Georgia Tech running back Trevion Cooley transferred into the program after spending two seasons at Louisville.

—Since 2019, Louisville is 20-4 when winning the turnover battle, and just 3-18 when losing it.

—Louisville is 53-33-1 all-time record in Friday night games.

—Georgia Tech is 11-6 all-time in Friday night games, and 8-4 in regular season games played on Friday.

—The Cardinals have won 12 of their last 18 games played on Friday nights. They went 1-1 in such games last season, defeating Central Florida but falling to Florida State.

—Since 2018, Louisville is 8-0 when scoring 40-49 points, and 3-0 when scoring 50 or more.

—Louisville is currently riding a consecutive game scoring streak that spans 287 games dating back to a 31-0 loss to Florida State during the 2000 season. The streak ranks as the second longest in the ACC behind only Virginia Tech, and the 10th-longest nationally.

—Louisville is 197-14 all-time when scoring 35 or more points in a game. The Cards are also 6-121 all-time when allowing opponents to score 40 or more points.


—“We’re excited to get things kicked off this Friday evening, and I’m sure everyone’s excited to get the college football season started. Our guys have worked hard, put in a lot of work and now you have to go put it into action, and trust the preparation that you had and go out there and perform. You got to come through on game day and pass the test. Like every team, you’re excited to get started, and we are, and you’ll see what you’re made of. Each week will be a weekly test to see what you can do and how you can win a football game, but I know we’re excited to get things kicked off down in Atlanta.” —Jeff Brohm

“Yeah, it’s the first game truly out there as the head coach but having that experience last year and actually revisiting it and seeing those things really put me in a good place as far as going out there as the head coach and not being ‘Hey, it’s the first time out, first time with the players. Last year, yeah it probably was nerve-wracking the first few games. Now it’s all business and we have a job to do and I am excited to go out there with those guys and do it.” —Georgia Tech head coach Brent Key

—“Everything Key has done since I’ve stepped on this campus, I’ve agreed with. He handles things the right way. He lets everybody know what’s the standard and he told us straight-up what we would be graded on and it would be a grade every day.” —Georgia Tech head coach Haynes King

—“I mean, without question, my nerves will be going. You want to do well, you want to try to win the football game, please a lot of people, and you want to get off to a good start. That’s always going to be the goal. You have to go back and go through things and make sure you’re as ready as you can be. But then you’ve just got to go out there and play and coach. Be positive with your players, build their confidence, and help them achieve their best.” —Jeff Brohm

—“I think Georgia Tech will be hungry, will be well prepared. Coach Key played at Georgia Tech, so he’s going to take a lot of pride in preparing this team. They made improvements while he was the head coach, had a Top 25 win along the way, and without question, they’re going to be hungry. Normally the hungriest team has a chance to win the football game.” —Jeff Brohm

Card Chronicle Prediction: Louisville 31, Georgia Tech 21

Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See for details.