College Football Game of the Week: Louisville vs. Miami

Story posted September 17, 2020 in Sports, CommRadio by Christopher Hess

For the second consecutive week, an ACC school will host College GameDay and feature in the marquee game of the week, as No. 17 Miami will take on No. 18 Louisville at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 19.

The Hurricanes opened up 2020 with a 31-14 win over UAB, and the Cardinals defeated a pesky Western Kentucky team 35-21.

Last season, Miami’s offense ranked No. 90 out of 130 teams and got shut out in its bowl game 14-0 against Louisiana Tech. Scoring points didn’t seem to be an issue this time around.

Miami’s new look offense started out hot against the Blazers last week, thanks to Cam’Ron Harris’ 134 yards rushing and two touchdowns alongside Houston transfer D’Eriq King’s two-touchdown performance.

Rhett Lashlee came in from SMU to take over the offensive play-calling duties and has looked good so far, as the Canes racked up 495 total yards, including 337 on the ground.

Some other names to look out for on the offensive side of the ball include running back Jaylan Knighton, tight end Brevin Jordan and wide receivers Mike Harley and Dee Wiggins.

Jordan is a legitimate NFL prospect and presents a physical frame at 6 feet 3 inches and 235 pounds. He recorded 51 receiving yards on three receptions against UAB and caught D’Eriq King’s lone touchdown pass.

On defense, the Canes had strong performances from Bradley Jennings Jr., Amari Carter, Nesta Jade Silvera and Temple transfer Quincy Roche. Jennings, Carter and Silvera combined for 16 total tackles in the win over the Blazers and are expected to perform at a high level game in and game out.

When looking at Louisville, to say that head coach Scott Satterfield has done a miraculous job thus far would be an understatement.

Coming over from Appalachian State at the end of the 2018 season, Satterfield inherited a team that Bobby Petrino left in shambles after recording a 2-10 campaign in 2018.

Fast forward not even a two years later, and the Cardinals finished 2019 at 9-4 and are dark horses in the ACC title race this year.

Micale Cunningham has been the man under center for Satterfield’s team, and he turned in a highlight-worthy performance in last week’s win over Western Kentucky. Cunningham completed 19 passes on 34 attempts for 343 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Javian Hawkins and Hassan Hall are two running backs that have the ability to break the game open at any time. The duo combined for 137 yards on the ground, and Hawkins found the end zone.

At wide receiver, the quartet of Tutu Atwell, Dez Fitzpatrick, Braden Smith and Justin Marshall is known for giving the opposition headaches due to their ability to get behind the defense.

Atwell is the most lethal weapon at just 5 feet 9 inches due to his blistering speed. However, he recorded just 78 receiving yards last Saturday, as the Hilltoppers secondary kept him in check.

Fitzpatrick and Smith each recorded four receptions for 110 yards, and Fitzpatrick caught a touchdown from 70 yards out to give the Cardinals a 35-14 lead last week.

Louisville’s defense is led by a linebacker corps that has one goal in 2020: get to the quarterback.
Dorian Ethridge, Rodjay Burns, C.J. Avery and Monty Montgomery each contributed to the stat sheet and made their presence felt on the field.

Montgomery recorded two sacks, Burns tallied one sack, Ethridge led the Cardinals in tackles with eight, and Avery was able to register three tackles in the win.

Saturday’s contest between the Cardinals and Hurricanes should be a game of which team can establish the line of scrimmage right from the jump.

Miami has the edge in offensive line play and in the running game. However, Louisville has the edge in overall offensive play, especially when it comes to explosive downfield shots in the passing game.

The Louisville receivers will pose a great challenge to the Miami secondary, but the Canes will counter in the run game, as the Cardinals’ run defense has struggled mightily.

Expect both teams to consistently trade blows in an extremely physical battle. Miami won’t rush for over 300 yards again, but the game will be won in the trenches for the Canes in a tightly contested slugfest.

Prediction: Miami 31, Louisville 27

 

Christopher Hess is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email christopherhess22@gmail.com.