Above, my view from the press box as the University of Louisville prepares to face South Florida tonight in Raymond James Stadium.
It’s pretty simple — at stake for U of L is a bowl game. Win and that hope is alive. Lose, and it is likely gone after Rutgers’ victory over Pittsburgh.
Maybe the most interesting angle on this game — the pointspread jumped by 2 1/2 points in the 48 hours leading up to the game. It’s a pretty dramatic jump, and you never know what may have prompted it. South Florida is now a 9-point favorite.
Some changes for U of L. Linebacker Malik Jackson will drop down to start at defensive end, while Richard Raglin moves into the starting free safety spot.
U of L has never won at Raymond James, and in fact has turned in some of its worst conference performances here. South Florida was No. 2 in the nation at one point this season, but dropped three straight to Rutgers, UConn and Cincinnati before stopping the bleeding last week at Syracuse.
Rutgers and Cincinnati have been the only two teams to score more than 23 points against the Bulls this season, and that’s the key to tonight’s game for the Cardinals — how much offense can they muster against an athletic and well-coached defense.
It’s going to call from some creativity — and some semblance of a running game.
We’ll see what happens. Stay tuned for a running commentary in the first half, though with the late start, the comments might get pretty scarce in the second half. As always, you can submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or at the comment box to the right.