So what do you do after you take down your chief rival 32-14, beating them for the second year in a row. The team that brags about winning 8 basketball championships, even though the first 4 were won when no one paid attention, 1 came with a coach they now despise and 1 came from a guy they unfairly ran out of town. The team that even now says the infamous, “wait til basketball season.” If you're the nationally ranked University of Louisville Cardinals, you put all that behind you and concentrate on the next game with the Missouri State Bears who visit Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on Saturday at 3:30pm.
You also have to guard against a letdown. When Louisville went into Commonwealth Stadium last year and upset the Kentucky Wildcats, they followed it up with a loss at home to Marshall, which set off a 3 game losing streak. This year's Cardinal team looks hungry but overconfidence could be a killer if they see that Missouri State lost to Kansas State last Saturday 51-9 without realizing that midway through the third quarter that game was tied 9-9 before Kansas State reeled off 42 unanswered points.
This week the Cards have another offensive explosion waiting to happen. The o-line pushed around Kentucky last week and with their size and depth advantage Missouri State's defensive line should be in for a long day. And just when you think the rushing attack couldn't get better with Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry both running for over 100 yards, then you get Dominique Brown back from injury this week. Oh, and their quarterback is Teddy Bridgewater. Experts think he's pretty good.
That's not to say the Bears don't have weapons. Dorian Buford had a good outing last week with 7 catches for 114 yards. His quickness means the Cardinal secondary needs to stay disciplined in a way they forgot against UK. Plus the Cats converted on 7 of 13 third downs and Coach Charlie Strong wants that a lot lower against Missouri State and for the rest of the season.
All the signs point to a UofL blowout, but remember, the Cards want to keep their starting QB healthy so if the game gets out of hand Bridgewater should come out early again. Go conservative and give the Cards the victory 35-7.
Photo: Louisville.com/Max Sharp