Gameday is here: More links to share ...
Good morning from Louisville -- about to head out for a few hours before today's big USF-Louisville game, but first sharing a few links while watching "48 Hours" on the hotel TV. Can't say I ever noticed the odd steel drums in the soundtrack before. And what year did Eddie Murphy stop being funny?
Lots of good copy in the Louisville Courier-Journal today -- their main advance story talks about how the Cardinals want to regain their dominance at home. Louisville was 22-1 at home under Bobby Petrino, but is just 7-4 under Steve Kragthorpe. Even John L. Smith went 24-7 in his five years. They also remind how lopsided the series has been -- the closest margin since 2004 has been 23 points.
-- C-J columnist Rick Bozich makes a good point that a win today for Louisville would be Kragthorpe's biggest since coming here. It's also the first time since 1980 that the Cardinals are averaging more yards rushing than passing. I don't think they'll get more on the ground today, but if they do, it's a good sign for the home team.
-- The Sarasota Herald-Tribune's Alan Dell points out that senior safety Louis Gachette could make his first start today after playing in 43 games for USF. My hunch is USF will open up in its base 4-3 defense, robbing Gachette of what would be a well-deserved first start. He's got 64 career tackles, probably about as many as you can collect in college without a start. I should point out that while locals here pronounce it Lou-a-ville, Gachette pronounces his name Lou-iss. Don't get excited about the italics.
-- Biggest key to this game? Turnovers, easily. Look at Louisville's 27-2 home loss to Kentucky in the Cardinals' opener, and they had five turnovers while forcing one. Hunter Cantwell threw three picks -- he has a Big East-high eight this season -- and Victor Anderson got only 31 yards as Louisville played catch-up the whole game.
-- Picks? ESPN.com's Brian Bennett, who covered Louisville up until this season, calls for a 34-24 USF win. The site's Bruce Feldman sees the Bulls winning 27-17. SI.com's Stewart Mandel takes the Bulls 30-24, and fans at SI.com are picking USF to win 91 percent of the time. And yes, Card Chronicle sees a Louisville win.