NCAA Football Game Preview: Louisville at Central Florida

Sep 9, 2022

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Game: Louisville Cardinals @ UCF Knights

Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Odds: Cardinals +5.5, Knights -5.5

Total: 61.5

If Scott Satterfield is unable to figure out how to turn things around at Louisville, it is likely that his time there will come to an end sooner rather than later. Satterfield’s record with the team stands at 18-19 after three years, which includes a disappointing 6-7 season that was capped off by a loss to Air Force in the First Responder Bowl last year.

Tonight, Satterfield and Louisville will travel to Orlando to take on a UCF team that has been on the rise since Scott Frost went 13-0 in 2017. The Knights finished last season with a record of 9-4 and won their bowl game by defeating Florida. UCF and head coach Gus Malzahn opened the 2022 campaign with a dominating performance against FCS South Carolina State, winning 56-10.

It had been almost two years since quarterback John Rhys Plumlee had started a game at the position, but he did so brilliantly in his return. The quarterback, who had played at Ole Miss, was responsible for 407 yards of total offense in the Knights’ win. Plumlee finished the game with 308 passing yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 99 yards on 16 carries. In addition, he scored a rushing touchdown.

As a freshman quarterback at Ole Miss, Plumlee accumulated 1,023 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns while also throwing for 910 passing yards and scoring four times. Over the past two seasons, he played wide receiver for the Rebels; however, he decided to transfer and move back to quarterback at UCF. The move appears like a good one.

Plumlee will force Louisville to come up with a strategy to keep him in check. Louisville lost to Syracuse last week in its season opener. The Cardinals did not do a good job of controlling Orange quarterback Garrett Shrader. In last week’s win over Louisville, 31-7, Shrader passed for 237 yards and added 95 more yards on the ground. Shrader was responsible for three touchdowns (two touchdown passes, and one touchdown run), as the Orange racked up 449 yards of total offense against the Cardinals’ defense.

The Cardinals have had some trouble when it comes to pass defense. Last season, they ranked 95th in the nation in that category. In the secondary, Louisville has three of its starters from last year and inserted Temple transfer M.J. Griffin into the other slot. If Louisville wants to stay in the game tonight, the secondary and the rest of the defense is going to have to step up.

UCF has won seven of its last eight games. They have also won eight straight at home. It is interesting to note that UCF’s record in its last 18 games played in Week 2 is just 5-13 SU.

In their previous seven games, Louisville has a record of 2-5 SU and ATS. In their previous 11 games played on the road, the Cardinals are 2-9 SU. Against opponents from the American Athletic Conference, Louisville has performed admirably. In their last 20 games versus AAC opponents, the Cardinals have posted a record of 15-5 SU.

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