Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater set out to make the Cardinals national title contenders this season.
So far, he has the team off to a great start.
No. 7 Louisville has won its first three games of the season by a combined score of 120-27. Bridgewater ranks No.4 in the nation in passing touchdowns (10), No.6 in yards per pass attempt (11.4) and No. 18 in completion percentage, but the defense has also stepped up, allowing nine points per contest (No. 4 in the country).
Florida International, on the other hand, is on the other side of the spectrum. The Golden Panthers (0-3) have lost to Maryland, UCF and FCS opponent Bethune-Cook to start the season.
FIU lost to Bethune-Cook last week, 34-13, allowing the Wildcats to scamper for 311 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Here's a look at the matchup on Saturday in Louisville.
*Statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com
When: Saturday, Sept. 21 at 12 p.m. ET
Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, KY
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line (via Covers.com): Louisville -42
FIU Injuries (via USA Today)
Doubtful: QB Travis Wright (Doubtful), QB Jake Medlock (Concussion)
Questionable: G Jordan White (Knee), S Demarkus Perkins (Leg), LB Davison Colimon (Ankle), DE Paul Crawford (Undisclosed), QB Israel Paopao (Foot)
Probable: S Demarkus Perkins (Knee)
Louisville Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: TE Hunter Bowles (Neck), RB Corvin Lamb (Knee)
Top Storyline: Is Louisville's Rushing Attack For Real?
Louisville's offense is dangerous enough with Teddy Bridgewater under center, but you add balance and the Cardinals' attack could soar.
Last week against Kentucky, the Cardinals rushed for 242 yards and two scores, led be senior Senorise Perry (11 rushes, 100 yards, two touchdowns).
Louisville currently ranks No.9 in the nation in passing yards per game and No. 67 in rushing yards per contest, so more balance would be ideal. Bridgewater is good enough to find holes in opposing defenses, even when they are focused on him, but giving teams something to think about in the backfield would make the junior even more devastating.
The question is, did Louisville rush the ball well because of poor defense, or is there something really there?
Prediction: Louisville 52, Florida International 7
Florida International allowed 34 points against Bethune-Cook.
How do you think the Golden Panthers are going to fare against Teddy Bridgewater and company?
This has "blowout" written all over it. FIU ranks No. 116 in the nation in points allowed per game, No. 116 in yards per pass attempt allowed and No. 112 in yards per carry ceded.
Louisville scored 47 points against Eastern Kentucky and 49 points against Ohio. I expect the Cardinals to score even more against Florida International on Saturday.
The last thing the Golden Panthers needed was for Louisville's ground game to get going. This team has no chance to stop the Cardinals in Louisville.
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