Start Time: 7 pm (EST) Thursday, September 1st
Location: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
Stream: ESPN LiveStream
Betting Line: Louisville -39.5, O/U 59.5
Series Record: This is the first meeting between these schools.
Just because you already know how a game is going to turn out, does not mean the game is somehow less worthy than other games that day.
Sometimes that game is a re-airing on ESPN Classic. Sometimes it’s a regular-season game against two teams fine-tuning their squads for the season. If you’re a fan of the game, these match-ups are the very best ones to watch.
Charlotte returns for its second year as a full-FBS member, coming off a 2-10 season which saw shaky quarterback play and a 10-game losing streak to finish out 2015. While this was not bad enough to make them the worst team in CUSA (*cough*), it was almost-kinda better than expectations, considering their total lack of FBS history.
This was helped by a solid defense behind DC Matt Wallerstedt, who held eventual bowl-team Georgia State to 20 points, not a record for the season but hey, Charlotte’s offense put up 23 so that’s good enough for government work.
This year sees experience, as the top four receivers return, as do eight players on defense. New blood at QB certainly won’t hurt either as former Miami Hurricane Kevin Olsen and ECU graduate transfer Cody Keith enter the fray.
Louisville, well... we expect big things from them this year.
Bobby Petrino returns at the helm, Lamar Jackson returns at QB, the Cards see their top three receivers return. This is a team that went 8-5 last year, but only lost to Auburn by a touchdown, and to Houston and Clemson by only a field goal each. They proved themselves a worthy Power Five team, and hungry for a title this year— poor Charlotte gets to be the first victim as the Cards get revved up for FSU in two weeks.
Louisville is, by any metric, a fun team to watch, and suffers only from having to share a division with FSU and Clemson. If an ACC team doesn’t make the NCG this year, it’s Louisville’s fault.
It’s would be vulgar to predict a final score to this game, and at the end of the day we all know the approximate outcome already. But this will be a fun game to watch, as Conference USA steps up its efforts across the board this year. For Charlotte fans all eyes should be on the quarterback position as several guys should have an opportunity to display their abilities against a quality opponent.