How will Louisville football fare in 2020? Game-by-game-predictions.
Making predictions game-by-game in a normal, non-pandemic season is difficult in and of itself. Things become even more challenging to predict how things will go considering we don’t know how many games will be played, whether every player will be healthy, how outbreaks will cause cancellations, and much more. In a year with a ton of hype and big expectations for Louisville football there’s an equal amount of uncertainty and worry of what the season will look like.
Because I’m a football writer and not a fortune teller, I’m going to be predicting these games as if they were going to be played in a normal world – meaning no COVID-19 implications. Yes, it will be flawed. Yes, in a few months you may be able to laugh at me. All of those things are true – but when predicting this year’s outcome there is no way to take those things mentioned into consideration.
Now, without further ado, my 11 game predictions for Louisville football’s 2020 season.
Week 1: Western Kentucky
After the release of the new Louisville football schedule, we now know who the Cards will face first in 2020 and who they will face from out of conference. That opponent will be a familiar one in Western Kentucky, who they’ve played in each of the last two seasons going 2-0 along the way.
This game will be played at home, per the ACC’s scheduling policies, and will follow up the 38-21 win against Western Kentucky last year in Nashville. The Tops will also be in the second season of a new coaching era, as Tyson Helton will look to progress even further after winning a surprising nine games in his first year as coach.
As we saw last year, WKU is a team capable of hanging around much longer than you’d hope for thanks to a very good defense and an offense capable of putting points up. Steven Duncan will take back over the quarterbacking duties after being out with an injury for most of the season, and will look to put up a similar performance to the one had against Louisville last season.
When you combine Duncan with experienced running back Gaej Walker along with dynamic weapons Jahcour Pearson, who was nearly an 1,000-yard receiver a year ago, as well as rising sophomore tight end Joshua Simon the offense can be dangerous.
Louisville’s offense struggled at times against Western’s defense last year, before completely taking over the game late, and they’ll have to deal with nearly the entire group from that game. While I expect this to be close for a quarter or two, Louisville’s offense is far too explosive and a healthy Micale Cunningham and Javian Hawkins should give them everything needed.
The bigger question will be how prepared will Louisville’s defense be to stop WKU’s offense? Last year they gave up far too many yards for my liking, and while it really didn’t matter, it still is a grounds for some concern.
In the end, Louisville comes in and plays energetic football from the start as they work to send a big message to the ACC teams coming their way.
Score: Louisville 45, Western Kentucky 17