Louisville football: Way-too-early 2021 record prediction

Micale Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Micale Cunningham #3 of the Louisville Cardinals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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As the basketball team navigates their way through the middle of ACC conference play, Louisville football now has a brand new schedule to look forward to for the fall of 2021.

On Thursday morning, the ACC released the news to the public with a full 12-game slate to dive into that includes four non-conference games.

It all begins on Sep. 6 in a Monday Labor Day matchup against Ole Miss in the SEC. That game is part of the Chik-Fil-A Kickoff Game that will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

After a one year break, the Governor’s Cup against Kentucky is back on the schedule for the last game of the regular season on Nov. 27.

Louisville’s non-conference schedule certainly is not a cake walk with just one FCS team (Eastern Kentucky) on the the docket. The program has clearly taken the stance that they would like to challenge themselves outside of the ACC which sets up some intriguing matchups.

Another piece of interesting info about the season is that the Cardinals are set to play three weekday games this year that includes games on Monday, Thursday, and Friday.

With the 12 opponents set, we couldn’t help ourselves. We had to give some predictions.

Way-too-early record prediction

For this exercise, let’s go game-by-game to evaluate the odds of winning to determine what the final record might look like.

Week 1 – Ole Miss @ Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Date of game: Sep. 6

2020 record: 5-5

Best win: Outback Bowl over Indiana

Key losses: TE Kenny Yeboah, WR Elijah Moore

Key returners: QB Matt Corral, RB Jerrion Ealy, DB A.J. Finley

Coach: Lane Kiffin

The Skinny: Louisville will have one of their biggest challenges all year in game one as they attempt to slow down Lane Kiffin’s high-flying Rebels offense that is led by star quarterback Matt Corral who threw for over 3,300 yards in 10 games in 2020. Louisville boasts one of the ACC’s best corners in Kei’Trel Clark to help slow them down, but this team feels like it could be too much for the Cardinals in game one against a team with this kind of talent offensively.

The losses of dynamic pass catchers Moore and Yeboah is a big loss for the team. But Corral is one of the best quarterbacks in the land despite 14 interceptions last season.

Prediction: Louisville keeps it interesting but can’t hang with Ole Miss’s offense. LOSS