BOZICH | Ten item countdown to Miami-Louisville kickoff - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Ten item countdown to Miami-Louisville kickoff

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Ten items to get everybody through the final 24 hours of the countdown to kickoff for the University of Louisville's opening football game against Miami in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Monday at 8 p.m.

1. One major change from Louisville's move to the Atlantic Coast Conference – the secondary ticket market. James Price, an avid Cards' fan (and WDRB.com reader) who lives in Houston, made plans several months ago to attend the Miami and Kentucky games.

The price for his tickets?

“I paid 100 apiece for Miami and UK, again way up in the UPS deck,” Price wrote. “That was unheard of, in advance, for any game I can remember, other than maybe the WVU Black-Out game (the one with the real black-out!) back in Petrino Era I (2006 season).

“(For the game at) Notre Dame, in the end zone (tickets) were $210 a piece. I got all of these months ago, so not sure what they are going for now, but the writing on the wall was how early U of L completely sold out of season ticket packages. That is only going to get tighter if Petrino Era II is anywhere near as exciting football-wise as the first round.”

I checked StubHub.com 24 hours before kickoff. There were 332 tickets available with prices ranging from $46 to $379.

2. According to VegasInsiders.com, the point spread for this game opened with Louisville favored by 2 ½ points on July 27. By Aug. 1 the Cards were favored by 3. The number advanced to Aug. 2.

It has not moved again. Not at all.

Of course, if you prefer Jeff Sagarin's computer power ratings, Miami is actually rated .27 better than Louisville, but the home field advantage makes the Cards favored by 2.85 points.

3. Bobby Petrino's record in Papa John's Cardinal Stadium is 22-1. The one loss?

I didn't remember it. So I looked it up.

To Memphis. By 30 points. In 2003.

4. Petrino is unbeaten in nine season openers as a college head coach. In fact, he's won those games by an average of 24.7 points. Five of the victories were against Kentucky – and four against FCS programs.

Miami coach Al Golden has split eight season-opening games, although he's won his last two with the Hurricanes, beating Boston College and Florida Atlantic the last two seasons.

5. Miami hopes true freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya can do for the Hurricanes what Teddy Bridgewater did for the Cards – win, win, win.

Kaaya, a four-star recruit, is a Californian who turned down USC, UCLA and Boise State to become the next Bernie Kosar, Vinny Testaverde or Jim Kelly. As a high school senior, Kaaya completed 62.2 percent of his passes for 3,853 yards and 27 touchdowns with only six picks.

But this will be his first college snap.

6. College football guru Phil Steele rated Louisville No. 26 in is pre-season magazine. He doesn't love the Hurricanes as much. They're No. 37.

7. Miami halfback Duke Johnson has been billed as the best back in the Atlantic Coast Conference. He'll wear Number 8. He missed the Russell Athletic Bowl against the Cards in December. He's only 5 feet 9, but is listed at 206 pounds.

Miami was 7-1 when Johnson played last season. The Canes were 2-3 without Johnson.

8. Five players from the Cards' 2013 team made active 53-man rosters in the NFL – Teddy Bridgewater (Vikings, quarterback); Preston Brown (linebacker, Bills); Calvin Pryor (safety, Jets); Marcus Smith (defensive end, Eagles) and Senorise Perry (running back, Bears).

9. If Louisville can handle the Hurricanes, the Cards should be favored to win their next five before making their first trip to Clemson on Oct. 11.

Murray State visits Papa John's Cardinal Stadium next week. The next three opponents – Virginia, Florida International and Wake Forest – all lost their season openers. And Syracuse, U of L's opponent in game six, needed overtime to beat Villanova, an FCS program, 27-26, at the Carrier Dome.

10. The Cards were 2-5 as a home favorites last season. The Hurricanes were 0-1 as a road underdog.

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