BOZICH | First Look: U of L, UK, IU favored -- as Hoosiers get A - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | First Look: U of L, UK, IU favored -- as Hoosiers get AP poll vote

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Strange things happen when they play more games in college football: The outlook keeps shifting as everybody looks ahead. 

When the first numbers were posted in Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon, Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana all started the week favored this weekend.

It gets stranger: Only one local team earned a vote in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll -- Indiana.

Doug Lesmerises of Cleveland.com, Big Ten country, voted the Hoosiers 25th on his ballot after they defeated defending SEC East champ Missouri Saturday.

Louisville earned six votes in the coaches' poll, but nothing from the writers.

Louisville has to wonder what the Cards must do to maintain positive mojo, even though U of L went to Miami and defeated Florida International, 34-3, in a game interrupted by weather Saturday.

Both quarterback Will Gardner (knee) and running back L.J. Scott (ankle) left the game with injuries – this during a season where the Cards have been without top receiver DeVante Parker for all four games and without halfback Michael Dyer for three. (Dyer returned briefly Saturday, carrying eight times for 16 yards.)

Now Louisville gets a (2-2) Wake Forest team that rallied to score 10 points in the fourth quarter to defeat Army, 24-21.

Kentucky learned that Vandy, which played South Carolina tough for three quarters, might not be as easy to beat as it had appeared, but a few more Ws (Missouri, for one, are possibly dancing across the UK 2014 schedule).

Indiana backed up its most deflating performance in the Kevin Wilson Era (a 45-42 loss to Bowling Green eight days ago) with its most inspiring win of the Wilson Era (a come-from-behind, 31-27 KO of unbeaten Missouri, the defending SEC East champs; Big Ten lightweight beats SEC heavyweight on the road -- the world awaits reaction from Paul Finebaum.).

And Western Kentucky likely used its week of preparation to get ready for the Navy triple-option running attack that the Hilltoppers stopped in Bowling Green a year ago. WKU will try to avoid a Payback Moment when it visits Navy, which slipped to 2-2 by losing a home game to Rutgers Saturday.

A quick team-by-team outlook:

The Cards, 3-1, still need to regroup and win the next two before the schedule stiffens. Wake remains the most winnable game on the schedule, and Syracuse, the Cards' opponent after the Demon Deacons, looked lost while trying to handle Maryland's speed on defense in a 34-20 loss at The Carrier Dome.

Although the Orange outgained the Terps by 220 yards, they were burned by a 90-yard pass and 88-yard interception return, one of two turnovers.

Louisville finished the game Saturday credited with only 12 yards rushing because of multiple sacks of quarterbacks Gardner and Brett Nelson.

SAGARIN SAYS: Louisville over Wake by 25.3.

VEGAS SAYS: U of L by 21.

This is the game Mark Stoops has to get, the first time anybody has said “has to get” to the coach in his 27-game career at UK. The Wildcats will be favored against Vanderbilt (1-3), which was outscored 31-10 during the second half of a 48-34 home loss to South Carolina.

This is a game Kentucky will win next Saturday at noon in Commonwealth Stadium. For the record, I predicted a Kentucky win in August.

After that … Louisiana Monroe and Missouri look like two more teams UK could topple. The Tennessee and Louisville games will also be interesting. A victory over Vandy will cue bowl talk (six wins) in Lexington.

SAGARIN SAYS: Kentucky over Vandy by 5.3.

VEGAS SAYS: UK is now favored by 14 1/2 after opening as a 10 1/2-point pick.

Indiana got ahead, went behind, got ahead, went behind, stayed behind, tied it up, went behind and then won in the final minute.

It usually happens the other way for the Hoosiers. It did not happen that way this time because IU halfback Tevin Coleman (a three-star recruit) is one of the best backs in the nation, romping for 132 yards on 19 carries even though he missed one and one-half quarters with cramps in Columbia. Coleman also caught three passes for 57 yards, including the catch and run that set up D'Angelo Roberts' game-winning touchdown.

Now the Hoosiers return home to play Maryland, which looked explosive while defeating Syracuse. With two victories, IU will likely have to win four of these six games to go to program's second bowl in two decades – Maryland, North Texas, at Michigan, Penn State, at Rutgers and Purdue.

Doable?

SAGARIN SAYS: Indiana over Maryland by only .42.

VEGAS SAYS: Indiana opened as a 4-point favorite, but the number is now 3.

Navy trailed Rutgers 31-17 before scoring a fourth-quarter touchdown to lose a home game (in front of 33,655 fans) in Annapolis, Md. Rutgers gashed the Midshipmen with its running game, rolling for 284 yards, 5.1 per rush.

Navy must have been frazzled. The Midshipmen passed the ball 22 times, completing a dozen. Navy had entered the game with only 11 pass completions in three games. Navy does not like to pass.

If WKU can win at Navy, the schedule finally softens with games against UAB (home), Florida Atlantic and Old Dominion (home).

SAGARIN SAYS: Navy over WKU by 11.88.

VEGAS SAYS: WKU is a 7-point underdog.

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