BOZICH | First Look: Irish vulnerable to U of L defense? UK, Ten - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | First Look: Irish vulnerable to U of L defense? UK, Tennessee, The Streak

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Saturdays in the college football season are dwindling. Regular-season college basketball games lift off Friday night.

Better take a quick First Look at the local football weekend – and jump ahead to Louisville's trip to South Bend in 12 days.

Louisville at Notre Dame, 3:30 p.m., Nov. 22, NBC: This looks like a good week to avoid Notre Dame. The Irish (7-2) have lost two of three games, disappearing from the playoff conversation. The strident sections of the fan base have begun to question coach Brian Kelly as well as quarterback Everett Golson.

Heck, Kelly started to question Golson after his quarterback threw four interceptions in an ugly, 55-31, loss at Arizona State Saturday. Louisville safety Gerod Holliman needs one interception to get to 14 and tie the NCAA single-season record. Golson looks like a willing participant in making history, a guy who figures to have issues with the Louisville defense, a unit that returned to its dominant form over the final 35 minutes at Boston College.

But first, the Irish play host to Northwestern on Saturday – as Louisville gets an extra week to prepare. If the Cards can get to 9-3 by beating Notre Dame and Kentucky, they'll be close to most realistic pre-season predictions, if you're willing to forgive that loss to sagging (4-6) Virginia.

Brian Kelly (Cincinnati) and Bobby Petrino (first stay at U of L) missed each other in the Big East.

The Line: Too soon for Vegas. Jeff Sagarin's Predictor computer numbers favor Notre Dame by 4.9 points.

Kentucky at Tennessee, 4 p.m., SEC Network: You know the backdrop to this story. No UK wins in Knoxville since 1984. That was a half-dozen coaches ago. Kentucky (5-5) needs this one, or one against Louisville Nov. 29, to be bowl eligible.

The Vols (4-5) aren't anything special. Three of their five defeats have been by two touchdowns or more. Their most impressive victory was by three at South Carolina. Their most impressive loss was by three at Georgia. Like Kentucky, Tennessee should have beaten Florida.

But there's a fresh buzz in Knoxville because coach Butch Jones has already flipped the calendar to 2015. He's selling hope and change. He's starting 13 freshmen and sophomores, including quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns against the Gamecocks.

The Line: Vegas makes it Tennessee by 7 ½. Sagarin number is 11.58.

Indiana at Rutgers 3:30 p.m. Big Ten Network: The symbolism for this game could not be worse for the Hoosiers. Rutgers, a team making its first swing through the Big Ten, will become bowl eligible by beating an Indiana team (3-6) that is likely to regress from five wins to three this season.

And then Indiana has to go to Ohio State the following week.

The Hoosiers played their best defensive game of the Kevin Wilson Era in a 13-7 defeat against Penn State Saturday. But the offense did nothing. The only touchdown came on an interception return.

Without a legitimate quarterback, it's difficult to forecast another IU win this season. I know I said that last week. I'll say it again next week, too.

The Line: Vegas favors Rutgers by 7. Sagarin tilts to the home team by 3.37.

Army at Western Kentucky, noon, CBS Sports Network: The Toppers should get back to .500 (5-5) against the Black Knights, who are laboring through a 3-6 season. Army did beat UConn last week, scoring 35 points to end a three-game losing streak.

WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty remains second in the nation in passing yards per game, averaging nearly 370. He's got 28 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Those are big-time numbers.

The Line: Vegas likes WKU by 10 ½. Sagarin says Western by 12.63.

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