BOZICH | Countdown to College Football Kickoff: Day Five - WDRB 41 Louisville News

BOZICH | Countdown to College Football Kickoff: Day Five

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – This is the final Saturday without college football in 2015.

The serious hitting actually begins Thursday night with several serious games – Michigan-Utah; TCU-Minnesota; South Carolina-North Carolina, and, Western Kentucky-Vanderbilt.

Now that the Countdown to Kickoff has reached five days, I have collected five items to get everybody safely to Thursday night.

1. Western Kentucky a trendy pick against Vanderbilt

Hey, the Hilltoppers are only one-point underdogs in Nashville, which means that if the game was booked for Bowling Green, Jeff Brohm’s team would be favored by at least five points. Maybe more, depending upon how much weight you give the homefield advantage.

But the news from the Vanderbilt camp this month has not been favorable. First Vandy lost its best receiver, C.J. Duncan, for the season with a knee injury. Then the Commodores lost left offensive tackle Andrew Jelks, a two-year starter, to another knee injury.

Take the point and the Hilltoppers.

Unless you can get more than a point from any true believes in the Southeastern Conference. Then take those, too.

2. How dangerous is Louisiana Lafayette, Kentucky’s Week One opponent?

Dangerous: Coach Mark Hudspeth’s team has gone 9-4 in four consecutive seasons.  (The link.) The Rajun Cajuns have won four straight times in the New Orleans Bowl. Hudspeth, a former Mississippi State assistant, will likely upgrade to a better job in the next year or two. His guys can usually score.

Not Dangerous: ULL lost to Ole Miss 56-15 last season and also lost to Arkansas, 34-14 in 2013.

Dangerous: Elijah McGuire, the Rajun Cajuns’ halfback, was voted Sun Belt player of the year last season when he crackled for 1,264 yards and 14 touchdowns, averaging better than 7 yards per carry. Phil Steele ranks him the 13th best back eligible for the NFL Draft in the nation.

Not Dangerous: ULL is replacing a veteran quarterback.

The line tilts toward Mark Stoops and his players. Kentucky remains favored by 16.

3. Why Louisville Should Add 11,000, Not 10,000, seats to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium

Louisville’s announcement on Friday that 10,000 seats will be added to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium had me scrambling through Phil Steele’s college football yearbook.

I determined that with 65,000 seats, PJCS would rank as the sixth largest facility in the Atlantic Coast Conference, behind Florida State, Clemson, Miami, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech.

But if Louisville would actually make it an 11,000-seat addition, bumping the total to 66,000, the Cards’ would have the fourth largest facility in the league because capacity at Virginia Tech is listed at 65,632. The number at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh is 65,500.

That should be easy to do.

4. No NFL Talk for Nate Sudfeld

Indiana opens with Southern Illinois Saturday night in Bloomington. IU quarterback Nate Sudfeld has enjoyed a solid training camp. Sudfeld figures to be selected in the 2016 NFL Draft. Some have him being taken as high as the second round.

Sudfeld has heard the chatter. But he’s more interested in exiting Memorial Stadium with his first winning season in four years.

“It’s flattering when you have friends texting you links and hearing that,” Sudfeld said. “But I don’t ever actively try to go out and look at that stuff.

“My brother (Zach, a tight end) played for the New York Jets … I understand I’m in a special spot right now. I really enjoy being at Indiana University. And if I’m always looking at the next thing, I’ll never enjoy where I’m at.

“I just know if we take care of business and I accomplish all the goals I have for college that will all take care of itself.”

5. Auburn Coach Knows Petrino and Malzahn

Auburn running backs coach Tim Horton has a great perspective for the Auburn-Louisville game, which will be played in Atlanta next Saturday.

Horton worked for Louisville coach Bobby Petrino at Arkansas. Now he coaches the backs for Gus Malzahn at Auburn.

As he told Brandon Marcello of in this story, the Auburn coaching staff knows that Petrino has been working on his game plan since at last January. They’re aware that Petrino’s teams are 10-0 in opening games. Petrino is The King of Preparation.

Horton said that Petrino is the gold standard when it comes to preparation.

There are some (coaches) that are just as good but there's nobody better," Horton said.

Copyright 2015 WDRB News. All Rights Reserved.

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