Florida International Golden Panthers at Louisville Cardinals
Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
Friday, September 9, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Opening Line: Louisville -4 1/2
Current Line: Louisville -4
Opening Total: 49
Current Total: 48 1/2
Opening Money Line: Louisville -175 / Florida International +155
Current Money Line: Louisville -175 / Florida International +155
Coach Charlie Strong and the Louisville Cardinals host Mario Cristobal and the Florida International Golden Panthers. Both teams are 1-0 on the young season after beating inferior opponents last week. Florida International beat Sun Belt conference rival North Texas at home 41-16 last Thursday night. The covered the spread easily and the game went over the total. Louisville struggled in their 21-9 victory over Murray St, a game notable because it was the first official game of the 2011 season. The game kicked off at 6:00 pm last Thursday. Louisville didn’t cover the spread and the game went under the total. Louisville and Florida International have never played in football before.
FIU jumped out to a 28 point lead in the first quarter against North Texas and cruised to a 41-16 victory. The Panthers outgained the Mean Green 401-301. FIU had 208 rushing yards in the game. Quarterback Wesley Carroll was 16 for 22 for 193 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions. He also had 2 carries for 2 yards. Panther receiver T.Y. Hilton had 283 all purpose yards including 7 catches for 132 yards, including a 60 yard touchdown catch, along with 2 carries for 49 yards. He also had 2 kick returns for 92 yards. Running back Darriet Perry had 15 carries for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kedrick Rhodes had 16 carries, 77 yards and 2 touchdowns as well. Kicker Jack Griffin made 2 field goals of 23 and 45 yards as well as all 5 of his extra points. Punter Jack Brisk had 5 punts with a 49.2 yard average with one touchback and one inside the 20.
Florida International held North Texas to 301 total yards including 204 passing yards. The North Texas offense didn’t score a point as the defense recovered 2 fumbles in the end zone and recorded a safety accounting for all 16 Mean Green points. The Panthers defense had 3 sacks and recovered one fumble. Linebacker Winston Fraser had 11 tackles in the game. Linebacker Greg Hickman had 2 sacks in the game.
Louisville also jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and held on for a 21-9 victory. The Cardinals outgained the Racers 385-291, including 226 passing yards for Louisville. The game was very sloppy on both sides with Louisville turning it over 4 times, including 3 fumbles and an interception, and Murray St threw three interceptions. Louisville also had 10 penalties for 65 yards. Quarterback Will Stein was 17 for 32 for 226 yards, and 2 touchdowns without an interception. He also had 6 carries for -2 yards. Freshman receiver DeVante Parker had 3 catches for 55 yards, including a 39 yard touchdown catch in the first quarter. No other Cardinal receiver had more than 4 catches or 39 yards receiving. Senior RB Victor Anderson had 9 carries, 61 yards, and a touchdown. Anderson had 3 catches for 23 yards as well. Kicker Chris Philpott had 2 carries for 48 yards but 40 of those came on one play. Philpott didn’t attempt a field goal but made 3 extra points.Punter Josh Bleser had 5 punts with a 35 yards average but did have 3 inside the 20.
Murray St was held to only 291 yards against Louisville after averaging over 500 yards a game last year.Race Quarterback Casey Brockman threw for only 148 yards and 3 interceptions with no touchdowns. Running back Mike Harris had 26 carries, 116 yards, and a late touchdown. Louisville linebackers Preston Brown and Dexter Heyman both had 12 tackles. Heyman also had one of the 3 interceptions.
FIU is 1-9 against the spread in their last 10 as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points. The Panthers are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 4-1 ATS in their last 5 against Big East teams. Louisville is 4-1 ATS the spread in their last 5 after failing to cover the spread in the previous game. The Cardinals are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 home games and 2-8 in their last 10 Friday games as well. The over is 7-0 in FIU’s last 7 games as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points, and 13-3 in their last 16 road games against teams with winning records.
Louisville needs to play much better against a dangerous FIU team than they did against Murray St, especially on offense. They need to cut down on the penalties and turnovers or they could be on upset alert against a team picked to win the Sun Belt Conference.
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