2014 Week 1 NCAA FB Picks – Miami Hurricanes at Louisville Cardinals – September 1st, 2014

Miami Hurricanes at Louisville Cardinals
Monday, September 1st, 2014 Time: 7:30 pm EST TV: ESPN
Game Line: Louisville -3.5 (from JustBetOver/Under: 54.5


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Monday NCAA analysis: The Louisville Cardinals will host the Miami Hurricanes on Monday night, the final game for week 1 of the 2014 college football season.

Louisville has had quite the offseason. Their quarterback Teddy Bridgewater left early and bolted to the NFL, and their head coach Charlie Strong left for greener pastures to Texas. The new coach is quite familiar to the Louisville faithful. Bobby Petrino left Louisville back in 2006 to take a head coaching position with the Atlanta Falcons. Petrino has had character concerns since then, with leaving the Falcons during the season, and also having an affair with a student when he coached at Arkansas. His character and decisions he’s made has always been questioned, but there’s no doubt he’s one of the better playcallers. Louisville brings back 11 starters from last year’s squad, and has a veteran offensive line behind sophomore Will Gardner at QB. They do have a talented running back in Dominique Brown in the backfield as well. The defense was solid last year and tops in the nation in yards allowed. That won’t be the case this year as they have only 4 starters returning on the defensive side.

The Miami Hurricanes had a solid season last year, winning their first 7 games and achieving a #7 ranking before losing to Florida State 41-14. The wheels somewhat fell off as they lost star RB Duke Johnson to injury, and others after that. The Hurricanes had their dream season smashed by the Seminoles, which was the first of a three game losing streak. They ended the regular season with wins against Virginia and Pittsburgh. Miami has a strong core group coming back this year with 14 starters returning, 7 on offense and 7 on defense. The quarterback position should be Kevin Olson’s job to lose, yet his status after a positive drug test is still in question. They have 3 starters returning on the offensive line, and should have one of the better units in the ACC, which is good news for stud RB Duke Johnson, who is reportedly healthy and ready to go. They also have speed at the WR position, with Phillip Dorsett leading the way. The defense should be improved over last season, and do have some talented linebackers and what should be a much improved secondary (one of the better secondaries in the conference).

This is one of the more interesting matchups of week 1. These two teams met in the Russell Athletic Bowl, with Louisville winning handily 36-9. Miami hasn’t forgotten about that loss, and they haven’t forgotten about the throat slashing gesture by Bridgewater either. This is Louisville’s first game in the ACC, and they will be the new kids on the block. There has been a lot of change at Louisville, and there are reports that Bobby Petrino and defensive coordinator Todd Grantham have not been getting along at all and that’s never a good thing. Meanwhile Miami has had a whole offseason to think about the beating they took in their home state. Al Golden has Miami heading in the right direction, and they are slowly getting that swagger back that used to symbolize ‘The U’. I really like Miami in this spot, and I think it would only be fitting that Miami welcomed them to the ACC with a beating in their home stadium. I’ll take the points as I think Miami wins this outright.

Free Week 1 Monday Night College Football Pick: Miami +3.5 Under 54.5
Miami Hurricanes at Louisville Cardinals Score Prediction: Miami 31 – Louisville 21


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