South Florida and Louisville get ready to do battle on Saturday afternoon in a game between two teams moving in the complete opposite direction.
After Bobby Petrino led the Cardinals to a 12-1 season and an Orange Bowl victory in 2006, Louisville has struggled immensely. Charlie Strong has led this team to two straight bowls, but after a 6-0 start to 2012, a BCS bowl is finally back on the minds of Cardinals fans.
South Florida, meanwhile, continues to move the other way. The Bulls won eight games in five straight seasons from 2006 to 2010, but a five-win season last year and a 2-4 start to this campaign have them dropping from the national spotlight.
Still, whenever these two teams meet, you can expect a solid matchup. In the last nine head-to-head contests, Louisville has won four and South Florida has won five.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know about this one.
When: Saturday, Oct. 20, at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Ky.
Live Stream: ESPN3
Betting Line: Louisville (-7), according to Covers
South Florida Injuries (via USA Today)
DT Cory Grissom, Eye, Probable
QB B.J. Daniels, Ankle, Probable
DB Jon Lejiste, Leg, Questionable
WR D'vario Montgomery, Hand, Doubtful
LB Reshard Cliett, Hamstring, Doubtful
LB Tashon Whitehurst, Knee, Doubtful
WR Chris Dunkley, Suspension, Out
WR Sterling Griffin, Knee, Out
Louisville Injuries (via USA Today)
DE Lorenzo Mauldin, Undisclosed, Questionable
LB James Burgess, Undisclosed, Questionable
OL John Miller, Ankle, Questionable
LB Daniel Brown, Undisclosed, Out
WR Michaelee Harris, Knee, Out
What's at Stake?
The Cardinals are 6-0, but have just one conference win, which came last week at Pittsburgh. Winning the Big East and competing in a big-time bowl is a legitimate goal at this point, but the Cardinals still have some work to do in conference to catch Rutgers, which already has three Big East wins.
A home loss against a reeling South Florida team would likely kill whatever lofty aspirations Louisville has at this point.
The Bulls, on the other hand, need to start winning soon if they want to make a bowl. It's as simple as that.
South Florida Player to Watch: B.J. Daniels, QB
The more the senior quarterback has to throw, the worse the Bulls are. Daniels has completed just 56 percent of his throws for 7.8 yards per attempt. He's thrown 10 touchdowns, but he's coupled that with eight interceptions and five fumbles.
Of course, Daniels has a pair of legs, too, and he knows what to do with them. The senior has taken off 70 times for 277 yards (4.0 yards per carry) and found the end zone four times.
Despite his struggles throwing the ball, he is a dangerous threat who is one of the toughest players in the country to game plan against. If the Bulls pull the upset on Saturday, it will be because of Daniels.
Louisville Player to Watch: Teddy Bridgewater, QB
Sporting the best name since Teddy Westside, the sophomore quarterback is quickly proving that he is going to be an annoyance for opposing defenses for a long time.
Bridgewater is tossing the ball a healthy 27 times per game, but his accuracy hasn't taken a hit. He has completed an impressive 71.8 percent of his throws for just under 240 yards per game, 8.8 yards per attempt, nine touchdowns and only three interceptions.
As Bridgewater goes, Louisville goes.
Key Matchup: Teddy Bridgewater vs. South Florida Pass D
Let's just put this out there. The Bulls are in trouble.
They are only allowing 240.2 passing yards per game on defense, but that's simply because teams don't throw that often against them. When you toss in their 66.9 completion percentage allowed (112th in the nation), 7.4 yards per pass allowed (72nd) and 3.55 sack percentage (99th), it becomes clear how susceptible this team is through the air.
That weird sound you're hearing is Bridgewater and his slew of receivers collectively licking their lips.
Who ya got?
Louisville is going to be hard to stop through the air, especially at home. South Florida's talented offense might be able to keep up for a while, but the Cardinals' underrated defense (27th in the country in yards per game allowed) will eventually make enough plays for the win.
South Florida 24, Louisville 34