Preview: University of Louisville vs. University of Pittsburgh
By Noah Allison–
After a thought-collecting and muscle-relaxing bye week, the Cardinals will take their talents on the road for the third straight game to the University of Pittsburgh.
The Pitt game will be the start of Big East play for the 5-0 U of L Cardinals. After being tested and proven through their non conference play, the weekly tests get harder as conference rivals become the regular opponent. Pitt started off their season sloppy with two ugly losses but have since improved in all areas of the game.
Pitt’s quarterback is red shirt senior Tino Sunseri. Sunseri has started for the past two seasons at Pitt and is 2-0 against the Cardinals. The Pittsburgh Panthers bring a steady pass game with a dual threat run game. For the Cardinals to walk out of the Pitt game with their heads held high, the defense is going to have to keep Pitt running backs Ray Graham and Rushel Shell in check.
Graham, an experienced senior, is coming off a torn ACL that shortened his junior season. With an ability to score on the ground and make catches in the air, Graham has been a major component of the Panthers recent success. Four years younger, but just as much of a threat, is his freshman accomplice Rushel Shell who has had a score in both of the Panthers’ wins.
The Panthers have some glaring weaknesses that Louisville can take advantage of, and the Cardinals’ dual threat of Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry will have rested legs. Through Louisville’s five victories, the duo have played huge roles combining for just under 900 yards rushing and ten touchdowns. Setting the pace early on the ground in Pittsburg will be key for a victory.
A Cardinal defense that is always looking to create turnovers will be looking to poke the ball out of Pitt running back Ray Graham’s hands.
Coming off of two straight rain games, the Cardinals hope to get their throwing game back up to par if the weather permits. Charlie Strong’s Cardinals, through all their tough games early in the season, have proven they have the ability to win. U of L has faced adversity in more ways than one this season, yet a zero still lies in the loss column. With focus and constant improvement, the Cardinals hope to keep it that way for their return trip from Pittsburgh.
Photo: Austin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal