Week 1 of the 2019 college football season has been a blast, but sadly, it's time to wrap it up on Monday night. No. 9 Notre Dame and Louisville will serve as the capper to the first week of the season, as the Fighting Irish begin what they hope will be a march towards a return trip to the College Football Playoff while a new era gets underway for the Cardinals as Scott Satterfield makes his debut as coach on one of the biggest stages one could ask for.
This is the second straight season Louisville opens the year against a top-10 opponent as it started 2018 with a 51-14 loss to Alabama in Orlando, Florida. It's the first time in school history that Louisville has hosted Notre Dame and only the second meeting ever between these two teams with the Cardinals holding a 1-0 series lead after a 31-28 win against the Irish in South Bend in 2014.
Notre Dame: This season will be a test of the program depth and development in South Bend, Indiana. Brian Kelly has made several staff changes over the last handful of years to ensure that success is sustained season-to-season and the drop off that came in 2013 after a BCS National Championship Game appearance won't happen again. There are many key pieces to suggest that won't be the case in 2019, starting with quarterback Ian Book, wide receiver Chase Claypool and standout defensive back Alohi Gilman. Alabama, Clemson and Oklahoma are the only programs so far to make back-to-back playoff appearances, and the Irish are hoping to add their name to that list in 2019.
Louisville: The end of the Bobby Petrino era was about as disappointing as anyone could have predicted, especially given the success the Cardinals saw in the ACC with Lamar Jackson at quarterback. Satterfield has inherited a roster that required some mental and emotional rehabilitation, not to mention new bodies after the season and coaching change sparked transfers out of the program. There is still a core of Cards that have stuck around to help with the rebuild, like quarterback Puma Pass and offensive tackle Mekhi Becton, but this opener will be a learning experience for fans, experts and probably even the coaching staff as a new team faces this top-10 challenger at home on a Monday night.
Date: Monday, Sept. 3 | Time: 8 p.m. ET
Location: Cardinal Stadium -- Louisville, Kentucky
TV: ESPN | Live stream: WatchESPN.com
Game prediction, picks
This is a really tough number because they're begging you to take the Cardinals without giving you a full three touchdowns. As it stands right now, I'd rather be on the favorite's side of that key number than have to beg for a late Louisville scoring drive to kick in the back door. Notre Dame is going to be a 10-win team this year, and I think that consistency and reliability shows itself in the opener. Pick: Notre Dame (-20)
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