Louisville Cardinals (7-5, 4-4 ACC) vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-3, 6-2 American)
– Kickoff: Saturday, December 17 at 11:00 a.m. EST
– Location: Fenway Park in Boston, Mass.
– Weather Conditions: Cloudy with rain and snow showers in the morning. Remaining cloudy in the afternoon. High 41F. Winds WNW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
– How To Watch: ESPN
– How To Listen: 93.9 FM
– Betting Favorite: Louisville -2.0
– All-Time Series: Cincinnati leads 30-22-1
– Last Meeting: Louisville won 31-24 in overtime on Dec. 5, 2013 (Nippert Stadium – Cincinnati, Oh.)
- Louisville will make its 25th bowl appearance in school history when it faces Cincinnati in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl in Boston, Mass.
- The Cards are 11-12-1 all-time during their bowl appearances and are coming off a 31-28 loss to Air Force last season in the First Responder Bowl. The Cardinals have split their last eight bowl games, with their last win coming in the 2019 Music City Bowl — a 38-28 win over Mississippi State.
- The Cards and Bearcats will meet for the first time since a 31-24 UofL win in overtime during the final game of the 2013 season. Louisville had played every year from 1996-2013 as members of Conference USA, the BIG EAST and one season in the American Athletic Conference.
- Jeff Brohm, one of the most accomplished signal callers in school history, returns to his alma mater to lead the University of Louisville football program, UofL Vice-President/Director of Athletics Josh Heird announced on Dec. 8, 2022.
- Deion Branch was named the interim head coach for the Cardinals on Dec. 5, 2022.
- Tyler Hudson has the 10th 1,000-yard receiving season in Louisville history with 1,034 yards and two touchdowns. The Central Arkansas transfer recorded five or more receptions in eight of 12 games, finishing with 69 receptions. The 69 catches were the most by a UofL receiver since Tutu Atwell caught 70 in 2019.
- Quarterback Malik Cunningham has rushed for 3,160 yards and 49 touchdowns, while passing for 9,350 yards and 67 touchdowns. He joins former teammate Lamar Jackson as one of the quarterbacks, and is the first since former Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts did it in 2019.
- Louisville averages 7.4 tackles for loss per game, which ranks 12th in the nation and third in the ACC behind only Clemson and Miami. OLB Yasir Abdullah leads the team with 13.5 and defensive end Yaya Diaby is second with 10.5.
- The Cardinals are one of the more experienced teams in the country with 21 seniors dotting the roster. Caleb Chandler is the most experienced starter on the roster having started in 50 career games dating back to the 2017 season.
- The Cards came into Week 3 against Florida State forcing just one takeaway. That course changed quickly over the following 10 weeks of the season as the Cards forced 27 turnovers and racked up 14 interceptions.
- Jawhar Jordan has been a special weapon on special teams in his first two seasons. He returned his second career kickoff for a touchdown versus NC State, covering 98 yards. It was the 42nd kickoff touchdown return in school history.
- Jawhar Jordan has taken over as the team leading rusher over the last half of the season. The former Syracuse transfer enters the postseason leading the team in rushing with 700 yards on 133 carries.
- Linebacker Yasir Abdullah was the lone first team All-ACC selection after finishing second in the ACC in sacks and seventh in the conference in tackles for loss. The senior totaled 8.0 sacks and 13.0 tackles for loss as the Cards finished second in the country in sacks and were tied for 12th in tackles loss.
- After struggling to win the turnover margin in 2021, the Cards were one of the best in 2022. Louisville enters the bowl season ranked 16th in the country with a +8 turnover margin.
- Coming to Louisville as a walk-on from local Ballard High, Marshon Ford has enjoyed a solid career for the Cardinals. The tight end has caught 125 passes for 1,572 yards and 17 touchdowns over his four seasons with the Cardinals.
- The defense has made huge strides this season, especially in the seven wins of the 2022 campaign. In those seven victories, the Cardinals are giving up an average of 289.7 yards per game, including just 105.7 yards on the ground.
- Louisville has been a force on the ground this season as the Cardinals have totaled 2,326 rushing yards, the fourth-straight season of rushing for over 2,000 yards.
- Placekicker James Turner continues his way up the UofL record book. The native of Saline, Mich., moved up to third all-time in field goal percentage with a 79.3 making 46-of-58 field goal attempts. He’s 13-of-19 from 40 or more yards after hitting a 48-yarder in a win over Pitt.
- A 2022 Ray Guy Award candidate, punter Mark Vassett has showed the ability to flip the field and pin teams deep into their own territory. The second-year punter has Louisville at third in the ACC in punting (44.6) and 18th in FBS.
- Quarterback Brock Domann finished the regular season 2-1 when taking over as the starter for the injured signal caller Malik Cunningham. Domann picked up wins over Virginia and NC State before dropping the season finale to Kentucky.
- Luke Fickell, the winningest head coach in Cincinnati history, left the Bearcats to become the head coach at Wisconsin on Nov. 27. UC AD John Cunningham announced Kerry Coombs as the interim head coach on the same day.
- On Dec. 5, Cunningham announced Scott Satterfield as the next head coach of the Bearcats. UC held its first bowl practice for the Fenway Bowl.
- The Bearcats are playing in their fifth consecutive bowl game and 22nd all-time.
- UC can reach 10 wins in a season for the fourth time in five years and only the 10th time in the 135-year history with a victory.
- Cincinnati had won 32 consecutive games at Nippert Stadium from 2017 to 2022 – the 19th-longest home win streak in college football history – before falling to No. 19 Tulane on Black Friday.
- Cincinnati has already won at least nine games in five consecutive seasons for the first time in school history.
- The Bearcats are 10-11 in bowl games all-time, having appeared in back-to-back NY6 games and four in the last 15 years.
- Senior linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. ranks in the Top 15 nationally in tackles for loss (19.5, third), tackles (120, 10th) and sacks (9.5, 14th), while leading a defense that ranked fifth in the nation in yards per play allowed (4.52). He was a finalist for the Bednarik Award, Butkus Award and was named the AAC Defensive Player of the Year. He has already earned First Team All-America honors from Walter Camp, FWAA, CBS Sports and PFF.
- Sophomore punter Mason Fletcher became Cincinnati’s second-ever Ray Guy Award finalist, joining fellow Australian Jimmy Smith (2018). He also became the first-ever AAC Special Teams Player of the Year from the Bearcats after ranking fourth nationally in average (46.7). He set UC and AAC records with an 84-yard punt and a 65.0 average at SMU earlier this season.
- Tight end Josh Whyle and wide receiver/kick returner Tre Tucker each accepted invitations to the Reese’s Senior Bowl (Feb. 4 in Mobile, Ala.). The duo opted out of the game.
- With senior all-conference tight end Josh Whyle opting out of the bowl to focuse on training for the Senior Bowl and the NFL Draft, redshirt freshman Chamon Metayer could have a bigger role in the Fenway Bowl. The Miami, Fla., native redshirted in 2021 and battled injuries in 2022, appearing in only five games. He had one catch for 32 yards against Kennesaw State.
- Redshirt-freshman nose tackle Dontay Corleone earned Freshman All-America honors from College Football News and Third Team All-America accolades from Pro Football Focus. Corleone played in 11 games in 2022, rotating with senior Jowon Briggs, to anchor a Bearcats’ defense that ranked fourth in the country in yards per play allowed (4.52).
- Evan Prater, a redshirt sophomore from Cincinnati starred at Wyoming High School where he won Ohio’s Mr. Football Award in 2019. Prater saw extensive action twice this season before his Tulane start, leading UC to a comeback victory in the fourth quarter against USF and playing the final 36 minutes at Temple.
- Corey Kiner’s 109-yard output at Tulsa marked UC’s third 100-yard rusher on the season. Myles Montgomery had 104 vs. Kennesaw State, while Charles McClelland went for 101 vs. Miami (OH) and later had 179 yards against USF.
- Ryan Montgomery totaled 92 yards on 22 carries over the season’s first nine weeks. In weeks 10-12, he has totaled 178 yards and three TDs on 41 carries. He has set season highs in rushes in three consecutive weeks with 10 for 25 yards vs. ECU, 14-58 with one TD at Temple and 17-95 with two TDs vs. Tulane.
- Charles McClelland has overcome two ACL tears in his Cincinnati career after showing promise in 2018, when he rushed for 495 yards (7.7 ypc) and four touchdowns. He has 834 rushing yards (6.0 ypc) and seven TDs in 2022, while his 6.2 ypc career-average is third in UC history (Roger Stephens, 6.65 from 1946-48).
- Senior defensive backs Arquon Bush and Ja’Von Hicks return to lead the Cincinnati pass defense. Bush, who started at nickelback last season, has made 34 career starts and tallied 114 tackles, 22 pass breakups and nine interceptions in five seasons. Bush starts at field cornerback this season. Hicks has started 39 games at safety. He led the AAC with five interceptions in 2019 and he has nine picks in this career, including a 45-yard pick-six versus Kennesaw State.
- Senior nose tackle Jowon Briggs is ready to breakout. The 6-1, 313-pounder is called the strongest player on the team by former head football strength coach Brady Collins. In 2022, he has started every game and ranks fourth on the team with 52 tackles. He blocked a kick vs. Navy.
Here are the depth charts for both teams ahead of their matchup: Louisville vs. Cincinnati
Scroll to Continue
See how the Cardinals stack up against the Bearcats, and who the statistical models favor: Tale of the Tape, Predictions: Louisville vs. Cincinnati
Louisville TBD, Cincinnati will be wearing black helmets and pants with white jerseys.
(Photo of YaYa Diaby: Jared Anderson – Louisville Report)
You can follow Louisville Report for future coverage by liking us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
Facebook – @LouisvilleReport
Twitter – @UofLReport
Instagram – @louisville_report
You can also follow Deputy Editor Matthew McGavic at @Matt_McGavic on Twitter