Louisville vs Alabama: Alabama starts its college football season with a game against Louisville in Week 1. Like every other Tide season-opener in the last half-decade.
Alabama, once again, is the presumptive favorite to win
the national championship. Louisville will have the chance to derail
that narrative — but the Cardinals will have to do it while breaking in a
brand new quarterback.
Louisville lost 2016 Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson to the NFL this spring, leaving the offense in the hands of Jawon Pass — a redshirt sophomore who looked solid in limited clean-up duty behind Jackson last fall. Pass’s first start may be the toughest of his career, as he’ll face a Crimson Tide defense that ranked first in the nation in scoring defense (11.9 points allowed per game) and total defense. While Bama may have lost eight players to the 2018 NFL Draft, Nick Saban’s pipeline of elite blue chip recruits just means a new class will get the chance to smash Pass into powder in Week 1.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
- TV: ABC
- Streaming: Watch ESPN
- Odds: Alabama is favored by 24.5 points.
Alabama vs. Louisville news:
- What can Louisville expect from Jawon Pass? A stable pocket passer who can also move the chains on the ground.
Alabama is home to this year’s preseason Heisman Trophy favorite — and it’s a player who’s never even started a game. Tagovailoa saved the Tide in last year’s National Championship Game to kick off a hype train currently screeching down the tracks and toward the rest of the SEC. His team’s string of 2017 blowouts gave him plenty of opportunities to spell Jalen Hurts in garbage time, and the then-freshman shined, throwing 11 touchdowns in just 77 attempts and, eventually, leading his team to a comeback victory in overtime on college football’s biggest stage.
Now Alabama will turn to him as its starter, knowing
Hurts lurks in the background in case his breakout 2017 proves
unsustainable. Tagovailoa made some freshman mistakes last fall, but
another year of practice against the Tide’s never-ending supply of blue
chip defenders should have rounded off some of his rough edges. Can he
earn his status as Heisman favorite? We’ll see against Louisville.
Alabama vs. Louisville prediction:
This game would have been a burner with Jackson behind center for the Cards, but
throwing a first-time starter behind center against Alabama’s meat grinder of a defense seems …cruel. S&P+ sees this one as a 17.7-point win for the Tide.