Staff Picks; Louisville Cardinals

David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Opinion is divided among the Down The Drive staff, but everyone is predicting a grand send off for Old Nippert.

Jeff Gentil: It all adds up. Bearcats playing well. Cardinals not. Last game in this version of Nippert. Night game. National audience. Packed house. Students staying past halftime. Potential BCS berth at stake. (With help) another conference championship at stake. It would all be too perfect. Cardinals 27-24. Sorry.

Matt DuMont: ALL CAPS BECAUSE I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS GAME SINCE LAST YEAR AND CAN'T CONTAIN MYSELF. CHARLIE AND HIS BOYS WILL FINALLY GET TO SEE WHAT NIPPERT IS ALL ABOUT. UC (AND THE CROWD) WILL SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT ON NATIONAL TV, GET BACK THE KEG AND ALL WILL RIGHT IN THE WORLD. YES I AM SCREAMING. BEARCATS 31 cardinals 20.

Justin Post: I'm not just picking a loss here because it'll keep my streak alive. You know, that streak where I pick the Bearcats to lose and it somehow manages to motivate them so much that they rise up and get win after win... I'm (unfortunately) picking the Bearcats to lose because I just don't think they'll be able to move the ball well on Louisville's defense. 'Cats lose a close one, but hopefully my streak lives on: 17-13 Cardinals.

republicofcincinnati: I have a feeling that the theme of this game will be the redemption of Tony Miliano. 3 made FGs, including a late game, go ahead kick. Bearcats - 23 Cards - 21

Mike Coleman: UC 28, Louisville 24. UC is so tough at home. I think this is the last Nippert game before they play in that dump down at the river, so they will be really excited as this will be the last on campus and lively crowd for a while.

Matt Opper: These Bearcats have shown a whole lot of incremental growth this season. If this game was being played in October, or even early November the Cardinals would have won it, and would not have been close. But with each successive win the Bearcats picked up something that is going to help them in this game. Memphis and Houston are rough approximations of the style the Cardinals play. SMU taught the importance of red zone defense in deciding a game where the defense can't stop a thing between the 20's. Rutgers and UConn showed the value of putting a team to the sword immediately rather than letting them hang around. Not all of this will come into play tonight, but that preparation means that UC won't be shocked or surprised or go into a funk when something goes wrong as they so often did in September. These Bearcats are ready, and they will win. UC 35 Louisville 24

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