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Louisville vs. FIU: Cardinals Small Favorite Against Scrappy Non-BCS Opponent

-- For more on Louisville football check out SB Nation's Card Chronicle.

Last Thursday, the Louisville Cardinals (1-0) easily defeated FCS-opponent Murrary State, 21-9. However, it was a tale of two halves for LU, which took a 21-3 lead into halftime, but failed to score in the second half. Starting quarterback Will Stein completed 17-of-32 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns, while the defense forced four turnovers. What was alarming was the play of freshman back up quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who's lone drive featured two false start penalties, a delay of game penalty and an interception.

Head coach Charlie Strong did say Monday that Bridgewater will see some playing time Friday night against visiting Florida International University. Also, for the second straight week, starting center Mario Benavides, defensive end B.J. Butler, and running back Corvin Lamb will all be sidelined by injuries.

Look at the opponent: Last Thursday, the Golden Panthers (1-0) began the season with a 41-16 conference victory over North Texas. Senior quarterback Wesley Carroll tossed for 193 yards and a TD, while senior running back Darriet Perry ran for 93 and two TDs. However, all Cardinal eyes will be on senior wide receiver Ty Hilton, who's a Heisman Trophy candidate.

Last year, Florida International earned its first-ever Sun Belt Conference championship and defeated Toledo, 34-32, in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. In 2007, the Golden Panthers went 1-11.

TV schedule: Friday at 7 p.m. on ESPN

Point spread: Louisville is a four-point favorite.

Final thoughts: The Cardinals have a tough test against the Golden Panthers. It wouldn't shock me if Louisville gets upset, but this is a game that a BCS-conference program should win.

-- For more on Louisville football check out SB Nation's Card Chronicle.