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Louisville enters national rankings for first time since 2017; Smith receives weekly honor from ACC

KyForward staff

The University of Louisville football team has entered the national rankings following Saturday’s season-opening 35-21 victory over Western Kentucky.

The Cardinals moved into the Top 20 of both polls, ranking No. 16 in the Amway Coaches Poll and No. 18 in the Associated Press Poll. Louisville is nationally ranked for the first time since Oct. 1, 2017.

Louisville plays host to No. 18 Miami (Fla.) on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. on ABC. It will mark the first contest between Top 20 opponents at Cardinal Stadium since 2017, when No. 3 Clemson defeated No. 14 Louisville, 47-21.

Louisville’s Braden Smith (81) was selected as the ACC Receiver of the Week on Monday. (UofL photo)

ESPN’s College Game Day will also make its third appearance in Louisville on Saturday morning. The iconic program will air from 9 a.m. to noon at Cardinal Stadium.

“It’s pretty cool. You think about when I got hired here, where we were at program-wise and what everybody wrote about us, and what everybody thought about us nationally,” Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said. “To come about a year and a half later, we’re ranked and College Gameday is going to be here. I mean, that’s pretty incredible. We appreciate the fact that we are getting attention nationally.”

SMITH HONORED: Louisville’s Braden Smith was selected as the Atlantic Coast Conference Receiver of the Week on Monday.

In his first game at Louisville, Smith caught four passes for 110 yards, becoming the first Cardinal to record 100 receiving yards in his Louisville debut since Deion Branch tallied 123 yards against Kentucky in the 2000 season opener.

“He made some big-time plays for us out there last Saturday, a couple of contested catches,” Satterfield said of Smith. “And really big plays at some critical times like third-and-long. So I’m really proud of him and the way he came out and made plays for us.”

Smith hauled in a 63-yard reception for his first collegiate catch. He later added a 48-yard reception. He ranks seventh nationally in receiving yards per game at 110.0 and stands ninth with a 27.5 yards per catch average.

(Information compiled from Louisville and staff reports)

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