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Fenway Bowl: College Football News, Player Opt-Out Tracker & Game Preview (Cincinnati vs. Louisville)

by Thor Nystrom | Featured Writer
Dec 15, 2022
Fenway Bowl: College Football News, Player Opt-Out Tracker & Game Preview (Cincinnati vs. Louisville)

Thor Nystrom tracks players opting out of upcoming bowl games as well as the coaching changes around the college football landscape. Thor will update the article through the remainder of the season to keep you updated on bowl games, college prospects, and the 2023 NFL Draft.

And below we’ll take a closer look at the upcoming bowl game: Fenway Bowl.

Check out Thor’s projections for all college football bowl games >>

Fenway Bowl: College Football News, Player Opt-Out Tracker & Game Preview (Cincinnati vs. Louisville)

Fenway Bowl | Boston, MA

  • Saturday, December 17 | 10:00 AM
  • Louisville (-1.5) vs. Cincinnati | Total: 41.5
  • ATL: Cincy -0.7 | ATT: 35.5


  • QB Luther Richesson (Transfer portal)
  • QB Ben Bryant (Injury)
  • WR Nick Mardner (Transfer portal)
  • WR Jadon Thompson (Transfer portal)
  • WR Tre Tucker (Opt-out)
  • TE Josh Whyle (Opt-out)
  • TE Leonard Taylor (Opt-out)
  • OC Jake Renfro (Transfer portal)
  • DL Malik Vann (Injury)
  • DE Noah Potter (Transfer portal)
  • CB Ja’Quan Sheppard (Transfer portal)
  • CB JQ Hardaway (Transfer portal)
  • K Ryan Coe (Transfer portal)

QB1 Bryant has been ruled out for the season with a foot injury. QB2 Evan Prater draws the start for Cincy. WR Tucker and TEs Whyle and Taylor have all declared for the NFL Draft. In conjunction with the transferring WR Mardner and WR Thompson, Cincy will be without five-of-their-top-six pass catchers.

DL Vann has been out since Week 2 with a pec injury. CB Sheppard, a starter, transferred to Maryland. Sheppard played the third-most snaps on the defense and was named to the All-AAC First Team, but PFF’s grading methodology panned his work (55.6 grade). DE Potter was a little-used backup. CB Hardaway was a backup (95 snaps) whose loss will hurt more in the future than present. K Coe was the team’s regular kicker. Coe had displaced K Christian Lowery’s when he transferred in – Lowery will re-assume the gig in the bowl.


  • QB Malik Cunningham (Opt-out)
  • RB Trevion Cooley (Transfer portal)
  • RB Jalen Mitchell (Transfer portal)
  • WR Dee Wiggins (Injury)
  • OG Luke Kandra (Transfer portal)
  • DL Jermayne Lole (Injury)
  • LB Dorian Jones (Transfer portal)
  • LB K.J. Cloyd (Transfer portal)
  • CB Rance Conner (Transfer portal)

QB Cunningham, who was banged up throughout the campaign, aggravated his previous shoulder injury in the regular season finale against Kentucky. He’s chosen to opt-out. QB2 Brock Domann, who threw for 866 yards this year in relief of Cunningham, will draw another start. Domann is a big downgrade.

RBs Cooley and Mitchell are rotational backs that Louisville has the depth to cover for. OG Kandra was an above-average starter in the eight games he started this fall. WR Wiggins and DL Lole were counted on to have significant roles this year, but both were knocked out for the season in September. LB Jones appeared in every game off the bench and took 223 snaps. LB Cloyd and CB Conner were both backups.

Coaching News

The Scott Satterfield Bowl! Louisville’s staff was blown up following Satterfield’s defection from Louisville to Cincinnati. Satterfield announced he won’t coach either of these teams in the bowl – Louisville named Deion Branch interim HC for this game. Not only that, but the assistants coming with Satterfield to Cincy – co-DCs Wesley McGriff and Brian Brown and QB coach Pete Thomas – also won’t participate in this game. In addition, Louisville OC Lance Taylor accepted Western Michigan’s HC gig, while strength coach Ben Sowders left for Arkansas.

On the other side, Cincinnati, obviously, also had to cobble together an interim staff for this game – former HC Luke Fickell will not coach in it. Instead, DC Kerry Coombs will serve as interim coach.

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