Out with the old, In with the new, and a little Déjà vu


Coach Petrino said after the game last night: “We didn’t play well at all. But the one thing that helped us at halftime is that we had some guys with good attitudes and they worked hard and found a way to win.”

You can be negative about the coaching and it’s ok to be upset that things appear to be in some disarray with Louisville Football. Just remember that there are young men busting their ass every day and who busted their ass last night to make sure the Cardinals didn’t lose this game against WKU.

I’m not happy things aren’t working out like we had all expected them to all offseason. I had very high hopes for this team and for this season. There are no more excuses and some of the things this team did last night are not what we have been used to. As fans, it’s time to put our big boy/girl pants on and support the players on this team who are trying their best under some obvious disarray.

If not for the guys in the locker room who gave it their all last night we’d be sitting here today with a loss to WKU. We’d be no better than Kentucky who got their tails whipped by the Hilltoppers a few seasons ago. And have a two-game losing streak to them. We’ll just leave that right there. I digress.

My point being. We got guys in that locker room busting their asses for this program, this team, and the fans. Guys like Jarrett Jackson who came in making big plays including the game-winning sack and Robert Hicks who led the team with 11 tackles last night. These young men were in high school last year folks. Our defense is banged up. These guys stepped up. That’s big for this team moving forward.

On the offensive end of the ball, things are really in disarray. Strange territory for Coach Petrino. But now he will pull out his book of tricks from the past two seasons and start game planning around a young and dynamic new starting QB. If you aren’t excited after watching Malik Cunningham the last two weekends there is no hope for you. There were moments on that field last night when I experienced Déjà vu. This young man is the real deal folks. Our season is not lost.

It was great seeing Dae Williams come back into his own last night. He’s a great athlete but an even better person. With 63 yards and 2 TDs he just took over in the 4th quarter and started running over guys. Back a few summers ago during practice and before he got hurt Dae Williams was such a presence and so dominating (just busting thru guys) that he had everyone’s attention. Haven’t seen media guys so giddy at a practice as that day. Dae Williams is for real folks. Our season is not lost.

We have a solid offensive line (they still have their moments), and two very athletic and physically superior athletes in our backfield. And I think our receivers finally come around with the leadership of Malik Cunningham. This gives Bobby something to work with. I’m optimistic he figures it out. We still get 8 wins and beat the Cayuts ass…

As a side note, I do feel really bad for Jawon Pass. I don’t know what’s going on with the young man and hope he figures things out. Card Nation has been super supportive to him and we need to continue that. I hope he keeps battling.

It was miserable at times but I managed to find some enjoyment in last night. I like watching young guys take advantage of an opportunity and the new stadium expansion is incredible. It adds a lot to the game day experience. Can’t wait for the Florida State game. Go Cards!

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First the Tide, Then a Tropical Storm first two weeks of Louisville Football have been a wash



First the Tide, Then a Tropical Storm the first two weeks of Louisville Football have been a wash.

We had such a build-up to the start of the Louisville Football season. So much build-up that the head coach was predicting a victory against college footballs best team. The players seemed confident and even started the game in Orlando with a little swagger in their step.

They were playing some good football. Puma looked poised, the Oline blocked, the running backs were running downhill, TE’s looked good, WR’s running crisp routes and even the defense made some good plays. Things seemed to be going as expected for about a quarter then the wheels started to fall off. So much so that the coaches were having gaffs.

After that game, I was able to put things into some perspective taking into account that they did play the first game of the season against the Tide. We did some things well, and it was a game to build on. Our young guys got hit in the jaw and didn’t respond well.

Heading into the Indiana State game I expected the monsoon rains and knew it would be a student body left, student body right kind of night. Not very entertaining but expected a solid win. I did not expect the breakdowns on offense, and I sure didn’t expect to see the Indiana State O-Line housing our D-Line at times. Knocking them off the ball.

I expected inconsistency with yet another new coaching change but come on… how are you controlling the line of scrimmage on downs against the likes of Alabama one week and losing that battle to an FCS school the next week. Doesn’t add up. Or does it all add up?

Did opening up the season against such a dominating opponent backfire? Did some of these young guys have that confidence tested too early? Did they completely put the last one behind them when heading into the game week with Indiana State? Did the torrential downpours affect the offense that much? To look that bad? Was the Louisville defensive front that beat up and did the weather affect their gameplay?

I’m willing to call it a wash.

That’s right… these last two weeks have been a blur. Louisville fans drove 13 hours to watch the season opener and then had to set thru a monsoon for the home opener. The expansion did not get the appreciation it deserved and we didn’t even get a Card March.

I don’t imagine that these first two weeks have been great for the players either. They did get knocked down to size pretty good in that first game. Confidence was shaken. Then they don’t get a Card March and have to sludge thru a monsoon all night against an FCS school in the home opener. Not much fun at all. They did enough to get the job done and did have some pep in their step to end a miserable night.

I’m excited about this weekend. I liked what I saw out of Malik Cunningham Saturday night. If you paid attention at the Spring Game you know his game is very Lamar’esque. Bobby will now have a few more options. And this could give Puma a little nudge. He has to be the leader of this team Tide or monsoon be damned… It’s good to know that there is someone ready to step up if he doesn’t. Don’t think we have a QB controversy yet. I like what Jeremy Smith brings to this team. He hasn’t missed a step.

Our defense is beaten up. The best player Jonathan Greenard is out indefinitely after injuring his wrist against Bama, and Dorian Etheridge suffered an ankle sprain against Indiana State. A lot of tackles here.

I’m beginning to worry that issues go much deeper than a few injuries on this side of the ball. Charlie Strong built a defensive culture so strong that it lasted up to Grantham’s last season. He was able to use Strong’s mojo for a few seasons. I’m worried about the current culture. Too much turnover and not enough consistency has left a big hole. Coach VanGorder is getting paid handsomely and he has some athletes so I’m not giving up hope yet.

This could be a week for guys to gain some confidence and more experience. Like Jarrett Jackson. This dude wears #8 and his last name is Jackson. He was No. 56 on ESPN’s Top 300 defensive linemen list and one of the top high school defensive lineman in Florida a season ago. Jackson has 7 assisted tackles this season. Guys like Amonte Caban and Tabarius Peterson. They both were trending upward at the end of last season.

Michael Boykin and Derek Dorsey could use another game before heading into the conference grind. Boykin is still adjusting to the speed of things. He was dominating in Juco last year. Dorsey has a mean streak about him but needs to be in right spot. GG Robinson has to step up and lead with Greenard out. GG can be a beast and has 7 solo tackles in the first two weeks. This defense is wet behind the ears and not from the rain last week.

I know that a hurricane is barreling up the east coast. But weather should not be an issue this Saturday night when the Cardinals play WKU. It should be an awesome night for a football game. I expect the tailgating lots to be packed early, I expect a great Card March, I expect the place to be packed, and I expect the expansion to get the crowd it deserves. I hope Louisville plays better and shows some promise. We will know a lot more about this team after Saturday night. Even though these last two weeks have been a wash I still have hope the season won’t be.

Go Cards!

GAMEDAY


GAMEDAY!

Another game today where I don’t think we learn much about the Louisville Football team especially if we get the monsoon the weather folks suggest. It will be a great game for all of the Coaches to work on getting their calls in and Gametime reps. It’s a great opportunity for the Louisville defense to gel more and to get more game ready with Coach VanGorder.

I think we see a steady flow of Running Backs tonight for the Cardinals but hopefully will stay dry long enough to see Jawon get a chance to work on some game rhythm with his wide receivers. Special teams should get some in-game action tonight. Should be a lot of Kickoff coverage practice (much needed), and field goal/extra point work. Hope we don’t see any punt work. (sorry Mason)

This game will be good for the players and should juice them back up some after being demoralized by Alabama. Football is very physical but can also be mentally exhausting. The young guys were very overwhelmed last weekend. Today is another chance for them to learn and gain some much needed confidence.

It’s going to be awesome to see these guys run out of that tunnel for the very first time of that beautiful new expansion. Should be a feel-good night all around and Cardinal Football needs it. L’s Up!

Go Cards!

The Cardinals pay a Toll in opener with Bama



It wasn’t the ending that Louisville and Cardinal fans had hoped for but a lot of young guys got action last night and there were some things that this team can build on moving forward. They played possibly the best team in the country and maybe one of the best programs in the history of college football. In Florida, they are big on their toll roads. Not all but a lot of things that happened last night was the toll a team pays when playing the Tide. You find things you can build on from this one and move on. Coach Petrino said in the post-game: “it’s only failure if you don’t learn from it.”


I like Pass and think that he is going to be a good one. He looked poised in the first quarter especially considering it was his first start in College Football and especially since he was playing the best College Football team on a pretty big stage. His throws were efficient in those first few sequences and he made the right choice with the football. He made some crafty moves in the pocket and was able to advance the football getting some first downs. This guy is still a ball of clay and there is still some molding to do. Jawon said after the game “ I just tried not to give up.” This kid won’t give up. We can’t give up on him.


When I get back to my old Kentucky home I will have to gather all of those aggravating toll slips and pay the tolls from Florida. When our Cardinals get home they’ll have to pay a different toll. I don’t imagine practice will be much fun after the film work. I won’t mention any names or call anyone out specifically but not helping our QB off the ground after a sack, missing blocking assignments, missing route assignments and some general apathy happened last night. You gonna talk a big game you better be ready to play one. But. Get your guts ran out and do better in the next one.


I think the general message I’d have for Cardinals fans would be to look forward to the next one and the season ahead. Our Cardinals hung with the best in the country for almost a quarter of football. The O-line blocked, the defense played aggressive and smart, our Redshirt Sophomore QB looked good in the pocket and the offense was moving the ball down the field. A lot to build on here folks. And just think about how exciting the new stadium will be. If you are giving up on this young and talented Louisville group after an ass whipping by Bama you are cheering for the wrong sport. They are the standard. Get over it. See you all at the beautiful Cardinal Stadium next weekend.


On a side note, it was great seeing #8 in the building last night. That guy really bought in here. He was a Louisville football player but will always be a Cardinal at heart. Luv you #8!

We lost but I’m still going to Disney World. L’s Up!

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