Louisville Card File: Southern Mississippi

I’m not a delusional guy. I’m reasonably bright and perceptive, not prone to hallucinogenic visions (at least since the early 80s).

But I must tell you what happened while watching the BO’B Bowl last night on TV. When I read in the scrawl along the bottom of the screen that Brett Whatisname still hasn’t been placed on the injured list, I had this vision of him running on the field in Southern Miss uniform for the second half.

Yes, it’s true. I did.

Not that it would have mattered. The Cardinals, through the shear strength of will imposed by Coach Charlie Strong and his most excellent staff, were always going to win this game. Even when they were down 0-14 after 5 minutes of play. Even when they scored, then gave up another score to stay down 7-21. Even after falling behind at the beginning of the 4th quarter, 21-28.

These rejuvenated Cards abide.

A most admirable trait indeed.

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Given how for years it seems I’ve ragged on this whole inane bowl system, it would be disingenuous for me to herald Louisville’s W in St. Pete as something earth shattering. It is certainly far from that.

But it is certainly comforting. And was way fun to watch. And does bode well for the future of the program in the most capable hands of a genuinely loyal Charlie Strong. The headstone has now been placed at the burial ground of the Kragthorpe Era. May it rest in peace.

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It’s not a game worthy of significant assessment. A few observations:

Justin Burke’s slow start had some of the usual suspects in my group, clamoring for Froman. But the senior calmed down and played the type of QB he displayed against Rutgers until he got hurt, i.e. the best of his career. His TD passes were bullets.

Johnny Patrick continued to display a vexing inconsistency. Yet, again proved himself a gamer. His positive plays came later when needed. A jarring tackle causing a fumble. A blocked kick. Which made his woeful pass coverage early on, eminently forgivable.

The Cards benefited from a couple of zebra mistakes. There was an obvious and critical grab and takedown by a blocker on Jeremy Wright’s 95 yard kickoff return. The refs missed it. Bilal Powell just as obviously fumbled the ball at the beginning of the U of L’s drive for the winning FG. The official explanation is that there wasn’t incontrovertible evidence of who recovered the ball, thus it remained in the Cards’ possession.

But you know what? B.F.D.

This is an undermanned, undertalented group of pigskinners who took advantage of those situations and who deserved this W.

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The indoor baseball park where the game was played has a reputation of being one of the worst sporting venues in America. I wasn’t there, but I’m anxious to hear from folks who were, what’s it’s like?

It sure looked strange on TV. Whatup with those naugahyde loungers some fans were sitting in?

– Seedy K

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