Louisville Card File: South Florida

34-24.

Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Here are some numbers that explain Louisville’s feisty, forceful W.

Third Down conversions: 9/18.

Penalties/ Yardage: 3/25.

Turnovers: U of L 1, South Florida 3.

Time of Possession: U of L 36:26, South Florida 23:34.

Rushing Yards: U of L 132, South Florida 64.

Teddy Bridgewater passing: 19/28, 241 yards, 3 TDs, NO interceptions.

Senorise Perry kickoff returns: 1 for 54 yards.

Eli Rogers receiving: 4 catches for 84 yards.

DeVante Parker receiving: 3 catches, 42 yards, 2 TDs.

Preston Brown (7), Adrian Bushell (6), Dexter Heyman (6) and Hakeem Smith (5) led the Cards in tackles. Corvin Lamb and Deiontrez Mount had sacks.

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Let’s face facts. The Bulls are not a very good football team. Talented, but woefully underperforming.

South Florida, is, after all, 1-5 in the Big East. ‘Nuff said.

That reality notwithstanding, this was a major victory, certainly the biggest so far in Charlie Strong’s head coaching career. Tis a W for which the Cardinal team and Cardinal Nation should be most proud.

Down a daunting 3-17 with less than a minute to play in the first half, the Cardinals did not spit out the bit. Far from it. Senorise Perry’s kickoff return was HUGE! DeVante Parker’s TD reception MORE HUGE! 10-17 at the half.

This is after some major coaching gaffes in the opening half.

1) Going for a field goal on 4th and less than a yard during the first drive was the wrong call. Philpott missed after an offsides when he split the uprights.

2) And that botched fourth down defensive play, when the Bulls were going to punt, Louisville called timeout, didn’t get the right package in the game, and gave up a 35 yard TD pass for South Florida’s first TD.

3) Taking the penalty on the ensuing kickoff. Instead of declining the penalty and starting at its own 30, U of L took a rekick and ended up with 1st & 10 at its own 8, a 22 yard deficit.

After scoring on its first two drives of the 2d half — once on a 3d & 11 strike to Josh Chichester — to take an improbable lead, Louisville immediately gave it back. A 63 yard kickoff return, followed by a 37 yard halfback pass for a score on first (and only) down. 20-24.

But, Louisville, as is its personality during the Strong regime, did not quit.

Another Bridgewater to Parker TD pass. A rushing TD by Dominique Brown from the generally ineffectual WildCard offense, after recovering a fumble caused by Adrian Bushell.

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Which means — hear me now and believe me later, you orange-blazered Orange Bowl “volunteers,” who are plotzing in your pants at the prospect — the Cards are but two prerequisites away from competing on January 4th in Sun Life Stadium in a BCS game.

Whodathunkit?

Certainly not me.

If Pittsburgh loses, either this week to West Virginia, or next at home against Syracuse, that’s one piece falling in place.

If Cincy loses either this week at Syracuse, or next at home against UConn, that’s the other.

Neither event is that impossible to fathom. The Cards took care of the hard part, their first ever W at South Florida.

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Plenty resilient.

Just about unbelievable.

Louisville is 7-5, having won 5 of its last 6, after starting 2-4.

And . . . the fun may only have just begun.

– Seedy K

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