Louisville Card File: Missouri State

Louisville played with far less intensity than in its opener against rival UK. Frankly, it makes sense, given that yesterday’s opponent had been manhandled the week before.

So, all in all, it’s hard to argue with a 35-7 W, even if Cardinal fans were hoping for a tally in the 50s.

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The defensive minded Cardinals were notoriously ranked #105 (of 118 in the land) in 3d Efficiency after the UK game.

They did a might better yesterday, stopping Missouri State on 9 of 13 attempts on 3d down. The Bears did convert twice on three fourth down attempts. So, there’s still work to be done.

U of L registered a lone sack, by Lorenzo Mauldin. It came late in the 3d quarter. That was one less than the Bears. The Cards only had four tackles for a loss, equaling the total of their MVC foe.

Calvin Pryor led U of L with 8 stops and a pick. Adrian Bushell had an “interception” slip through his hands.

It was a workmanlike, still much to be improved upon day for the D.

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If it seemed like Sean Moth was saying “schaffitzel” all day long, you were neither hallucinating nor hearing Snoop Dog either in your head or over the PA.

Mizzou State’s Caleb Schaffitzel garnered 16 tackles plus an assist.

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Matthew Nakatani was 2 for 2, kicking FGs. Including a 45 yarder. Which surprised me, frankly. I watched him warming up, and it seemed like he was short left on most of his practice kicks before the game and at the half.

Joshua Appleby’s kickoff numbers were less than impressive. He averaged a smidge over 57 yards per kickoff, rarely — if ever — getting the ball into the endzone. Which allowed Mizzou State some nifty starting points for drives. Twice they started from their own 45, both resulting from U of L personal fouls on the kickoff. Still, they would have begun on the 30 without the penalties.

Which brings up the strategic query. Does a team want the opponent to start at the 25? Or does a team want a chance to pin them down closer to the goal line? I say the former is preferable, taking away the shot at a breakaway and reducing the possibility of injury on the singular situation where more guys get hurt. Kick it deep in the endzone, please.

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Missouri State certainly played the run better than Kentucky, holding Louisville to 131 yards on 37 attempts for a 3.5 average.

Senorise Perry once again fought for any number of yards after being hit. The guy almost always is moving forward when finally stopped.

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Teddy Bridgewater is The Deal. Period.

He already ranks right there with the best QBs ever to wear the red & black. And he’s only two games into his sophomore year.

30/39. 344 yards. Two TDs. No interceptions.

Hard to conceptualize how good he’s going to be when he grows up?

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I haven’t exactly figured out why U of L is wasting its “surprise” two-point conversion plays on early TDs against two easily vanquished foes?

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Yesterday’s game was very poorly officiated. Imagine my surprise?

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Next week’s national TV foe, soon-to-be-smacked-by-the-NCAA North Carolina, lost yesterday by a point, 27-28, at Wake Forest. The Tar Heels still figure to be Louisville’s toughest test yet.

U of L will need to tighten up, both on O and on D. And stop committing so many penalties, especially the personal fouls.

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If there were actually 47,553 in the house, as announced, at least 15,439 were standing in the south endzone. Or gettin’ their par-tay on under the stands.

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If the LadyBirds have 11 national championships, and, as we were told, the spirit groups have 32 national championships, how many does the seen-for-the-first-time U of L Social Media Team have?

Is U of L tops of the tweets? Has that squad twittered to a title? Are they famous for Facebooking?

Perhaps I am old and in the way, but, despite some sense of the importance of staying connected immediately, right here right now in this new techno era, I’m not really sure what a Social Media Team’s purpose is?

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Two more other than the game moments that made me smile:

1) They cranked up The Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” during one break in the action. “Bird, bird, bird/ The bird is the word.”

2) When the LadyBirds came out for one of their routines — they’re 11 time national champs, you know — the ref had set the pigskin on the hashmark at the 25, right where the ladies would be performing. So, one of them grabbed the ball and tossed it to a very surprised zebra to get it out of the way.

One out of the game moment I didn’t like was that Usher’s “Scream” was chosen as the dance song of the game. But the choice was made online, not by vote of the fans in attendance. A skewed vote if you ask me. Must be the work of that U of L Social Media Team, which apparently has yet to win a national title.

– Seedy K

One Comment

  1. bob DeSpain
    Posted September 10, 2012 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    The Game:

    I heard a lot of commercials including one girl screaming into the mike about something I could not understand.

    I saw a team that was flat.

    I saw a safety playing 22 yds off the ball that might as well have came up and sat with us.

    I saw the Cards win 35/7.

    I saw greatness developing at our QB position.

    I saw that they should through the ball to number 9 all day long.

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