Louisville Card File: Temple

Yes, U of L is now 9-0 for the first time ever. It’s a good thing. A great thing. As a Cardinal fan of long standing, I’m pleased as punch.

The Cardinal Nation is aghast that no respect is forthcoming from the national punditry.

To which I say, calm down, there are any number of legitimate reasons why the sporting blogosphere could care less about the Cards.

Starting with this startling number. The nine foes U of L has vanquished are a combined 25-53 on the year. Louisville beat winless Southern Miss by 4, hapless FIU by 7 and 2-6 South Florida by a deuce.

It is true, you only play whom you play. And the Cards have eaten everything on their plate so far. But to gain respect, Louisville needs to beef up its schedule. (To mix a couple metaphors.) It’s time for Tom Jurich to rethink his scheduling philosophy, to realize he has to trade 1 at home for 2 on the road, or even one and done away, to get the likes of Georgia and Ohio State to play.

The Big East is getting no respect because the Big East doesn’t deserve respect. (And don’t give me any Pitt almost won in South Bend malarkey. The operative word there: almost. This wasn’t a game of cornhole. Pitt had it and choked.)

Louisville’s unblemished record comes thanks to the blessing of incompetent opposition.

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Here’s another reason why Louisville’s record is suspect, why they are college pigskin’s Rodney Dangerfield.

Temple’s Matt Brown struck the Cardinals’ special teams yesterday for 266 return yards. Hear it again. 266 yards. That is not a typo.

He returned two punts for 39 yards. Avg.: 19.5. One was a 30 yard return on a 32 yard punt.

He returned seven kickoffs for 227 yards. Avg.: 32.5.

Bottom line: Louisville’s special team play sucks. It has all year. Even Charlie Strong mentioned it yesterday after the game without being prompted.

John Wallace had but one out of the endzone kickoff. Ryan Johnson averaged only 38 yards on 5 punts.

Temple had decent to excellent starting points for every one of its offensive drives.

It’s time for Extreme Makeover Special Teams.

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Before I move on to the positives, I must mention how disappointing it was to see that Louisville wasn’t ready to play from the get go.

Temple ran the opening kickoff back for a TD.

Louisville was guilty of holding on the ensuing kickoff.

Louisville had a false start on its first play from scrimmage.

Louisville had 5 penalties for 35 lost yards in the first quarter.

With 11:30 to play in the opening half, U of L was tied at 17 with an Owls team that had been outscored 27-82 in its last two games.

Okay, enough. Even I’m tiring of my negativitude.

* * * * *

Teddy Bridgewater is clearly the best QB I’ve ever seen in a Cardinal uniform. (Even I’m too young to have watched Johnny U.)

How good — or mediocre — would this team be without him? I don’t want to go there.

He tossed five TDs yesterday. His first one to Eli Rogers radared through triple coverage.

He was 19/28 for 324 yards. Ho hum. Nine different receivers had at least one catch.

* * * * *

The defense played a little better than it has been. I’d heap more praise, but Temple is a woeful outfit. The Owls fumbled 4 times. At least a couple were self inflicted.

The Cards held the Owls to 10 points over the last 59:48 of the game. To 0 points over the last 41:30.

* * * * *

The roughing the passer call on the Cards early in the 4th quarter when they held on a Temple 3d & 4 was AWFUL. Clearly another Big East officiating gaffe. (Though it didn’t come close to the egregious game changing interference call on Pitt as Notre Dame was driving late in regulation of its officiating-aided W.)

* * * * *

Temple joins the Big East in hoops, not this season but next, 2013-14.

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Twenty two coaches were hired the same year as Charlie Strong and Joker Phillips. And Willie Taggert. Three have already been fired. Since then CS is 23-12. Joker is 12-23, and a fellow who, during his post-game show yesterday, sounded like he was ready to order his last meal.

* * * * *

Yesterday’s crowd was announced at 44,609. There were easily 10 to 15 thousand less bodies in the stands than that. Quality of opposition, noon kickoff and cold rain leading up to kickoff contributed to the paltry showing.

You think there would have been more folks in the seats had U of L been playing Mizzou or Miami or Michigan?

– Seedy K

3 Comments

  1. Leo
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree with your suggestion that Mr. Jurich agree to 1 home to 2 away games to improve our football scheduling. My own opinion is that if we continue to win and build our program, the opportunities will happen to improve our schedule. If nothing else, I believe the networks will make it happen for ratings.

  2. Seedy K
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    The only way U of L is going to “build” the program is to beat big name teams outside the Big East, which has zero respect nationally despite its BCS era bowl record. The only way U of L is going to schedule big name teams — hopefully — is to play them at their stadiums, either one and done or 2 visits for 1 home game here. That’s how Bobby Bowden built Florida State. That’s what Schnell did. That’s how Denny Crum built U of L basketball. Then the networks will give us respect and we will hopefully be able to recruit at the highest levels. As best I can tell, U of L — in football — is not a team the networks want to show to build ratings.

  3. cbcard
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Two comments on scheduling:
    1. Bobby Bowden built Flordia State on the I’ll play anywhere, any time philosphy. He didn’t care about return games, he just won there. We need some of that thinking.
    2. UC who already has a home and home with Purdue just got one with BYU. This makes me wonder. Is it that TJ can’t schedule deals like this or that he doesn’t want to because he would rather schedule guaranteed wins and pay comparatively little to help pay off the stadium addition?

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