Louisville Card File: Syracuse

For a good while after Steve Kragthorpe was relieved of his duties as U of L football coach, I continued to give him shit.

He wasn’t a very good head football coach. He precipitated then led the program’s slide back to irrelevance. He was plagued with a severe case of coachspeak. He was smug.

It was a bad combination. So, I piled on. Until even I realized it was time to move on, that there was a new era in Cardinal football and Charlie Strong seemed the guy to get the Cards back to where they once belonged.

But Kragthorpe has lived on in one regard. As an adjective.

Kragthorpian has become a perfect descriptor for a baaaaaaaaad performance. At least in the Cardinal Nation, where the meaning is clear.

The last time Louisville gave up at least 45 points was in December, 2008. Actually 45 wouldn’t have so bad that day. U of L let Rutgers tally 63.

Cutting to the chase, yesterday’s performance by Vance Bedford’s defense was Kragthorpian.

It’s one thing to lose to a decent team, fighting to gain bowl eligibility, playing at home on Senior Day. It’s quite another to get manhandled on ABC when an undefeated season is within view.

That the Cards laid down is shameful.

* * * * *

So that I’ll remember my observations during a game to be able to pass them on to you in these post-game analysis things, I take notes.

Here, verbatim, are the notes jotted down during the Orange Crush:

That’s right. I never once popped the cap off my uni-ball Vision Elite.

And, I am without embarrassment in saying that with 11:45 to play, right after Syracuse went up 45-19, I left the TV and went and walked my beagle Abbey in the park, fully enjoying a glorious late autumn afternoon. Last night, I, my bride and friends were enthralled by Over the Rhine at the Bomhard.

Which is to say I underscored to myself that this U of L team, as I’ve espoused all year, is not even close to a return to the halcyon days when the Cards were coached by future UK mentor Bobby “Motorcycle Maniac” Petrino. (Okay, the last part of that is meant as a joke. I’d be slobberknocked if Barnhart goes there. But, hey, it’s big time college football. Ethics rarely matter.)

* * * * *

The use of  Cardinal runner clipart at the top is meant as irony.

The Cards’ running game was non-existent. Senorise Perry went down after two carries.

U of L rushed only 17 times in the game, netting 48 yards.

* * * * *

Frankly it was easy to see this one coming.

Here’s what I wrote last week as my prediction: It is plain and simple. U of L is going to have to play its best and most complete game of the season to avoid its first L of the campaign. The Orange are nothing special but they are tough at home. I just have a feeling that if U of L is going to get a comeuppance, it’s going to be this weekend in the Carrier Dome. I also have a feeling it’s about time for the Cards to display all their talents in one game for the entire game. If there’s been one consistent thing around here it’s this. I pick U of L to win every week. U of L wins every week. I’ve said it before and now repeat. It’s too late to stop now.

Given how the Cardinals have been playing, winning against mediocre or worse foes by the hair on their chinny chin chins, a clunker like this seemed inevitable. I picked them for superstition purposes only.

I don’t mention this to gloat. It’s just that all the nonesense before the L about national disrespect for an undefeated team was a bunch of bunk. If anything, based on actual performance, U of L had been overrated.

* * * * *

I won’t pile on.

The Cards are 9-1, and should stay in the Top 25, though their ranking will suffer severely.

If they win out, they’ll still get a chance for redemption in the Orange Bowl, most likely against a legitimately tough Florida State Seminole outfit.

It’s a good week to have have off.

If they beat the stuffing out of UConn, then catch Rutgers by surprise, and show well in Miami, yesterday will be the this season’s pigskin equivalent of the hoopsters losing last year at home to South Florida on Senior Night.

We’re certainly going to find out what this crew is made of in the weeks to come.

– Seedy K


  1. bob DeSpain
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It took ten games for us to stop the little league kickoff formations.

    Maybe in the eleventh game we will use our quick and undersized line backers as they should be used. They make the tackle but it is always five yards off the line.

    Gaps, gaps, gaps are our problem. Attack, attack, attack is our solution.

  2. Seedy K
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    The change in kickoff formation was the ONLY improvement spotted on the field.

    I remember thinking, I should make a note of this, so I remember to mention it. But I too had a less than stellar game. 

  3. cbcard
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Re: improvements. Well Kai faircaught a punt on the five instead of the four. That’s a 25% improvement isn’t it.

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