(Picture and hear, if you will for a second, the image of Jack Black in a tuxedo paying his respects to Led Zeppelin at the Kennedy Center Awards. You can view it here.)
University of Louisville Cardinals.
(Mugging to the assembled.)
University of Louisville 33, Florida 23 in the Sugar Bowl. Greatest win in the history of U of L football. Yeah.
Better than the Fiesta. Better than the Orange.
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Not only is this the biggest win ever on the gridiron for any Cardinal team . . . ever, it’s the best game a Cardinal football team has ever played. From preparation to consummation, this gang was obviously ready, focused, resolute. They never wavered.
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This breakdown is not going to be as analytical as I normally try to be.
I didn’t take notes during the game. I simply sat in wonder, actually stood most of the time, given my nervousness, and took it all in. I haven’t had an opportunity to watch the replay yet. I surely shall, and surmise I’ll have more to say after viewing the beauty of the victory with some reflection.
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Some initial scatter-shot observations.
The key plays: 1) Terrell Floyd’s pick six on the first play from scrimmage. 2) The onside kick with which Florida opened the 2d half, which failed woefully, resulting in a Cards’ 1st down on the Gators’ 19. 3) Bridgewater to Copeland on that 1st play from scrimmage to push the score to 30-10. 4) Florida’s missed two-point conversion after that last too late too little touchdown. 5) B.J. Butler’s run to the one after catching a swing pass, setting up Louisville’s 2d TD.6) Andrew Johnson’s interception in the end zone.
Is it my imagination, or didn’t Butler, who caught two passes, and Jalen Harrington, who nabbed one, previously play defense?
As Desmond Howard astutely observed at half time, Florida came out thinking they could intimidate U of L and trying to do so. It didn’t work for a second. Nine penalties for 98 yards. U of L was disciplined. Two flags for 25 yards. (By the way, Howard also said, essentially, that Florida’s DBs weren’t good enough to cover the Cardinals receivers, a similarly acute reflection.)
Jeremy Wright ran the ball 25 times. He gained 103 yards. He was stopped behind the line more than a few times for 19 yards in losses. His net total of 84 yards was twice as many as the best Florida runner.
Teddy Bridgewater confirmed he’s as good as any QB in the land — Should we call him Teddy Football? — hitting 20/32 for 266 yard and 2 TDs. He is also — You’d better sit down Johnny U acolytes — the best quarterback, who has played the position while at U of L.
Preston Brown was a beast with 13 tackles. Train engineer Vance Bedford had his defense ready.
Shawn Watson’s game plan, and his squad’s execution, was pretty nifty also. (“Pretty nifty” is technical pigskin talk. You can look it up.)
Charlie Strong sat down more than a few naysayers, those who have been asking, “What’s he really done yet?”
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I’m sure I’ll have more to say after awhile. I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet.
What I know is this: U of L is joining the ACC. Charlie Strong turned down Tennessee in the not-so-mighty-this-morning SEC. The Cards won the Sugar Bowl. The basketball team beat Kentucky and is a legit national contender.
It’s a great day to be a Louisville Cardinal fan.
– Seedy K