Louisville Cardinals Bop Kentucky Wildcats, 27-13

govcupFor all the incredible plays he has made for the Cards, for all the courage he’s displayed on the gridiron in the face of adversity, for all the leadership he’s provided to his mates, for all the maturity he’s developed during his stay on the Belknap Campus, Teddy Bridgewater had his most stand up, forthright moment yesterday after U of L captured the Governor’s Cup for the 3d straight time.

“We’re not as good as we think we are,” he is quoted as opining.

And, that’s the fact, Jack, for the 2013 Louisville Football Cardinals.

U of L possesses a great QB, probably the best who ever toiled in red & black, maybe the best player who ever represented the school on the gridiron. (Though, when the subject was broached in a recent conversation with Pat Forde, I tossed out the name, Doug Buffone. The Yahoo scribe scoffed. I believe it’s legit position.)

U of L possesses the best corps of receivers in school history, arguably the deepest in the land.

U of L has three good running backs, a number of outstanding defenders, and a great punter.

But, hear me now (again) and believe me later.

U of L’s special teams play is abhorrent, given the talent on the squad. The secondary remains more porous than it oughta be. The offensive line play — despite yesterday’s boffo second half running stats — remains mediocre.

Of course, the Cards can improve in all these areas. But right here, right now, the Governor’s Cup back in a case at The Schnell, Louisville is a good to very good team. Talk about playing for the BCS title is poo poo ka ka.

I have seen Oregon’s Ducks play. Louisville does not — yet — possess that Quack.

I know I’m a Donnie Downer . . . again. But only those Cardinal fans who bagged more than the legal limit of PBRs could be ecstatic about yesterday’s performance.

* * * * *

BlueNationHC Mark Stoops, OC Neal Brown and DC DJ Eliot are to be commended.

The Kentucky Wildcats have gotten incrementally better each week of this early season. This is not a very good football team. Not a very good football team at all. After the upcoming gauntlet that is Florida, South Carolina and Alabama, the Cats might be nip and tuck to best my woeful Atherton Rebels.

Yesterday at Commonwealth, UK was game. But, simply stated, not very good.

Eight dropped passes that even I could have caught. (Yes, it’s twu, it’s twu, and I’m a pensioner.) Critical turnovers. Missed assignments.

If U of L’s talent level had not been so clearly superior, the Cards might not have survived.

* * * * *

cardfootballDefensive game ball goes to golden dredlocked, motorcycle man Lorenzo Mauldin.

Four tackles, three for a loss, two sacks — including the icing on the cake on the last play of UK’s last drive — and a forced fumble

Preston Brown, James Burgess, Hakeem Smith, Terrell Floyd, Brandon Dunn and Calvin Pryor all had 5 tackles or more.

The official stats show U of L with 8 passes broken up.

* * * * *

Once again, Ryan Johnson booted the breath out of the pigskin.

4 punts for a 47.8 yard average.

* * * * *

So used have we become to gaudy numbers from Teddy B, we are prone to lament a day, when he was 16/28 for 250 yards to 7 different receivers and a TD on an amazing jump ball grab by Devante Parker. No picks.

I especially loved the 3d Q sequence when he tossed to Copeland for 47 yards, then to Christian for 24 on consecutive plays.

He also ran for 44 yards. Safely. It’s a good thing, opening up the passing game.

The Cardinals’ eight-legged running corps chewed up 242 yards on 41 carries for a 5.9 average. Far and away the best performance of the year, though the first half looked like it was going to be more of the same ol’ same ol’.

* * * * *

Did I mention how U of L’s special teams play sucked yet again? So I did.

The numbers:

UK averaged 26.8 yards on 5 returns for some righteous field position.

While Louisville averaged 12.8 yards on 4 returns.

These are Ron Cooper kind of stats.

* * * * *

The Wildcats were an achingly bad 0/13 on 3d down conversions.

But, they were 3/4 on 4th.

LB Avery Williamson had 15 tackles.

* * * * *

Kentucky’s upcoming schedule, after a week off to try to prepare (and get more health insurance coverage), is so daunting I shan’t reiterate the Murderer’s Row of Foes.

It’s back to Lame Duck Season Fish In The Barrell Rummie of the Week for Louisville. The Golden Panthers of Florida International, reeling from a 13-34 pasting from Bethune Cookman, come to Papa J’s.

Won’t that be a scintillating affair?

– Seedy K

2 Comments

  1. Jason Puckett
    Posted September 15, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Regarding special teams, I think we need to differentiate between kickoff coverage/returns, and the kicking game itself.

    As mentioned, Ryan Johnson is punting very well with a season average of 47.2 ypk, while John Wallace is now 5-6 of fga with the only miss so far being yesterday’s block.

    The other stuff, however, is not very good to say the least.

  2. doug
    Posted September 15, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I am always hesitant to criticize coaching. Yesterday, several questioned Coach Watson’s play calling early in the game. Of course, at the end of the day, we have 500 yards of offense divided evenly between pass and run!
    As for kickoff coverage and return teams, it’s been going on far too long. I think it’s bad coaching! Need a change.

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