Not much to say about a 72 zed running-clock smackdown of a college football team as bad as any that’s ever taken to the Papa J’s faux turf.
It was a great day for football. Sunny. A hint o’ crisp in the air.
Grumbling Doug James was back in town — he’s a New Yorker now — and back in the TV booth.
Grumbling Schnell was back. At least on the video board to honor the Liberty Bowl champs of a score of years ago.
My pal Tony’s blueberry tailgate pancakes were sublime.
And, yes, there are some legitimate takeaways from this triumph.
1) The Cardinals were guilty of only one 5 yard transgression, an offside on a kickoff. While FIU’s ineptitude aided that stat, it remains significant. No holds. No chop blocks. No illegal procedures.
Outstanding. It’s the sign of a maturing team.
2) Better special teams play. Again, FIU’s incompetence helped.
The Cards used a different strategy on kickoffs, with players lined up all the way across the field, instead of leaving 10-15 yard corridors along the sidelines. U of L appeared more aggressive, and more lane savvy, though, again, the Golden Panthers didn’t present much of a challenge.
John Wallace booted it stronger yesterday than previously. And it wasn’t just the steady wind from the north.
His first three kicks in the 1st Q, all with the wind, went deep in the end zone. When the teams switched ends, his next couple of kicks went to the 13 and 15. But, later in the game — his leg was surely weary after the game, given he kicked it off ten times — he put the ball into the endzone into the wind.
Then, on the only kickoff U of L received — the one to open the 2d half — Charles Gaines scored on a 93 yard romp.
3) Four different running backs tallied a rushing TD. Senorise Perry. Michael Dyer. Dominique Brown. Brandon Radcliffe.
4) Ten of the AFROS caught a pass. Interesting though, none was named James Quick, U of L’s super frosh. (According to the official box score, he didn’t play a down in the game, which, to be honest, is somewhat inexplicable. However, several fans have indicated he did take several snaps near the end.)
5) Ryan Johnson continued his exemplary punting, averaging 41 yards on, uh, 2 kicks.
6) 22 Cardinal defenders recorded one tackle or more. 12 garnered a tackle for a loss. The opponent obviously contributed to how fat these stats look.
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Before the game, I heard more than a few conversations about the downpour during last season’s encounter in Florida. How very few FIU fans showed up. And how stadium security threatened Louisville fans with arrest, when they attempted to move into the better, empty seats.
One of the Golden Panthers is named Giovanni Francois. Kind of rolls off the tongue, eh?
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I would be remiss, were I not to mention this observation, at this juncture of the season when conference play is commencing.
The SEC has four undefeated teams. The AAC has three.
– Seedy K