OK, that’s an understatement. The play in question was U*G*L*Y.
I’m talking about the one early after intermission, when superb Seminole RB Dalvin Cook proved that one really good pigskinner, playing to the maximum of his ability despite a nagging hammy, can beat five half speed, technique-bereft pigskinners, displaying a severe lack of pluck.
I shan’t name names, so mediocre was the Cards’ effort on this particular play. But here’s what happened. Less than two minutes after the halftime show, Cook took a handoff moving to his right. He veered past a former Big 12 D POY — Devonte Fields — who leaned toward Cook in a half-assed tackling effort, coming up with an armful of air. Then Cook easily blitzed past a Pop Warnerish attempted arm tackle by a member of the Cardinal secondary — Josh Harvey-Clemons. After which, three U of L defenders honed in on the State Heisman candidate — Keith Kelsey, Chucky Williams, Trumaine Washington — and all waved buh bye as the Seminole easily ran past their feeble attemptitude. (I should have said ineptitude, but if you can’t say something nice, . . . )
Though the Cardinals did show some offensive fortitude, coming back to retake the lead on the ensuing drive, Cook’s 54 yard TD was the game changer. If the Cards spit out the bit in the future, it was also the season changer.
The Seminoles tallied on the next drive with a 70 yard TD toss.
Scoring again on their next drive, on a 14 yard Cook scamper.
And yet again on their next drive on a 13 yard pass.
Finally, on their next long, time consuming drive with a two yard TD pass.
Ahead 7-6 in a relatively boring opening half, U of L was outclassed, outtalented, outplayed, outefforted and outscored 14-35 in the 2d.
Louisville’s defensive endeavors after the break were dismal; its offense, inconsequential.
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Indeed, it was nice to watch the significant improvement of novice QB Lamar Jackson, coming off a bye week.
He was 20/35 in the air for 300+ yards and three TDs. All were to James Quick, whose last name best describes the time it took for U of L’s medical staff to pass him on the concussion protocol, after the Trinity grad stumbled off the field dazed, confused and helmetless, after taking one on the noggin.
Yet again, LJ proved that his bazooka arm isn’t yet accurate to the point that U of L should be attempting long downfield passes. His longest completion of the day to Quick was underthrown. His other significant attempt was way off target and picked off.
Plus, he was sacked 5 times, proving the Cards’ O line still isn’t of very high quality. And that Jackson’s scrambling ability is diminished when the level of competition rises.
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There was a quintessential Bobby Petrino interlude, what the Red & Black Faithful have been hoping for since the prodigal son returned.
He saw a flaw in the Seminole secondary, when the slot receiver could easily get open against zone coverage. So BP called the same play twice in a row to complete Louisville’s first scoring drive. The first was a 48 yard underthrown completion to James Quick. Followed by an 18 yard TD toss from Jackson to uncovered Quick in the endzone.
U of L’s drive to take a 14-13 lead was also impressive. But such was the inability of Todd Grantham’s D to stop Florida State in the second half, that the Cards played from behind the rest of the way, showing zero capability to match the Seminoles score for score.
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Other than that, I just don’t have much to offer.
The Cardinals’ schedule eases up a bit — Clemson and Florida State are in the rear view mirror — but none of the games will be a gimme, given how U of L has been faring so far.
Next: Boston College. Noon:30 @ Papa J’s.
— Seedy K