Louisville CardFile: Boston College

CardHelmetThere is a doctrine in the law known as Adverse Possession. (Of which I’m aware since I used to play a lawyer in the courtrooms of our Commonwealth.)

Essentially it means that a person in possession of a piece of land owned by someone else may gain title to that property, if certain conditions are met.

Generally those conditions include possessing the land continuously for a designated period of time, that the possession be hostile to the interests of the owner, and that the possession be open and notorious.

While it’s been more than a decade since I practiced at the bar, I couldn’t help but get in touch with my inner barrister while watching that football game Saturday afternoon at Papa J’s. U of L’s 17-14 W  was more dreary than the drizzly weather.

Because there was some serious adverse posssesin’ goin’ on. It was as if the Eagles and the Cardinals were fighting over each other’s territory, each claiming what’s yours is mine.

A quarter of the game — 24.6% to be exact — was played in opponent’s backfields.

Total plays from scrimmage: 126. Total plays for loss of yardage: 31. And, you all who learned arithmetic the old fashioned way surely recall that you divide 31 by 126 to come up with that percentage.

Todd Grantham’s defenders, rebounding from a woeful lack of performance last time out in Tallahassee, stopped the Eagles behind their line of scrimmage 15 times during the game. Eight of those were sacks of BC QBs. The visitors were held to a less than exemplary minus 14 yards rushing (51 forward, 65 in reverse).

Keith Kelsey (4.5 TFLs) and Trevon Young (3 sacks) were the chief master blasters for the Cards.

Meanwhile the Eagles were staking their own claims to Papa J’s turf. They trumped the Cards with 16 TFLs, including 7 sacks. BC LB Steven Daniels, who spent more time in Louisville’s backfield than Brandon Radcliffe, was the new out of town landlord, with four TFLs.

There was some U*G*L*Y offensive football played yesterday. But, to be fair, a lot of that was due to a couple of good defenses.

Oh yeah, U of L held BC to one conversion in 14 3d down attempts. Sweet.

And as I/ we are wont to say, a W is a W is a W, but . . .

 * * * * *

. . . Louisville’s offensive line play continues to be, oh there’s no other way to describe it, horrid.

U of L was guilty of six False Start infractions on the afternoon. Including three on its fourth series of the 2d half, the one after BC had pulled within 3, 17-14, on its longest TD drive of the day, six yards.1

U of L lost 89 yards on sacks and TFLs, reducing its net rushing yardage to 135, while 224 forward yards were actually gained. Lamar Jackson was sacked for 52 yards in losses.

During halftime, I ran into U of L color commentator Craig Swabek in the hallway.

“We could use some offensive line play,” I opined.

Ever adhering to the company line, he replied, “They’re improving.”

Coulda fooled me.

I understand U of L is young and inexperienced up front. That said, there has been little appreciable development that I can tell.

It will be interesting to see how many new O linemen the Cards bring in for next season, and whether there will be a coaching change at that position?

Bottom line: U of L’s O is never going to make any serious advancements until the O Line does the tighten up.

 * * * * *

Tell me if you’ve heard this before?

Lamar Jackson remains a work in progress.

Of course, he suffers from comparison with Teddy B. Every Cardinal QB shall from now on.

Truth: Teddy B was/ is a quarterback. Truth: Jackson is an amazing athlete, with considerable athletic skills. The Question: Will Jackson develop those into necessary QB skills? Or, might he always remain frustrating?

It’s too early to tell . . . obviously. But, his transcendence at the position is far from a given.

He still cannot accurately throw the deep ball. His one long connection yesterday — 53 yards to Jamari Staples — was underthrown. Staples made a great play coming back for the ball.

Actually I’m inclined to say, his accuracy suffers when he has to arch a throw.

Example: U of L’s sixth 2d half possession. After struggling to figure out a way to move the ball against BC’s statistically vaunted D, Bobby P and Garrick McGee seemed to have found the key. Go wide.

LJ threw a perfect swing pass to Javonte Bagley, which went for 39 yards. Then they went wide to the other side, for a 13 yard hook up with Reggie Bonnafon. After a short 3 yard completion to DeVante Peete, Jackson again rifled one to the sideline for 12 yards to Staples.

Then the called play was for a fade in the endzone, requiring an arched toss of over thirty yards. As he’s wont to do, Jackson underthrew the receiver, for a pick, ending U of L’s one legit second half scoring opportunity.

Okay, don’t misinterpret my criticism. Jackson’s a talent. And young. One hopes that Petrino can develop it. But I couldn’t help thinking this yesterday. If heralded recruit Jawon Pass already has QB skills, how cool would it be to have him at that position, and Jackson & Bonnafon as multipurpose do it alls? You know, kinda like Golden Boy Paul Hornung x 2. Double your pleasure, double your fun.

 * * * * *

Recognizing that the one drive described above was the only Cardinal O of consequence in the second half, one has to wonder if Bobby Petrino is still the offensive savant he appeared to be during his first regime?

And the fair answer is: It’s hard to tell.

Because the O Line is sooooooo ineffectual, I have to believe BP factors that in when calling plays. He is limited as to what he can call.

 * * * * *

Ya know, there’s not much else to say.

It was a truly B*O*R*I*N*G football game. Full of miscues and lamentable execution on both sides.

So my Players of the Game are the hearty fans, who stayed until the end. Through the rain. Through the awful play.

The crowd was most generously announced as 41,486, though I doubt there were ever more than 25,000-30,000 there. Many of whom stayed in the concourses and lounges. Certainly less than that by the fourth Q.

But those who stayed were stalwarts, seriously into the game. The crowd was loud and enthusiastic beyond its numbers.

 * * * * *

Guess what all the pregame chit chat was about in the press box before kickoff?

Hint: It wasn’t U of L football.

Instead, it was that other thing going on, the scandal that’s put a pall over U of L sports.

 * * * * *

Next up: 3-5 Wake Forest, Friday night, in a game not quite as eagerly anticipated as the Orange Bowl encounter during the Petrino I Era.

The Cardinal slog toward bowl eligibility continues.

— Seedy K

4 thoughts on “Louisville CardFile: Boston College

  1. About twenty five years ago some friends invited Phylis and me to accompany them to Lexington to watch UK play Utah State. We decided to accept although watching UK in those days was even more painful than watching them now. Anyway, one of the two teams, I don’t remember which, won the game 7-0. It was, and still remains, the single most boring football game I have ever watched. Yesterday’s U of L, BC game was the second most boring. Never did I think I would say that a Bobby Petrino coached team would be boring.

  2. Louisville has played 2 of the best 3 football players in the college game in 2015. Of course, everyone knows about DCook and the beast at LSU. But Steven Daniels is probably the best defensive player I have seen in person since Art Still at UofK in the mid-70’s.

    I hope he is not a smidgen too short to play in the NFL at a listed 6’0″, but the guy was all over the field and was unblockable. The “good” news is that other teams have had an equally difficult time dealing with him. I suspect that his presence accentuated our young OL’s issues.

    As for recruiting newbies…of course we can only hope, esp’ly at center. But I suspect with a little experience, our true freshman tackles will prove to be “good” to “excellent” as will RFr. McNeil. I also like the looks of the JC transfer at Guard, Mahoni (SP?) From what I could tell, physically he fills the bill.

    The Lamar J just needs reps. If Pass is better than him, watch out, because I do believe the Lamar J and Reggie B both would be awesome as dual purpose “Hornungs” coming out of the backfield.

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