Were I more of a professional, not so disinclined to do actual research as to whether there is some symbiotic connection between Cardinals and Lions in nature, this would be a totally different, more informational lede.*
*Yes, I’m going to get get to the U of L victory over the Wolfpack in a sec. Bear with me in the flush of W(s).
Were I a better more pithy fashioner of phrasing, like, say, Charles Pierce or Ryan McGee*, this might be more to the point while still elegantly snarky.
*In yet another aside, which has absolutely nothing to do with the Cards gritty victory in Carter-Finley, I must share this brilliant bit of writing from ESPN’s McGee. Speaking of a center snap that caught Heisman holder Caleb Williams by surprise, the scribe said, “Oh, and he also received a direct snap that hit him right in the family planning aisle.” Wordsmithery of the highest order, there.
So, where am I going with this, ye Cardinal faithful are wondering? Here:
For the second time this season, I am basking in the glow of a Detroit Lion/ Louisville Cardinal Thursday night/ Friday night double W. (So too, Glorious Editor at the Chron, who happens for some reason to also be a Lions fan. My allegiance comes honestly, I was born in Motown, and have been longing for success since the days of Leon Hart, Joe Schmidt, Night Train Lane, Bobby Layne and Les Bingaman.)
So, yeah, on separate football weekends, the Lions won in Arrowhead and Lambeau in Thursday night previews to the University of Louisville Cardinals prevailing in Atlanta and on Tobacco Road on Friday.
Can I get a witness?
How ’bout a Huzzah!
* * * * *
So, do I now try to fashion some funny about Brock Travelstead and his Best Supporting Actor-worthy performance with a few ticks under 3:00 to play?
Let’s just say, while not definitive of the game, it did mandate that State use its final two timeouts, before their inevitable final possession.
Envelope please. And the winner is . . . Louisville kicker Brock Travelstead.
It was just another wacko twist and turn in a game that only friends and family could love. As long as the red they were wearing was of a cardinal hue.
There were absurdly bad interceptions by both QBs.
There were stupid momentum killing penalties by both squads.
And there was trickeration. Oh my, was there trickeration.
Both squads tried a fake punt. They both worked. Except that the Cards’s “successful” one was nullified by a penalty.
Then there was Jeff Brohm’s double reverse flea flicker screen on which Kevin Coleman somehow after the catch managed to weave his way for 26 yards. The drive ended with Travelstead’s 33 yard FG to knot the “battle” at 10 late in the 3d Q.
Want a stat that should dazzle?
Midway through the final quarter, after the Cards possible go ahead drive ended with a ridiculous Plummer pick in the endzone on a 1st & Goal at the State five yard line, Louisville net rushing total was . . .
. . . FIVE YARDS.
Coming into the contest, the Cardinals’ were the fifth best rushing outfit in the land.
But, hey, they quadrupled that to 20 net yards by the last kneel down of their slog of a 13-10 W.
* * * * *
I’m just not sure what to make of this whole affair.
Both defenses played good football. Really good football. Both forced turnovers. Both harried the opposing QB. Both made it hard to run. And pass.
But the Cards were betterer. State didn’t score after halftime. And the guys not in black came up with the play at the end that sealed the deal, when a strong rush forced a wobbly Brennan Armstrong pass which ended up in Quincy Riley’s paws.
Cam’Ron Kelly’s interception in the endzone, stopping the Wolfpack’s opening drive of the 3d, was also key.
I guess there’s more to talk about — Duh! — but it’s way past my bedtime, and what I know is this . . .
. . . the U of L Cards were gritty. The won. And, they are now 5-0 (3-0) with Notre Dame coming to the L&N next Saturday night in prime time.*
*I trust there are typos in this. I’m running on empty. Be kind when advising corrections.
* * * * *
OK, I would be remiss if I did not mention how truly misguided Andre Ware’s in game observations are. Many just plain wrong.
He is rarely right, even if he happens to be talking in context of time and distance and game status, which at times he is not.
The veritable coup de grace came when, with victory assured, State without any timeouts, the Cards got the ball back for the final pro forma kneel downs.
Ware talked about how U of L wanted to gain enough yards to get in Travelstead’s FG range.
Whaaaaaadafug are you talking about, dude?
So, bottom line, you see an old fart wearing Cardinal ballcap and a Lions Honolulu blue shirt in the vegetable aisle of the grocery, say hello.
— c d kaplan