“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”

That sucked.  That is all I have to say about the game. No witty opening, no gut busting joke, no silly puns.  That SUCKED.  Let’s get to it:

 

Any outbursts from the court and you will be removed by Momma Scull, the mother of fellow TCZ’er Biscuit.  When she hands you some IPA and a red solo cup you don’t dare tell her no.

 

  • What the hell was that?   Embarrassing and unacceptable are two words that come to mind.  With all the buildup to the game. With all the festivities and fanfare that came in to play.   With the fact that we had a ton (understatement) of recruits in attendance.  With GameDay, an insane CardMarch, 37 hours of pregame from 93.9 The Ville, and a fanbase that was ready to explode….in the end it was a massive letdown.  I can deal with losses, but I can’t deal with lack of preparation. This loss falls solely on the coaching staff, a staff that is paid millions to have a team ready.  I don’t want coaches fired, I just want them to earn their paycheck. Simple as that.

 

  • Lamar can’t do it all and Houston wrote a game plan that most teams with a great defense would be foolish not to follow.  You have to feed the studs though man, you just have to.

 

  • Malik Williams can’t go from a 13 carry, 149 yard game to a 6 carry, 35 yard game.  You have a running back who has speed and is athletic, why not use him?   Why are we still struggling with finding a spot for Reggie Bonnafon on the field?  Why is Traveon Samuel not getting more touches when it has been proven he has the speed to make defenses pay.   It’s all so confusing.  We have the talent on offense to test a top rated defense but we didn’t take advantage.

 

  • I was confused as to why Jaylen Smith was being used on punt returns.  I know Jaire is hurt and that is a huge blow but I don’t feel comfortable with our top receiver returning punts.  Especially when you have guys like Bonnafon, Samuel, and others that are more then capable.  Not saying Smith is bad, just saying I wouldn’t want to risk injury when we don’t need to.

 

  • Shout out to CardNation.  Although it wasn’t quite as full  you all showed up to GameDay bright and early and with even better signs then last year.  I was a bit leery about the location at first but it was perfect for hosting.  I was a little surprised that there were not more students there being it was in the heart of campus. I was also surprised that people began leaving 30 minutes into the actual show.  It’s a three hour show and it was HOT but other than that you gotta stick it out.  The aerial shot looked terrible.

 

  • Shout out to 93.9 The Ville for allowing The Crunchzone to broadcast live on Saturday.  Dave and I really appreciated the opportunity and it was a blast interacting with callers.  Hopefully in the future you will hear more from Biscuit and the Bucket.  Or Bucket with a Biscuit.  Or Bisc……….whatever just stay tuned.  Also, Jason Anderson is HILARIOUS in person.

 

  • My idea of using a Lyft the majority of the afternoon was brilliant if I do say so myself.   I was not about to walk from Grawmeyer Hall to the Red Rage Tailgate especially after standing for hours.  One Lyft driver sounded like Ben Stein and despite picking us up from Gameday he still asked if we attended. Nah dude, we are just dressed in black Louisville gear and standing in front of an ESPN set.   Drive…..

 

  • Put out an APB for our defensive pass rush.  Last year I groaned about our defense blitzing every play but this year I would love to see a few.  The most troubling thing about it is that we have two of the best edge rushers in the ACC and some capable linebackers who can bring pressure and not allow the QB to get comfortable.  Yet, this has not happened in each of the Cards three games so far.  Both of Purdue QB’s got into a rhythm.  UNC’s  Chazz Surratt was shredding the secondary and  he is a true freshman.    Kelly Bryant was in his first road game as a starter but you would have thought he was in Death Valley.   It is becoming troubling to watch opposing teams get comfortable in the passing game against our defense.

 

  • Which brings me to Peter Sirmon, the first year defensive coordinator.  Like most of you, I was a bit concerned while reading over his stats from last season at Mississippi State.   Even before Saturday’s game Louisville was ranked low in passing yards allowed. Louisville is ranked 122nd in passing defense.  Defenses are averaging 331  passing ypg. against us,  nearly 12 yards per completion, and we have given up 8 passing TD’s thus far.  Louisville is now ranked 104th in the nation now in total defense. They are giving up 452 total yards per game.  That ain’t gonna get it in the ACC or most conferences for that matter. I gave Sirmon the benefit of the doubt at Miss. State being he had a ton of injuries and some extremely young players. But aside from not having Jaire Alexander, he has plenty of experience with Louisville’s defense.  This “bend don’t break” mentality is not good enough if you are wanting to compete in the ACC.  In less than a year, Louisville has gone from a top 20 defense  to one that struggles to contain anyone and that is very alarming.

 

  • Jaire being hurt is a huge blow for Louisville, but Jaire does not play on the defensive line, he is not a linebacker, , nor does he call plays.   Our defense should be able to account for one player being out and Sirmon has to get his secondary in order or it could be a long season.

 

  • Hey, quick reminder, Clemson won the National Championship last season.  Not ALL of those players on that team graduated or went pro, some really good ones came back.   We didn’t lose to a FCS school, we lost to a team that is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.  Clemson has the depth, the talent, and coaching to win games like this.   They have had top recruiting classes over the past few years,  they are able to reload much like Bama.  We are not in that position yet but hopefully one day we will be.   Brent Venables has been coaching defenses since 1996,  Sirmon has been coaching them since 2011.   Experience is going to win out, you don’t go to back to back national championship games without it.   Louisville’s offense worked fine in Chapel Hill, they went up against a much better defense this week. We do not need to fire everyone because we lost to a top 5 team.

 

  • Clemson had the #2 ranked defense heading into Saturday’s game.  Simply put, they do what good defenses do and that is shut down high powered offenses.

 

  • What happened to reading?  All week long The Crunch Zone and other UofL sites had put up all kinds of information for the fans.  Most notably, the blackout news was announced early enough for fans to get some black gear.   I saw red shirts, I saw white shirts, I saw shirts that had nothing to do with Louisville. Seriously I saw a guy at Card March wearing a grey shirt with a lion on it.  What the hell?   You can get Louisville gear at Dollar General, Kroger, and a gas station.  I refuse to believe it is that hard to wear black to a black out game. Do better.

 

  • Speaking of which, can we stop doing the black out game for Clemson.  We did it in 2015 and again this year and both ended in painful losses.  I think it’s time to switch up the mojo.  I am very superstitious when it comes to Louisville.

 

  • Our fans faded early, even before the game was decided. The first drive was crazy loud, until Clemson scored.  Even when it was 7-7 it was still pretty loud. But that 79 yard TD pass  to Ray Ray McCloud took all of the wind out of the stadium.  It was 16-7 at that point and most of the fans were done.  At halftime I saw groups of people leaving.  I snapped this pic  3 minutes into the 3rd quarter with the game still within reach:

We want primetime football but only for the first two quarters?????

 

  • Clemson fans are a pleasure to sit with during games, they know their football.  I got to meet my boy Chris @ClemTigers2  on Saturday and he is hilarious as he is on Twitter.  The ones I encountered were not rude or obnoxious once they got up big in the game.  However, this was MY experience and some of you may have seen otherwise.

 

  • I learned that some Clemson fans actually despise Clemson Tom which is funny.

 

  • Shout out to Dez Fitzpatrick who kept his TD streak alive with a late touchdown yesterday. He is going to be a great player for us over the next 3-4 years.

 

  • I am gonna go out on a limb and say we finally see Puma Pass in the next two games against Kent State and Murray State. If we don’t and Lamar has to play the majority of  both games then obviously something is wrong.  I am not saying Kent State is a terrible team, but I would think Louisville has the advantage at almost every position.

 

  • I sit near the north end of the stadium so it was very weird looking up for the scoreboard and realizing it was not there anymore.  It was a natural reflex and it is going to be hard to adjust to this season, I did it the entire game. I really can’t wait till the expansion is completed.

 

  • Speaking of  expanding the stadium. We are transforming the entire North side of the stadium but yet the red inflatable tunnel refuses to die a much needed death?  Just let it go please, we really don’t need it. The fans will not be in a bad mood if the team does not exit out of it.  Trust me.

 

  • It was good to see London Iakopo getting a sack last night.  Fans forget he had a major knee injury last season against Marshall in the fourth game of the year so it is amazing to see him out there on the field in less than a year.  Same for Khane Pass who is really going to be a great player on defense.  He is in on a lot of tackles and can really lay a hit when given the opportunity.

 

  • Look I am as disappointed as the next Card fan is but I am not ready to fire Bobby Petrino or attack players because we lost to a top 5 team.  I wish we were better prepared on Saturday and I wish we didn’t get embarrassed on national TV but it happened and we have to go back to the drawing board.  Clemson beat Ohio State 31-0 last year.   I don’t hear their fans calling for Urban Meyer to be removed.   One of the worst things about our fanbase is how quickly they turn against the staff or players.

 

  • I love big games, but I sometimes hate big games as well.  Our fans go from Bruce Banner to Hulk in a matter of minutes. All week I heard  “were gonna crush them,  it’s going to be a blowout, no one can stop Lamar”  And then after the loss I heard and read  “WE SUCK,  Bobby 2.0 is terrible,  we should have hired Brohm,  we have no talent on defense,  fire Sirmon, we can’t win with 3 star players”.   You have a right to be upset after a loss, you don’t have the right to attack players though.   Let’s break it down shall we:

A)  Let me remind you again, your fat a** is not going to do much better out there.  You don’t just show up and get handed a D1 scholarship to a P5 school because you are good at Madden.  It’s easy to sit in the stands and yell at a 19 year old.

B.)  This team scored 47 points and put up 700 yards of offense the week before and  Bobby 2.0 was the coach.  Your argument is invalid.

C.)  If we would have hired Brohm over Petrino and he would have lost to Clemson in the same fashion some of you would be calling for his head on a platter this morning as well.

D.) Building a program takes time. Some of those same 3 Star prospects that you’re bashing helped Louisville win a lot of games the past few years. You don’t just start getting  4* and 5* players in your 4th year of a new conference.

E.) Recruits read tweets.  You think bashing a current player is helping when it’s not.

F.)  *whispers*  Some fans said the same “can’t win with these recruits” thing about Rick Pitino in 2010 and 2011 and then he took the same recruits, used the same coaching schemes, and won a championship and 30 games several years in a row.

Louisville is a good football team, they are not a great team at the moment. But it’s Week 3 and there are 9 more games left to be played.

 

  • I keep waiting for Bobby to open that playbook up and let loose.  We have a talented group of receivers and a good running back but last night the offense seemed too conservative. Then again, most of that was due to Clemson’s defensive schemes.  They can make you look inept on offense.

 

  • Thanks for giving us new music on 3rd down.  Prayers answered.

 

  • As some of know, I sit around UK fans who dress as Louisville fans all year except when UK comes to play us. So Saturday night was pure hell.  I had Clemson fans celebrating with UK fans  over beating each other’s rival in front of me.  I need Kent State to get thoroughly destroyed on Saturday to help me recover from all the high fives and terrible puns I heard…….

 

  • Hopefully this pic will ease some of the pain:

#31 for Clemson and Brent Venables reaction is the exact expression I had when I saw Ray Ray McCloud get loose in the second quarter.    But I digress,  Malik Williams has a vertical……….give him the ball. (#8, the guy who was hurdled on the ground is how I got up to look at highlights of the game the next morning)

 

In closing, we lost and it was painful but as awful as we feel you have to think the team feels worse.  They got embarrassed on national television in front of millions and now they have to regroup.  I will never be ashamed about losing to a great team, which Clemson is.  Clemson may very well go undefeated in conference play this year, their defense is THAT good.  Aside from a trip to NC State and hosting Florida State who will trot into town with a redshirt freshman QB I don’t see anyone in the Atlantic or the Coastal who can stop them.  That is a championship program, they will embarrass others as the year goes on. The main thing the Cards need to do is get better on defense and open the playbook on offense. Now, its about style points and continuing to win.

 

I hate that we have to now win out and HOPE Clemson stumbles along with way (UCF nightmare) but that is what it is and we have to accept it.  I hate that we still have not figured out how to defend and defeat Clemson.  What kind of fan will you be for the rest of the season?  Will you stop coming to games now that we have one loss?  Will you stop supporting the players because they lost to the defending champs who could easily repeat again this year?   You don’t stop being fans after one loss, and if  you do then you were never a fan to begin with. Take this week CardNation to mourn and then lets move on and  get ready for Kent State.

 

Court adjourned (bangs gavel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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LJ Nesbitt

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