“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”
Yeah…..so now is the time worry.
I wrote last week that something is wrong with this team. I am going to take it a bit further and say that something is wrong with Louisville Football as a whole. On the ride home Saturday night I made a detour and checked all over the city and unfortunately I could no longer find any excuses to insert into this week’s column. This was not Alabama. This was not a torrential downpour or monsoon with multiple delays. This was a below average WKU team who started a 3rd string QB and nearly pulled a shocking upset on the Cardinals home field.
I hate using the “C” word but there is a cancer in the football complex and it needs to be removed. Louisville can’t score, they are undisciplined, the players look like they would rather be tailgating then playing. The coaching staff has done nothing to ease concerns and now there are legitimately no more gimmes on the schedule, not even a struggling Florida State team that will make a trip to Louisville next weekend. I am looking at the schedule and coupled with what I witnessed in person last night it is not crazy to think that Louisville could quite possibly lose every remaining game on the schedule. I don’t believe that will happen but I would not be shocked either. We are playing about as badly as we did from 2007-2009, and you know who was the coach then.
Let’s get to the notes:
Any outburst and you will be removed by @8bitbojackson. A true friend to the throne, 8bit has proven a solid need for any tailgate you may be attending. He is resourceful as well as quick with a well-timed joke. He also has a nichè for attracting the craziest Card fans this side of the Ohio. Invite him to the tailgate, but be advised that his entourage may show up. Next thing you know there is money missing from your wallet and you’re daughter is knocked up. I’ve seen it a hundred times….
- Vince Tyra better have his shortlist ready. And before you ask “who do we get” let me just say ANYONE THAT CAN IMPROVE THIS TEAM IN ALL PHASES. I am still not on the”Fire Bobby” train but I am looking into purchasing a ticket if this continues. I think the entire staff needs to be revamped, rehabilitated, overhauled, recharged…. whatever it takes. Family can’t be safe. Coaching experience matters and not one fan of a championship program will say that it doesn’t. Our defensive line cannot get a push on one of the worst offensive lines in college football. Looking at you L.D. Scott. Our wide receivers and tight ends led the nation in drops last year and dropped even more in the WKU game. Looking at you Lonnie Galloway. Our offensive line for the second week in a row struggled to push around a much smaller defensive line. Looking at you Mike Summers. Our cornerbacks and safeties are getting torched each week. Looking at you Grady Brown and Lorenzo Ward. Our quarterback that has been in the program for three years can’t complete passes, our backup QB can’t go through his progressions. Looking at you Nick Petrino. Our head coach went for it on 4th and 3 on our on 32 yard line and failed and then he puts a tired defense back on the field. WKU scored two plays later. Looking at you Bobby. The fans are tired, the players seem tired and if this continues to be a downward trend well…….looking at you Vince to see what your next move is.
- Lamar Jackson masked a lot of this last year with his running ability but we are fresh out of Heisman winners. I may be in the minority but I think Puma was yanked too early out of the game. He only threw the ball 3 times, and two of those were drops which he should not be blamed for. The offense didn’t move when running and it can’t move when receivers can’t make catches. Those are not on Puma. I am happy that we had Malik the last two weeks to help squeak out games but I am very troubled by the fact that Bobby has had Puma for three years and now all of a sudden he is benched in game 3. How does a guy go from being your number one prospect to losing his job?? Granted the offense stalled but 3 attempts and done? Malik Cunnighham is not a great passer so now teams will just stack the box on him and dare him to throw it. We are limited at that spot and I think Puma deserved some more reps especially in the redzone when Cunningham missed a few wide open guys. Again, I could be wrong.
- I really thought we would have solidified a running back right now. Instead we have only solidified that we have no faith in our running backs. We have a million backs and yet Bobby can’t decide who he likes more so he plays them all. Take a look at this:
So last week Jeremy was the guy, now he is regulated to 2 touches. This week Dae is the guy. Next week it may be Colin Wilson, then Hassan Hall. My point is, make a friggin choice and go with it. How are we supposed to develop a running game by playing musical chairs with the lead back?
- If you would have told me before the season that we would be three games in and only have one touchdown combined between Jaylen Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Seth Dawkins I would call you crazy. This was supposed to be a breakout year for Dez, but the QB can’t get him the ball. Jaylen was supposed to be building that NFL draft resume but it seems like the appendectomy and post surgery may have slowed him some (still has to make those wide open catches though). Seth Dawkins needs more than one reception per game. This is bad:
The QB situation has made it clear why our WR’s are struggling. What was considered to be one of the best receiving corps in the nation is now trying to find a way to even get the ball. You spend all summer developing chemistry with Puma and now you have to work even more to work with Cunningham since he appears to be the starter now. But then again, its not like they are lining up against Josh Norman and Jalen Ramsey each week. Our wide receivers are better than this, and its time to start showing it. The situation sucks, no need to sugar coat it.
- Kudos to VanGorder and the defense yesterday. The defense missed out on key stops often BUT the fact the defense kept us in the game was essentially what won the game for us. The Cardinal defense also kept grinding in the 2nd half despite injury after injury. WKU was only held to 3 points after the half and it seemed as the game progressed the defense began to get their footing. Big props to Robert Hicks, CJ Avery, Jarrett Jackson and Tabarius Peterson. Each made some good tackles as well as key sacks of the WKU QB. It wasn’t pretty, we can’t get take injuries like that all season in individual games…. and let’s not talk about the 1st half. More 2nd half defense please.
- Rodjay Burns has proven an electrifying punt returner and for the second week in a row almost took one to the house. While special teams has been a struggle the past few years it has been nice to see that unit improve some this year. We also got a key field goal block that shifted momentum.
- Thoughts and well wishes to London Iakopo who was carted off with an apparent neck injury. I have been a big fan of London since he arrived but unfortunately the injury bug has been his worst enemy. Per Bobby, he did have movement in his body so that is great news. London also took to Twitter to say that he is feeling much better & hopes to return soon.
- Every time I hear our 3rd down music I get physically nauseous.
- I expected more of a sold out crowd yesterday but then again I would not want to subject any more people to what we watched for three plus hours. Not bashing the fans, just saying I thought it would be more of a crowd.
- You know how when a team is struggling you often hear about the team calling a players only meeting? I think this team needs to have a meeting and just air out any grievances they may have. There is a disconnect with this team and I think players should be able to voice their displeasure. Why bash Puma, bash the guy making millions to prepare Puma each week. Don’t ask why the receivers are dropping so many passes, ask the coach who is paid hundreds of thousands to make sure that does not happen. Don’t question why the defense can’t wrap up on tackles or why they are not in position to make a play, ask the defensive coordinator who went from being an analyst last year to a making nearly a million to prepare them each week. Whether you are making millions per year or minimum wage, you are paid to do a job and if that job is not being done correctly and you perform poorly then you get fired. Plain and simple. Cut and dry.
- People love to talk about Bobby 1.0 versus Bobby 2.0. The differences are pretty obvious, Bobby 1.0 hired proven coaches to his staff and didn’t settle on a second cousin and a beloved uncle to help out. We have a coach who is coaching in a Power 5 conference and making hires only a high school coach would make. Tony Levine and Joe Whitt are still excellent coaches. Tony Levine left football to own & operate his own Chick-fil-A after being fired as HC at Houston and spending 2017 at Purdue. Joe Whitt Jr. has made a nice NFL career as a coach for the Packers and he is only 40. Take a look at this graphic below:
This was one of the most explosive and dominant teams in Louisville history. And this staff all went on to be successful. Compare this staff with what we have now. Nick Petrino did an outstanding job with Lamar Jackson, but Puma Pass is in Year 3 at Louisville. He has to be ready. The Quarterback position is struggling. The coaching staff has to improve or we are failing our players. It starts at the top, Bobby must demand more from his coaches… family or not.
I am almost afraid to do this but I will now open the courtroom for questioning.
Eric Turner: “Are our expectations of this team too high? Losing what we lost (Lamar) could we have really expected to be much better than we are right now?
Absolutely not Eric. We are only expecting what the coaches promised. And given Bobby’s history with developing QB’s, there was no reason to worry about Puma. I don’t know what this team is but 8-4 was not a horrible expectation for this team at the beginning of the year. We expected a fluent offense and we have gotten everything but.
@andrewskaggs18: How much is Charlie Strongs buy out?
Doesn’t matter Andrew, he is not cut like that.
Sarah D @sadnky: Are we going to be okay? Are we????
I have no idea and I pride myself on being positive about things. I don’t see how this team will improve on offense but I hope they do and fast. We have 9 games to sort out what is going wrong.
Christopher Bishop: Are Bobby and Paul still on speaking terms? If so, any chance he wants to come back?
I have no idea but honestly Paul is having his own trouble at Idaho. He has an overall record of 20-42 and has only had one winning season in his tenure. Oh yeah, his AD just got placed on leave for botching a sexual assault case. If Paul and Bobby do link back up then you have to relieve Lonnie Galloway of his duties. Just something to keep in mind.
Harold @lilhurl: If Bobby were a hat, what type of hat would he be?
After the WKU game, a dunce hat. You go for it on 4th and 3 on on your own 32?? You don’t go for two points after the first Dae Williams TD?? You don’t have a proven QB? Yeah, put this hat on and sit in the corner Bob.
Ronda Miller: I’m at a lost for words. Digressed this game, don’t see any fire in the coaches so know fire in the players. Still can’t tackle, receivers still dropping balls, I could go on but I think you understand.
Not sure if this was a question or not but I will allow it all. I DO understand Ronda.
Jason Sanders: Why do fans give up on players after 3 games? Example- “Puma shouldn’t see the field again.”
It’s not that fans give up but its the fact that we are told since January that Puma is the guy and then we see nothing that suggests that the last two games. Puma also had a slow start in the spring game. I still think he is our best option at QB going forward but he has to improve. We may go to a two QB type of playcalling here soon. Fans are gonna fan regardless, everyone loves to play Monday morning QB.
@DoctorColby: Now what?
We drink, we sleep it off, we regroup. Er……as fans. Not the team, that would be disastrous.
Bryan Lockard: Will we win a conference game?
This seemed like a preposterous question at the beginning of the year but now I honestly don’t know. We have went from chasing Clemson to possibly chasing Boston College, Wake Forest and NC State as well. Think about that. In 2016 Louisville was one loss away from an undefeated conference season and now we are in danger of becoming Syracuse.
Person(s) who earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:
The Red Rage and Collision Course Crew tailgate. I merely tweeted out the details but you guys showed up and put on a awesome tailgate for the fans. Great food, fun games, cold beers…..who can ask for much more? I really hope we can do it again this season. Perhaps FSU?? Let’s fix the team issues and we will talk. Shots all around!
Person(s) who earned a can of room temperature Natty Light:
The ref who called this kick catching interference:
The halo rule was removed years ago. This could have cost us the win, but then again I shouldn’t expect anything from the refs who have screwed us on a yearly basis. Also, the guy I almost threw hands with while purchasing tickets yesterday for the red/white scrimmage. This is the ticket line, not the U-scan at Kroger jackass.
And in closing I have no idea where we go from here. I can only hope that the team can hopefully fix whatever is ailing them. Of course I don’t want to see anyone fired but I also don’t want to sit through mediocre football for the next two months. This is bad and its time to either make some tough changes or sink an entire program that was on the cusp of competing just 2 years ago.
Be cool in this hot city
Court adjourned (bangs gavel)
Latest posts by LJ Nesbitt (see all)
- BucketHatism: WKU - September 17, 2019
- The CrunchZone Podcast: Road Trip 9-16-19 - September 17, 2019
- Tailgate Crashers: The Collision Course Crew Tailgate. - September 13, 2019