This year, we at The Crunch Zone decided to approach the the idea of a season preview a little differently. I (@BiggestBiscuit) joined two of my fellow contributors, Joe Kelly (@ThatBoysGood) and the Bucket Hat King himself (@LJthaFiasco), to provide a more candid and conversational take on the upcoming Louisville football season.
We have new coaches in two prominent positions: What do you want to see from the offensive line? What about the defense?
Biscuit: We all know the complaints over the last few seasons regarding the offensive line and the defense. There is no doubt we were lacking talent on the line, especially in the interior. That being said, I saw issues with development and in-game performance/communication that could absolutely be attributed to coaching. And when Mike Summers, an excellent offensive line coach who knows Bobby’s coaching style, is available, making a move makes sense. Chris Klenakis is a respected coach who has a great rapport with the players & recruits. I’m happy he is still on staff, but a new approach to the offensive line was needed. Summers oversaw the development of some of the best linemen to play at UofL, and had a hand in some of our most prolific offensive attacks. I love the influx of new talent. Between our freshmen and JUCOs, we are bigger, stronger, and more athletic at every position. I like that we have an experienced trio of upperclassmen (Geron Christian, Lukayus McNeil, Kenny Thomas) to go with two fresh faces on the starting unit. Mekhi Becton looks like the real deal (just ask Bobby), as do Robbie Bell & Cole Bentley. I expect this unit to grow together and become a cohesive group as the season wears on. Communication and depth should be much improved. Truth is, all we need is average to above average line play, and our offense will be lights out. That’s the Lamar factor.
As far as defense goes, by the numbers Todd Grantham presided over one of the best defenses in the country during his tenure here. But anybody who watched Louisville last season knew that when we absolutely could not get a stop when we needed it. The old talk about “3rd & Grantham” we heard from UGA fans seemed to manifest itself on the field. Too many times, it seemed like situational awareness was lacking. At the end of the day, I think a change was beneficial for both the program and Grantham. Enter Peter Sirmon. Sirmon is a young coach, with only one season as a DC at Mississippi State under his belt. While his team’s numbers were underwhelming, it’s very hard to get a feel for a DC after one season with a team that’s lacking top end talent. Obviously Coach Petrino sees something in him. Me? I’m just giddy about a change. I couldn’t handle anymore 3rd and 15 conversions. What I want to see from our defense is a fundamentally sound unit who can get the other team’s offense off the field. That, and an increase in quarterback pressure. The second half of last season, we struggled to get to the passer with or without a blitz. A healthy duo of James Hearns and Trevon Young should be as good a 1-2 as any in the conference. Combine that with a very strong secondary, the defensive unit could be excellent by the heart of conference play.
LJ: Simple, discipline on both sides. We can start with offense. Time and time again players were getting holding penalties or false starts. Players were missing blown assignment weekly. It resulted in 46 sacks of Lamar and a fed up fanbase. Coach Klenakis is a great person and an even better recruiter but a change had to be made. I think Mike Summers and Petrino are the beer to each other’s mugs. When they hook up they tend to provide dynamic rushing numbers and even better passing numbers. We are in good hands either way and we also have an influx of young, raw talent for Summers to shape.
Defense is a whole new story. For the past three years we have seen our defenses start strong and then fade down the stretch. I just want better consistency all year long. I also don’t want to blitz every friggin play. Sirmon has his job cut out for him. He has a talented group that he has to manage, and he also has to prove his worth to the fanbase who is still a bit iffy about his hire. Some of that is due to the fact his defense at Miss State ranked 109th in the country…..blah. But that is because he was breaking in a ton of young players and had to introduce new schemes. That is not the case at Louisville and all indications point to the players really buying into his system. Whatever the case, just get off the field on 3rd down, sack and pressure the QB, and please get some damn turnovers.
TBG: Literally anything from the O-Line. I would actually like a line that’s cohesive so I never have to mention them again. Seriously, I know the line is Dave’s passion but I want a year where they don’t even come up in conversation, line never gets credit so best you can hope for is they’re efficient enough to never be mentioned in conversation. D-Line is a major question mark for me given the loss of Deangelo Brown and the scheme change. Brown gave us an advantage because the guy ate up gaps but I think any deficiency on the interior of the line will be mitigated by edge rushers Young & Hearns. Those two guys will “hide” a lot of potential flaws with the unit overall.
Biscuit: Joe, as passionate as I am about offensive line play, I hate when they are the focal point. It is almost never a good thing. They’re like referees. The less you hear about them, the better. I look forward to the fan base having the luxury of ignoring them again (in the best way possible).
What’s the strongest position group? Which group worries you?
TBG: No brainer, WR’s. We are DEEP at that position and have continued recruiting well, it seems to be a real priority for this staff. Look, I’m not complaining about it, I preach depth weekly, and when you’re in a foxhole I have to imagine you pray for a lot of bullets. Bobby has all the bullets.
As for concern we took a big hit on the D-Line when Deangelo Brown graduated but since the new scheme isn’t strictly 3-4 I’m not as concerned about not having a massive nose tackle to take up space and clog up lanes. That said, O-Line. We’ve been hearing very high praise of the group and I believe it’s all true. I believe Becton will be the second coming of Johnathon Ogden and we should enjoy him pancaking defenders over the next 3 years. All that is well and good but until I see it, and see it consistently, I have to go with them, can’t wait to be wrong.
LJ: Gotta agree with TBG, the WR’s are deeper than the Atlantic Ocean. There is an embarrassment of riches there and then Petrino decided they needed MORE speed and adds Cornelius Sturghill to the mix. Throw in Chris Taylor -Yamanoha and Josh Johnson to an already loaded group and I would say we are set for the future. Honorable mention would be the cornerback position.
The D-line is thinner than my hairline right now. Depth is on the way but for the moment no one can get hurt. Losing DeAngelo Brown hurt, but only signing one d-lineman hurt worse. LD Scott will work it out though.
Biscuit: This seems like the easiest question. I agree wholeheartedly with my friends on this one. Wide receiver has been a point of strength & depth for Louisville since before Bobby 2.0 commenced. We have size, strength, and a variety of weapons. It’s like Baskin Robbins. 31 flavors. Pick your poison. I also think our secondary is strong across the board. The fact that Bobby was comfortable moving Sturghill from corner to receiver speaks to our depth there as well.
Defensive line is our weakest (thinnest) position. It sounds odd to say it that way, because the 2 deep is strong, and I see big things from Drew Bailey this season. But it is the spot we can least sustain an injury, especially after the dismissal of Chris Williams. The offensive line is also a talking point here, but I feel great about the newcomers and the addition of Coach Summers. There will be growing pains, but that unit will be solid by the heart of conference play.
What player/players are you excited to see on offense? On defense? Is there a breakout star?
LJ: On offense I am excited to see Seth Dawkins. He had a few catches last year that raised some eyebrows and he was good enough to start as a true freshman. All signs point to him being a starter this season. On defense that honor goes to Drew Bailey. He has seemingly played in the shadows for the past two seasons now he is “the guy”. I think Khane Pass will be a breakout star, we saw glimpses in the UK game last year when he had to fill in due to injuries.
TBG: Buddy how much time do you have? The breakout star will be Dez Fitzpatrick, Dave Lackford is going to prove how far ahead he was on this one, Dave’s been in my ear about him since we were recruiting him. I haven’t studied his film and I’m not going to just rip Dave’s assessment of Dez but what I can tell you from the little I’ve seen the kid runs some incredibly crisp route. I believe when it’s all said and done we will agree he was the best route runner since Harry Douglas, Harry had a nice career playing on Sunday’s so that’s no light praise. Can a true freshman be considered a break out? Yes, they can, and if Mekhi Becton is that guy on the line I will doling out many a high five this season. On the defensive side of the ball I’m pumped up for the return of my man Trevon Young. Keith Wynne and I marveled at his athleticism and ability to bend two years ago. He was having a terrific year before sustaining a Bo Jackson like injury. God bless modern medicine. I think Young is the best pure rusher since Elvis Dumervil, pairing him with Hearns should be a nightmare for opponents on third and long. Seriously maybe just sneak a pooch punt in there. I want to do some research but I can’t really recall a better pass rush duo than the possibility of those two.
Biscuit: I will be watching our new O-linemen closely. I can’t wait to see how the line comes together and grows as the season goes on. It won’t only pay dividends this year, as all major contributors will be back next season. That’s huge. Also, who wouldn’t be pumped about Lamar Jackson on the war path with that stable of receivers? Money. On defense, there are several names that come to mind: Drew Bailey, Trevon Young, James Hearns. The name I haven’t seen mentioned much is Stacey Thomas. He quietly had a very solid season last year, and looks to take control of the defense now that Keith Kelsey has graduated.
There are several candidates for breakout star. Dez Fitzpatrick is an excellent choice, as is Seth Dawkins. He flashed last year and really looks like he has the makings of a star. Those two together can be the Harry Douglas-Mario Urrutia of the 2017 Cardinals. The guy I am watching is Reggie Bonnafon. A senior who has been a steady contributor may seem like an odd choice for breakout star, but if he can get settled in that role as the Swiss Army knife of the offense, I could see him being an incredibly important piece of the offense. I can see him playing out of the backfield as well a receiver, and being heavily involved in the screen game. We all know he has the capability
Who’s the dawg on this squad? Who’s going to set the tone, i.e. Calvin Pryor…
LJ: I think James Hearns is your dawg. He proved himself to a efficient pass rusher especially last season. One could also argue Jaire Alexander since most QB’s refused to throw his way last year, except for DeShaun Watson who was hard headed and kept testing him and failing.
TBG: I REALLY like LJ’s pick of James Hearns. This was a “who do you pick KD or LBJ” debate, I’d rather you pick first and I’ll take the other guy. My pick is Chucky Williams, or “Kill Shot”, as he’s referred to in TBG Manor. Let me be crystal clear on this, he may miss some tackles, but if he connects you’ll be asking for some Gatorade and a breather. He isn’t much of a talker off the field but I have a feeling he’s had some solid one liners after massive hits.
Biscuit: Hearns is an excellent pick, I agree. But Chucky Williams is definitely my guy. My line on him is “You’re gonna die or you’re gonna score”. That’s a little simple, but it has some truth to it. I love what he brings to the table. You can never underestimate the power of fear. If a receiver hears footsteps, it makes him far less effective. THAT’S what Chucky brings to the table. It’s the same thing with Hearns and quarterbacks. You hit that man once or twice in the first quarter, he’s looking for you the rest of the game. Honorable mention goes to Micky Crum. Joe like to call him “Baby Shockey”. That fits. He is a tight end who relishes throwing a nasty block as much as catching a touchdown. I think he’s ready to turn heads this season (Ed. Note: Make sure to check out LJ’s recent piece on Crum right here on TCZ).
Jaire’s Turkey Strut vs. Wake Forest: great celebration, or greatest celebration?
Biscuit: Greatest celebration. Or I should say greatest in-game taunt. It was just so organic, so random, and he somehow didn’t get flagged. Also, I am all for Wake Forest taking all of the Ls at this point. I hope the whole team does the electric slide after the first touchdown when we play them.
LJ: Great Celebration. I remember being shocked that Jaire did it and mad that it could have cost us a penalty had the ref threw the flag which I STILL don’t see how he didn’t. I think the greatest celebration ever goes to Tony Stallings tackling a fan after the game winning TD against UK in 2000. Honorable mention would be Andrew Johnson blowing kisses to the WVU cheerleaders after returning a blocked punt for a TD.
TBG: OK, confession time. I grew up a huge fan of The U, so I am here for the trash talk/mocking/celebrating. “If you don’t wanna see me dance, don’t let me in the end zone” – Michael Irvin. It was hilarious, silly, ridiculous, and organic, so it gets two thumbs up from me. I have no clue what the hell he was thinking but it was entertaining which is all that matters.
What are your expectations for Lamar Jackson?
Biscuit: As frustrating as it has been to watch Lamar get slighted by several media outlets (and much of the viewing public), I don’t think this off-season could have played out better from a motivation standpoint. Obviously, a competitor like Lamar was going to improve and come out focused this year regardless, but if I can get the reigning Heisman winner with a boulder-sized chip on his shoulder, I’ll take it. That being said, I expect a lot from Lamar. His jump from freshman year to sophomore year was astronomical, and there is no reason to believe he won’t make another giant leap this year. Coach Petrino has focused on Lamar’s pocket presence, footwork, and decision making, and I expect that to pay huge dividends on the field. I expect to see his accuracy numbers improve drastically (especially with the amount of drops we saw last season). I wouldn’t be surprised if his already gaudy passing yardage and TD numbers improved a bit, but I expect the offense to lean on a traditional running game a little more than last season, to ease the workload on Lamar and diversify our attack a bit. So expect a small dip in his rushing totals, but I still expect over a thousand yards.
Although the kid is superhuman, so who knows? He may throw for 4,000 yards and run for 2,000.
LJ: Lamar Jackson is already the greatest Louisville Cardinal of all time based on a specific piece of hardware that he hauled home from NYC last year. And he did it with a less than stellar offensive line. We always say “what if the O-line was better” and it seems we are going to find out this year. With Offensive Line guru Mike Summers back on the staff and an offensive line averaging 6’6 and 300 plus I would say Lamar AND the running backs will see some increases. I expect Lamar to become a more prolific passer this season since he has more time to throw and also wants to shut up NFL experts who insist he can’t play QB at the next level. Petrino has already hinted Lamar will stay in the pocket more and run when he needs. to. It is not foolish to think Lamar can pass for 4,000 and rush for 2,000 this year. He should have had 2,000 yards last season but sacks and TFL played a part.
TBG: My expectations for Lamar are somewhere in between the sun and the moon. Meaning, I expect amazing things from him this season. He’s special and I’m honestly shocked at the lack of respect or interest in him coming into this season. Year three is the season to expect greatness from a Petrino coached QB and if year two was any indication of the future, look out. Personally I will enjoy Lamar but I’m curious if he has set a bar so ridiculously high that national pundits can’t be satisfied.
Does Lamar make it back to New York?
Biscuit: I hate the way Heisman voters treat returning winners. It seems like you have to walk on water as an encore to impress them. I do think he gets back to New York, and I believe he has a strong shot at putting up the type of season that warrants a second Heisman. But, alas, the odds are stacked against a win. However, I am extremely here for round two of the Lamar Heisman fashion show.
LJ: He could make it back, I really see him putting up bigger numbers this year with more protection. He won’t win though, mainly because the national media is already tired of him and have a new man-crush on Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. Those guys are not bad at all, but one would think the reigning Heisman would get more love than this. Either way, you gotta think Lamar will turn the disrespect into a monster season. If he does and Louisville finds itself at 11-1 or so in December, we could see a repeat.
TBG: I think he will but I’m also in the camp he will have a better season statistically and not win the Heisman. There’s only been one two-time winner and if we are being honest with ourselves, if the media darling Tim Tebow couldn’t pull it off, forgive me for not believing I’ll ever see a two time winner.
What’s the best team not named FSU or Clemson we will face this season?
Biscuit: Our non-conference schedule this season is a bit down. Houston was a legitimate top 10-15 type team last season, and Purdue, while in good hands, is in long-term rebuilding mode. Looking in conference, I do believe the hype with NC State this season. Dave Doeren has them on a steady upward trajectory, and they were within reasonable vicinity of a 9 win season last season, if a few things fell their way. They dropped two games to significantly worse teams (ECU & BC), and came very close to upset wins against FSU & Clemson. I see them as a borderline top 25 team, plus we face them on the road on a Thursday night. Tough spot for us.
LJ: NC State comes to mind. The fighting Wolfpack have a senior led defense that was embarrassed last year here in Louisville. Raleigh is not considered a tough place to play but it won’t be easy going down there and getting a victory. I would also watch out for UNC even if they are rebuilding.
TBG: Whoever we play in a bowl or the CFP 😎. We don’t have a Houston on the schedule this season and if you listen to hilljacks outside the Snyder they’ll have you believing uk will win the SEC East but I have no interest in beach front property in Idaho nor preseason uk football stock. Schedule isn’t very intimidating as of today.
What game could be a potential trap game?
TBG: As much as it pains me to type the following words I have to look at NC St. Thursday night games are my favorite because it frees up Saturday’s, but when we travel to “lesser” opponents I’m a nervous wreck all day. As UofL fans we should all recognize and respect the environment that accompanies Thursday night games. They will be rowdy and ready for UofL, and if we lose to the Wolfpack I may cry. If we do take an L to the Pack I’m hoping they are undefeated so it will not hurt rankings too much and so Ennis continues to sweat bullets from his bold promise “to eat a live animal” should NC St. reach the College Football Playoff. Clocks ticking, Mark.
LJ: NC State hands down. I mean granted, just visiting the city of Raleigh is a trap in itself. Not only will the crowd be insane, but they have a creepy howling sound effect after each score or big play. Second trap game could be Wake Forest only because the fighting khakis pants are still upset they gave up 34 points in 10 minutes. Honorable mention would be that team down the road at Kroger Field…….but only if they have one lane open and it is Senior discount day.
Biscuit: NC State is a problem, but I just think they’re a very solid squad that we won’t be favored by much over. Less a trap than a legit good team. So I went a different direction. North Carolina could be a sneaky matchup. They lost a lot of talent (including starting QB Mitch Trubisky), but they’ve got a good coach and a decent talent base. Being a Week 2 game, sandwiched between the season opener against Purdue and our huge home opener against Clemson, a road trip to Chapel Hill could be tricky.
ACC schools as Game of Thrones houses…go:
TBG: OK I spent waaaaaay too much time debating this question. FSU cant be House Lannister because “A Lannister always pays his debts & Jameis & Peter Warrick erased this possibility. Not a house but based off FSU Twitter, the Noles are the Dothraki. Wild cutthroats riding horseback to terrorize anything civil and noble. So that makes Clemson, House Lannister, they’re elite, arrogant, vicious, and I want them all out of here. I hate you Clemson Lannister. House Baratheon was a once proud House who held the Iron Throne for years until it was brought down internally by people of its own. What’s up Nevin Shapiro, you Baratheon’d Miami. House Tully is Georgia Tech because nobody gives a damn about either. There’s only one good one, Sam, and GT has Calvin Johnson. Might call them Georgia Telly now, might. Nobody gets to be House Stark, sorry, nobody in the world of college athletics gets to be House Stark, they’re too good for us. Finally that leaves House Targaryen. The Targaryens have dragons who breathe fire and can basically fly in and flip your checkerboard over. These dragons are unlike anything your eyes have ever seen, they’re like taking a sledgehammer to a snail. They are overkill and we all scream with delight when they make an appearance, sound familiar? What I’m saying is Lamar is a Dragon. Also because I’m not 100% sure Bobby can’t produce fire if mad enough, thought for sure he was gonna hit that coach from uk with the Mortal Kombat Scorpion finisher.
LJ: Oh man, the season is dark and full of terrors. Fall is coming. What is a dead ball personal foul, may never die. Ok, you get the picture, let’s see:
Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Duke would all be House Frey. They are just a bunch of dirty old men, who complain about everything and then spend the rest of the game eyeballing young girls who they want to make their wives
Virginia Tech would be House Lannister aka Casterly Rock. They used to be a proud strong dynasty but now they are just a shell of their former selves. Plus they are still “paying the debts” from Beamer.
Miami would be House Dorne. Yeah the weather is nice year-round, the women are smoking hot and can handle their business, but the men normally don’t fair well in any competition.
Louisville would be House Stark aka Winterfell. They were great the under Ned Petrino, saw some rough times when he left, and then slowly made their way back to greatness. Now Bobby Snow-Petrino is the King in the Ville and they are heading back to dominance, just having issues with a certain dragon in the form of Clemson
House Targaryen is Clemson. They have a crazy army, and all the momentum. Plus, they have a National Championship as a Dragon. Right now they are in the lead.
Florida State is the Night King. They were dead after the 63-20 beat-down, but you know they are coming back strong.
And just cause I am a jerk, UCONN is House Greyjoy. The men get laughed at and the women get all the credit and normally end up carrying the whole damn family.
Biscuit: I love this question. The one that really stands out to me is Virginia as House Tyrell. They’ve got all the money and resources in the world, but they aren’t fighters. Just like all the hordes of Sperry-wearing future investment bankers in the stands in Charlottesville can’t buy a half-way decent football team. At the end of the day, they are a great ally for the ACC (money, name, academics), just like they were for the Lannisters, and later Daenerys. But when it comes to pay the physical toll, they come up short.
I have to give FSU the Dorne title. House Martell was the one house to resist Aegon Targaryen when he originally conquered and consolidated the 7 kingdoms, much like FSU operated as a successful independent until 1991. They both are located in warm locales with very, ahem, attractive women. Bobby Bowden ruled his kingdom much like Doran Martell did, until other forces (the Sand Snakes, i.e. the Boosters) conspired to overthrow him.
Syracuse is the Night’s Watch. Members of the Night’s Watch forfeit all land and hereditary titles to defend Westeros from what lies beyond the wall. Similarly, players that suit up for Syracuse relinquish all claims to football glory to live in a desolate land that spends five months under four feet of snow. I’m renaming the Carrier Dome to Castle Black.
Louisville is House Stark, for all the reasons LJ gave, and because we get to be the the Good Guys, folks. Also Lamar is like Arya Stark, he has a face for every occasion. Dude can go from pocket passer, to electric runner, and everything in between.
What road trips are you looking forward to making this season and why?
LJ: Indy for sure, Indianapolis has been good to the Cards and it is a short trip up I-65. Plus the Purdue game will match us with the Brohms who helped put Louisville on the map. There will also be a lot of beer there, and Louisville fans know this.
TBG: NO SLEEP TIL…….Indianapolis? That’s not how the song goes but I’m beyond pumped for the trip up north next weekend. I’m riding up with the gang from 93.9 ESPN 680 and we will be setting up shop next to The Red Rage Tailgate so please come by and say hello. I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you like our work, if you don’t like our work I rescind that invite, friends only. I’m excited because Card Fam travels well when we are on the road so I expect chaos for the season opener a couple hours away in an NFL stadium, plus I get to meet up with Twitter pals who are making the journey.
Biscuit: That’s three votes for Indy. I know there are fans making the trip to FSU or possibly Carolina, but I can only speak to the trip I’m making. I’m driving up and staying the night, but will be partying with Red Rage before the game, and who knows where after. It’s going to be a hell of a time. I absolutely can’t wait. Football is HERE, now we don’t have to pretend to care about boxers or MMA fighters and can get back to business. Plus, Indy is a great town for athletic events. I wouldn’t pay you a dime for the rest of the Hoosier state, but Indy? It’s aight.
For a little local flavor, might I suggest throwing “Naptown Riders” in your tailgate playlist for this week and this week only. Shout out to my old teammate P.J. Tavarczky for that one.
What’s your dream tailgate spread?
TBG: Good friends are really all you need but what kind of friend are you if you don’t cook for them? It would be a tailgate similar to our friends at Red Rage, open to anyone in red or friendly opponents, Clemson fans in real life > Clemson nerds on the internet. Chicken wings, smoked sausages, burgers, dogs (for the kids or people with issues), fried corn, and if we’re being honest I don’t waste time with sides when tailgating. I’m trying to lay a solid foundation to build the wall of beer inside me. I don’t advise drinking bourbon in a hot parking lot for three hours before entering the stadium to pound beers so kegs from Against The Grain would be a must.
LJ: Before I gave up pork I could not have a tailgate without some Cheddar Brats (Johnsonville) and some BBQ Lays. I once drove to four stores looking for a pack and found it at 2am in the morning. We won the game the next day by 40. Now I am good with hitting the RRTG spot for some burgers, beef dogs, Halo Wings from Saints or some wings from Momma’s. Sides are only good when you have time and I like to mingle before games so you can keep your Doritos and the devil’s contraption that we know as “Cole Slaw” and I will put a burger or two in my cargo shorts and keep it moving. Also, give me a tailgate playlist from Justin Renck or Gymmer Fredette and hot diggity damn we have ourselves a party. They are obnoxious as hell but I could tailgate with Clemson fans all day and twice on Sunday.
Biscuit: Damn, LJ, you gave up pork? I couldn’t do it. I think my body would shut down after 72 hours sans hog. Anyway, on to this VERY important question. As both of my friends have stated, sides are fine, but they may as well be a garnish on game day. I require meats, and a lot of room in my belly to put them. I’ll get my carbs from my beer. Hot Italian sausages/bratwursts with spicy brown mustard, thick juicy burgers, ribs, and wings. Those are your four basic food groups. I like a nice, easy drinking ale, like Founder’s All-Day IPA, and some good Kentucky bourbon for later. More important than the spread is the company. Red Rage Tailgate is an awesome spot with amazing people. You can also find Biscuit at the cabooses, working a smoker (or enjoying the fruits of one).
Final prediction on record? Where do we slip up?
LJ: I have said this before and will stick by it. I am going 10-2 with losses to NC State and Florida State. I think NC State’s defense is finally going to live up to the hype although we torched them last season. Thursday night road games featuring Louisville have not really ended well these past few years. FSU is pissed about the curb stomping they received last year and Doak Campbell Stadium is a tough place to play. NC State and FSU’s defense will both have something to prove. I will also take 12-0 but I am just a humble guy with an impressive bucket hat collection.
TBG: 10 or 11 wins. If we cut out the turnovers and the penalties I can’t fathom an opponent holding this offense under 40 a game. I just don’t see how it will be possible unless the NFL institutes relegation overnight and the ACC welcomes the Jacksonville Jaguars. I think this is the year the team beats Clemson but as I said before the Thursday night game at NC State concerns me. We also have to go to Tallahassee where I assume they want a chance to avenge the worst clobbering in program history.
Biscuit: As the schedule falls, I believe 9 wins is the floor, and 11 wins is a very plausible ceiling. I hate to echo the sentiment, but the NC State is a real worrisome spot. I outlined how good I think they could be this season, and we get them on the road on a Thursday. FSU is loaded and angry. It will take a monumental effort to knock them off in Tallahassee. Clemson is incredibly talented, but Deshaun Watson dug them out of dozens of holes the last few years. We have always played them tough, even when we had no right to. This is our year to get the Tigers. If I have to call a specific record, 11-1, loss to FSU on the road. I think we barely get by in Raleigh.
Now on to the important questions…
What is the greatest video game soundtrack of all time?
TBG: This one is toss up for me between Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 & Madden 04(?), the one with Vick on the cover. Now I’m having flashbacks to people running Warrick Dunn out of the backfield on a wheel route, rolling left with Mike Vick and forcing LB’s up or taking off for fifty yards. It was cheese but it was awesome, and yes I used cheat codes on THPS3, it was far more fun that way.
LJ: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Now I really wanted to vote GTA: Vice City because the 80’s were awesome but San Andreas had it all. Plus you had gansta rap featured among other greats. College Football 2005 was okay was well. That game had De La Soul…….game over.
Biscuit: I was obsessed with GTA: Vice City and its amazing 80s soundtrack. Nothing touches it for me. I was also partial to NBA Street Vol. 2. The inclusion of “They Reminisce Over You” is elite. I played that game a lot over a period of time and loved the hell out of that soundtrack.
Cargo shorts. Yay or nay?
LJ: Yay, not even up for debate. I never understood the knock on cargo shorts but they have been a friend to me in my time of need each season. Water, snacks, bourbon, tissue, phone, keys, ponchos, hell they have all been stuffed in one of my 18 pockets on my cargo shorts. I enjoy having a pocket for every situation damn it, and I don’t like being judged.
TBG: I am so sick and tired of people who carry no earthly possessions on their person knocking the most functional article of clothing in one’s closet. When I see a guy with cargo shorts I wonder “what’s in the pockets? He could have Cheeto Puffs in there and man would it be cool if he shared”. Knocking cargo shorts is like saying “Swiss Army Knives aren’t really very useful”. I guess the rest of you cargo short detractors either have no stuff to carry or wear fanny packs. If you throw rocks at the the throne of pockets don’t expect me to pass you the flask I remove from mine.
Biscuit: Here’s the thing: you gentlemen have both made very salient points. I haven’t seen such a passionate defense of a lame article of clothing since Keith Poynter’s legendary defense of pleated khakis. I agree that cargo shorts can be very useful. However, I am a massive man with massive thighs, and cargo shorts only add to my bulkiness. Can’t have it. I haven’t worn cargoes since high school. Biscuit has to look as sleek as Biscuit can. Sleek, and extra buttery, Y’all don’t have to worry about these types of things, because you already have life partners. All I’ve got is my word and my dog.
And I’ll share a nip from my hip flask, TBG.
That’ll do it, folks. Can’t wait to see you all in Indy. If you happen to see any of us out and about, flag us down. We always love to share a beer or a bourbon with our fellow Louisville fans.