Louisville did what it needed to do Thursday Night vs. Charlotte. Put up a big number, break a few records and get Win #1 of the 2016 season. But what that there were some things to do if the Cards hope to achieve their goals this season.
10 Penalties for 49 yards. The good news is that none of these penalties took up a ton of yardage. But TEN is quite a lot. Especially on the Offensive Line. The good news is that none of the penalties drew huge yardage with just 4.9 yards per penalty. But the 3 Offsides gives the offense 3 free opportunities at plays without risk.
If the Cards want to compete for the ACC Championship they can’t have 10 penalties a game.
(2 False Starts, Ineligible Man Downfield, 3 Offsides, , Defensive Pass Interference, Block in the Back, Running Into Kicker)
Last season Louisville was one of the most turnover prone teams in the nation. After 3 turnovers last night, they still are and currently have a -2 Turnover Margin for the season. Louisville just isn’t going to win a lot of games with a negative turnover margin and as great as Lamar Jackson was last night fumbling snaps, handoffs, even his run to the goal line that was overturned and called a TD could have been a disastrous fumble.
Louisville CAN NOT have 3 turnovers in a game vs. Charlotte. Granted the Kyle Bolin INT went off Gio Pascascio’s hands, 3rd String QB Ethan Horton fumbled, and late punt returner (who even knew he was returning punts before yesterday) Khane Pass exercised bad judgement and fielded a punt he should have stayed away from. All 3 turnovers occurred in the 2nd half with the 2nd & 3rd team units….. BUT there were ball security issues with the first team as well AND Charlotte scored all 14 of their points due to Louisville’s 3 turnovers.
Ball security shouldn’t matter if its 1st team, 2nd team, scout team. Protecting the football & sound decision making is fundamental for a successful football program and it has to get better for the Cards.
The problem with playing bad football teams like Charlotte is that they know they can’t beat you this week. So they try to beat you next week, whether by head hunting and injuring players OR by trying to get players ejected and suspended for the next week.
Once a team realizes they are getting rolled the frustration mounts and the cheap shots start flying. Overall I think last night’s officials did a nice job of reigning in Charlotte for their shenanigans but they missed a couple too. Chucky Williams was most notable for his reactions after a few cheap shots weren’t flagged a few instances rose up that could have gotten out of hand. Was Chucky right to be upset at Charlotte? Absolutely! But a player can’t allow someone else to have control of their behavior.
Louisville needs to recognize frustrated teams and not self-sabotage with revenge. The season means more than an individual’s beef. Don’t let a team in Week 1 beat you in Week 2. Hopefully that’a s learning lesson for the Cards as UofL got out of Thursday night without any problems.
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