Louisville is a Defensive Powerhouse

Raise your hand if you thought after six games Louisville’s Defense would outplay Louisville’s Offense?

Still waiting…

Yeah, me either. But the facts are that Louisville has absolutely been dominant on Defense, whilst the well-oiled machine of Shawn Watson’s offense has sputtered at times.

Last night was the perfect example of that.

Once again, Louisville played a legitimate opponent and once again the Louisville Offense counted on the Louisville Defense to win. The first was against Kentucky, the second we saw last night. Louisville’s defense absolutely answered the call while their offense couldn’t.

The Louisville Defensive Line that Charlie Strong called ‘The Best in the Country’ following the victory, played a game of Cat-and-Mouse with Rutgers QB Gary Nova all night. They forced 8 sacks and the Defensive End tandem of Marcus Smith and Lorenzo Mauldin accounted for half of those.

While the Louisville Defensive Line was applying pressure, the Louisville secondary was doing a pretty good job as well. They were bandits. The Cardinal secondary drifted across the field and took what they believed to be theirs, forcing 4 interceptions, the most in 13 years.

Louisville may have not look liked a Top 5 team last night but their defense certainly did. Actually that’s all they need to win the rest of their games on their schedule, and you gotta know that the Offensive troubles are bound to stop sooner than later. Probably means that Central Florida is headed for a world of trouble.

Shawn Watson will Stay Believing in System

Louisville fans wanted more last night.

They had a 5 dollars, they wanted 10.

It may be unjust. It may not.

The verdict is still out on that at least from my end.

They wanted Teddy Bridgewater, the gunslinger, to throw the ball 50 times and for Shawn Watson to neglect to feed the three-headed monster RB core. Watson did the opposite, he kept Bridgewater hungry for more.

In the midst of a game where the outcome was virtually decided, a murmur of boos reigned down from the fans in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium indicating their displeasure with Watson’s play-calling.

Shawn Watson, you’re up.

“We have to keep a balance in our offense. We have to protect Teddy [Bridgewater]. There are a lot of things going on there,” Watson noted. “I don’t ever get caught up in that kind of stuff. I have a job to do and I know what my job is and I do it.”

Shawn Watson is right. Louisville would rather be a team that can be good at multiple facets than great at one. Louisville rather be a team that confuses defenses, than gives them a playcall before the snap. There is nothing wrong with. But…and you knew it was coming…Louisville has quite possibly the best QB in the Nation. It’s a shame that, at times, it seems like the play calling is preventing him from making plays. I’d be interested to know how many times the Best Three QBs in College Football opted for a handoff instead of a throw in their biggest game of the season.

Alas, Shawn Watson is making the calls and none of the fans are. He knows more than us. It’s probably something you should get used to. Louisville threw the ball 31 times and rushed it 36 times last night. That’s precisely the system that Charlie Strong believes in. He prefers having a outstanding defense, power runners and a QB that can hurt you with the play-action. If Louisville never lucks up and gets Teddy Bridgewater, you’d be seeing many more games like last night.

You may not like it, it might not be the flashiest style in the world, but the offense is going to start looking a lot more like that more frequently…especially after Teddy Bridgewater departs for the NFL.

Get used to it.

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Chris Hatfield

Residing in Louisville, KY (via Bardstown, KY). I write things about Louisville Sports. Sometimes you'll like them. Follow me @_ChrisHatfield Email me at chatfield60@gmail.com

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