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I promise this recap will get better once we get our sh*t together. I promise it will. But for now, we must go through the growing pains along with the team.
After a week which included roller coaster emotions and high tension in the city, I really just wanted an easy Saturday consisting of a Cardinal win and some lopsided SEC scores. Instead I found myself day drinking and wondering if 2020 is the year we all finally admit we are in hell.
I don’t know if it will get better, or when. All I know is that this team has some fundamental issues and they must be addressed. I don’t know if its personnel or coaching. But three games into the season I am seeing that there are still some remnants of 2018 around this program.
We’re all just trying to make sense of a year that has failed to make any since January.
Rest in peace to Breonna Taylor. I am so sorry that justice wasn’t served and incompetent politicians allowed your death to go unpunished.
To the notes.
- I have been complaining about the offensive line so long it seems it should have its own section in this column. I don’t know if the line has yet to gel or if there are certain rotations that the staff are still tinkering with. But over the past three weeks we have seen some serious issues, including the line getting physically dominated on nearly every snap. I know losing Mekhi Becton is a huge part of it, but the time for excuses is over. What is going on? The line is getting obliterated each game which in turn disrupts the offense. Louisville has failed to get into an offensive rhythm because they can’t set up the run. Malik Cunningham has no time to throw and when he does its rushed due to the pass rush in his face. We can all count on one hand the amount of times he has had a clean pocket to throw out of. I do believe Dwayne Ledford is the man for the job, but three games into the season the hill to climb has become steeper.
- The play calls during the last two weeks have left a lot to be desired. Do we have to run on first down every drive? Do we have to wait until we get into a third and long situation before we throw the ball? I don’t understand what we are doing. I know Ledford is our offensive coordinator but Satterfield has a say in that more than anyone. I don’t know if we are playing to our strengths or masking a greater issue.
- The slow starts are getting really problematic. We can’t keep spotting double digit leads and hoping our offense can help the team claw their way back into it. We also can’t sleepwalk on offense and expect our defense to keep us in the game.
- We all know the schedule is front loaded and the Cards will be facing the better defenses in the league earlier in the season. And granted, our offensive line was not be equipped to handle the talented defensive front of Pitt. But giving up 7 sacks is something we saw when Bobby was here. Pitt’s defense also finished with 12 tackles for loss. That can’t happen, you have to find a way to generate offense.
- Remember two weeks ago when the main concern was special teams?? How are you feeling now?
- Speaking of special teams, James Turner remained perfect after knocking two more field goals through on the young season. He is currently 4/4 on field goals and 11/11 on extra points. We have long been known for producing great quarterbacks but we should also add the title “kicker U” to our resume. David Akers, Art Carmody, Nate Smith, Blanton Creque, the list goes on.
- It was very fitting the deciding score was determined by the touchdown that the Louisville defense didn’t know they were giving up. But for years….years…..we have heard the phrase “play to the whistle”. Never assume someone is down just because they appear to have been tackled. Sadly, our defense learned that lesson the hard way on Saturday afternoon.
- The defense bounced back quite nicely after a few mishaps in last week’s game with Miami. They finished with three sacks, eleven TFL’s, and their first interception of the season. The pieces are there, this team just has to put it all together. Its year two in a new system, this will be the last year I use that excuse for this team especially if we see juniors and seniors making the same mistakes in 2021.
The ACCN really needs to stop hiring their camera crew from a temp agency. What in the “distracted driving” is this?
- Dorian Etheridge played another week out of his mind. He finished with 2 quarterback sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Our linebacking corp remains our strength.
- The reads like an obituary:
I don’t care how high you are ranked or how great your coaching staff is. You are not going to win many games going 1/11 on third down conversions. That is ridiculous. Also, a team converting on 9 of their 19 conversions for nearly 50% isn’t going to help you either. I think we all have a feeling of that doomed season two years ago where we were didn’t have to guess if the opponent would convert. I have followed this team for years and I don’t remember the team having this many issues on defense each year.
- We have way too much speed and talent for this to happen.
Pittsburgh’s secondary is good, there is no doubting that. But we have one of the top receiving corps in the nation. The staff HAS to find a way to get them involved. The offensive line HAS to hold their blocks long enough to give Cunningham time to throw. Feed the studs damn it.
- Every one is getting tired of seeing our quarterback getting pummeled into the ground. It happened to Teddy, Lamar was good enough to mask a lot of it; until he couldn’t. Puma Pass got a fair share of it, and now Malik Cunningham who wound up leaving the game on a cart after banging his head on the turf on Louisville’s last possession. This isn’t a post to bash the offensive line, but that visual of seeing your QB face down and not moving is something no program wants to see.
- The book is out on Louisville. I think we caught a lot of teams off guard last season with our style of play. Now, I see plays that used to go for big gains go for negative yardage. This is why you have to do something other than running on first and second down and hoping that your QB doesn’t get planted trying to convert on third and long.
- Louisville is still building depth and talent at each position. I am going to reserve judgement until this staff has had time to get new talent in here and build a system. Some problems need more than one season to correct.
Person(s) or things that earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:
- Dorian Etheridge
- Javian Hawkins
- Malik Cunningham. Get well soon.
- BYE weeks. Thank goodness.
- Louisville Men’s basketball and other sports leading a march for social justice.
Person(s) or things that have to quarantine for 14 days:
- Offensive line play
- Slow starts
- Offensive play calls on first and second down
- Daniel Cameron ( I don’t care if you disagree, don’t message me)
- Carolina Panthers. How dare you ruin Teddy’s new job.
- LSU’s defense. We have our issues but 623 passing yards allowed ain’t one of em. WOW.
- Satterfield’s streak of not losing back to back games since 2017 coming to an end.
- The camera crew for Saturday’s game. I mean what the hell?
- Targeting calls on back to back plays. The refs really don’t know how to handle this rule.
TWO MINUTE OFFENSE:
- In times like this, I will only say that at least we have football to complain about. .
- Louisville vs. BYE next Saturday at noon. I feel good about it.
- What has happened to Florida State?!?!
- ***The Crunchzone Pod will record on Tuesday night going forward. The mailbag is open but you can also DM Chrissy, Dave, or myself and we will read and answer on the show.***
- Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Wear a mask.
- When the Cards win, they party. When they lose, we laugh at ridiculous photo’s of people overreacting in the city of Louisville.
My life is good, my podcast is great, my cereal is better, my bourbon is chilled, and my loud is potent.
Be cool in this hot city.
(The Zoom call has ended)