“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”


The BHK is back, and even better than I was the last time baby.  Another dead season has passed, another YouTube and Netflix binge watch is in the books, and another week of disrespect for the reigning Heisman winner has come and gone but more on that later.  Football is back my friends, and with it is my recap of the game that was.

Before we get started let me remind you that there are rules to this thing.  I will never bash a player in my recap, but I will bash a coach.  Coaches get paid millions of dollars, they can handle my two cents.  Fans can also make this recap, what I write is up to you.   So whether we did shots at a tailgate or  you were filmed drinking out of a tailgate garbage bag (Jesus…) the way you are depicted in this recap is on you my friend.   It’s been nine long months, and BucketHatism has a new home here at the CrunchZone.  Let’s  do this.

Any outbursts from the court and you will be removed by the bailiff @MichaelSeiber_  ,  he is known to show up out of nowhere and peer pressure you into taking shots of Captain Morgan……savage.   Lets get to it:


  • From this day forward,   I- 65 North is now called I-Sh*tty Five.   Besides I-64 and I-71 I don’t think I have seen a interstate be under more construction and get worse.  No vote needed, this is happening.


  • Usually I am a ball of nerves during opening weekend especially against a Power 5 opponent. But for this game I wasn’t concerned one bit.  I figured we would win and that it would be a struggle early before we pulled away in the second half.   Purdue had other plans.  I think the team and the fans overlooked the great coaching ability of Jeff Brohm and it showed on each of their drives.  His team was ready.  Needless to say I was sweating bullets after Purdue took an early lead.


  • I always joke that Indianapolis is stuck in the 90’s while the rest of the world has moved on.   I saw a fanny pack within the first 30 minutes of parking.  I stand by my original statement.


  • Remember the character Cheeseburger Eddie in The Longest Yard remake.  He was the guy that always had cheeseburgers no matter the circumstances?  That is the future Mrs. BHK only instead of burgers she is pulling bourbon out of nowhere.  As soon as we got off the exit ramp I am hearing the sound of ice cubes being dropped into a cup and the smell of alcohol fills the car. Her and her trusty sidekick came prepared.  And that folks, is why she got the ring. Cheers babe.


  • After all the criticism they received, I cannot let another moment go by without giving props to the offensive line.  Lamar was not sacked at all during the game and for the most part he had time to throw.  That was the good.  The bad was ten…….yes……..TEN false starts.  That can be attributed to a new center, a new offensive line coach, and a true freshman playing in his first collegiate game.  We also had some vets making some mistakes.   The good thing is, that can all be corrected and I expect as the season goes the line play will continue to improve.


  • We forget that Brohm and defensive coordinator Nick Holt have worked with Petrino and know his offense better than anyone. Brohm coached it, his brother Brian played in it.  You think they didn’t prepare the defense for it?  Of course they did.  It is still weird seeing the Brohm family in colors other than red, black, and white.


  • Hats off to the Red Rage Tailgate again.   I challenged them to restock the bourbon, and they accepted.  I always like sitting back and watching Card fans visit for the first time.  My stepfather finally made it to the tailgate and as he sat on the infamous church pew he was taking it all in.   Plus, when you got donuts and Famous Dave’s BBQ on deck you win in the game of life.   Word is 1,000 beers were consumed, so it appears CardNation hit for the cycle. Shout out to Dave, Russ, and the crew.


  • I enjoy meeting fellow Cardinal Twitter followers at all the games but you gotta give me your Twitter handle.  It is awkward and yet hilarious when people walk up to me and tell me their name.  I have no idea who you are and I will not take a shot with you until you tell my your @ name.  Blame social media.


  • Speaking of  shots, if a guy in a tank top who goes by the name Gymmer Fredette shows up at your tailgate with a drink concoction named ‘Bullfrog” proceed with caution.   Great drink, but like Novocaine it sneaks up on you.


  • There are times that 30 something year old BHK tries to do things that 20 something year old BHK used to do.  And the following morning is a harsh reminder that my 20’s are long gone.  So after tailgating, cheering like a mad man, and then driving through intense fog to get back to Louisville go ahead and put me in a coffin for the next day or so.


  • If I had to take a guess, I would say about 90% of the announced crowd were Louisville fans. There were Purdue fans there but they were easily outnumbered.  That will change once Brohm begins winning games. Louisville fans were loud and in their seats early.  Now, we just have to carry that over to home games (gasp).


  • Welcome back Trevon Young.   He had not played since 2015 but you wouldn’t have known that based on his stat sheet.  3 tackles, one near INT, two pass deflections, and one sack. Not to mention the pressure he put on the QB during the game.  Like the offensive line, I fully expect him to improve each game we play this year.


  • We finally got to see Dez Fitzpatrick do what we all knew he would…..make big plays when we needed him .  His big catches in the 4th quarter not only sealed the game but helped Louisville escape a near upset.  He will be counted on throughout the year.


  • So we are just going to pretend like Micky Crum didn’t lay a hit on a Purdue guy to cause a fumble in the 1st half?   Hohohohoooookay.


  • Fumbling the ball hurts.  Fumbling the ball on the one yard line is agonizing. Fumbling the ball twice on the one yard line is downright atrocious.   Now the 1st fumble was caused by Jordan Davis not giving enough space for the hand-off and he inadvertently knocked the ball loose from Lamar’s grip. The second fumble, occurred when Jeremy Smith’s forward progress was stopped so he tried to reach the ball across the goal line and it was knocked loose.  It sucks for Smith because he has had ball security issues the past few seasons. Here is hoping he corrects it.


  • Is the world is ready for RayBan Bobby?   I was not sure if that was Bobby Petrino or Hank Hill coaching the team on Saturday night.  Funny thing is, he has the transition effect on the lenses so those things go from light to dark like an ill-advised 21 year old making his first appearance at the bar.   The glasses seem to get darker each time he gets enraged.


  • Poor Robbie….


  • Congrats to all the true freshmen that saw action in their first collegiate game last night.  Mekhi Becton, TreSean Smith, Dorian Etheridge, Russ Yeast, Kemari Averett, CJ Avery,  Mitch Hall, and Corey Reed all got playing time.  Per Kelly Dickey, TreSean Smith is the first freshman to log an interception for Louisville in over 60 years.  These guys are going to play big roles in the program.


  • We all held our breaths when Jaire went down but we all feel better after hearing he is day to day.  It could have been much worse.  Hopefully he heals up quickly,  we can’t rely on Khane Pass to do the Chicken Prance……or can we?


  • Trumaine Washington is not a bad player, his size works against him as we saw last year and again against Purdue.  Get used to him being picked on.  Also, the knock on Washington is that he sometimes gambles and gives up big plays which again we saw on Saturday.   He did make a few big plays in the game.


  • I enjoy defensive TD’s so it was good to see Stacy Thomas rumbling towards the end zone with the game changing pick 6. That guy has been a great linebacker for the Cardinal defense.


  • As much as I complained about my seats being in the 400 level, they were awesome seats.  Had a great view and being they were in the club level it was easy access to everything.  However,  I would not be upset if Louisville never played another game in Lucas Oil Stadium. That place has ripped my soul out more times than I care to count.   2009 Elite Eight vs Michigan State, check.  2013 Elite Eight Kevin Ware injury, check.  2014 Sweet Sixteen vs UK, check.   And let’s not forget the losses at Banker’s Life in the John Wooden Classic years ago. You can also throw in this years NCAA tournament loss to Michigan.   The losing mentality of the Colts seeps into Louisville every time we enter that stadium.  Shots fired.


  • Reggie Bonnafon had some good runs and some nice catches in his first game as a RB for Louisville.  I wanted to see more from him and Malik Williams though but it looks like we went away from the running game as the game went along. Hopefully the running game gets better next week in Chapel Hill.


  • Lamar Jackson is still the reigning Heisman.  Lamar Jackson is still an issue. Lamar Jackson made his critics look stupid again on Saturday night.   485 yards of total offense and he didn’t even play his best game.  Yeah…


  • We all wanted to see Puma Pass in a real game but it looks like we will have to wait another week or so. The good thing is, you have games against Kent State and Murray State at the end of the month which should present opportunities for him and other redshirt players to get reps and game experience.


  • The jury is still out on Peter Sirmon but for the most part the defense did their jobs. He preached that he wanted more turnovers and we got 3 interceptions, one of them returned for a score.  Louisville also held Purdue to 51 yards rushing.   Jaire Alexander’s absence played a part in the 293 passing yards. Most importantly, the defense all ran to the ball and wrapped up when tackling.  The Cardinal defense looked good, and will improve.


  • GG Robinson had some big plays in the game on Saturday.  You are now beginning to see the guys we raved about on Signing Day years ago.  GG was a big get after a late recruiting battle with Auburn.


  • Welcome back London Iakopo who made his first appearance since knee injury ended his season in last years Marshall game.


  • Zykiesis Cannon had a “quiet” game with 9 tackles, 7 solo tackles, 1 pass breakup, and 1 QB hurry.  He is one of the players who does the little things to help the team win.  He will come up big this year on defense.


  • I can’t stress enough how underrated Traveon Samuel is. He had 5 catches for 55 yards but those catches helped set up Louisville scores and also kept drives alive.  Smallest guy on the field but he has one of the biggest hearts on the field.


  • Shout-out to the guy in our section that would leave in order for something good to happen to the Cards. Each time he would leave we would score or get a turnover.  Not all heroes wear capes.


  • Shout-out to Mark Ennis.   Recently he made a bet that he would eat a live animal if NC State made the CFB playoffs.  Thanks to South Carolina and NC State’s opening kickoff coverage, we won’t get to see it.


  • Please, for the love of everything sacred, stop sharing and retweeting the “garbage bag shot” video.   We are in the social media age folks, that does not mean you have to share every single thing.  To the young lady who decided this was great tailgate behavior,  may you never tailgate again.  Also, go get checked out, both mentally and physically.


  • All summer long, we heard Sam Darnold’s name over an over again.  He threw two INT’s and did not have a touchdown pass.  While there were other guys like  Lamar Jackson, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield, and Saquan Barkely who had monster games,  I just want to point out that the media is not always right.


  • The 9,886 time National Champion Ladybirds stopped by the Red Rage Tailgate as Todd Sharp was being interviewed by 93.9 The Ville.  Expect divorce rates in the city to increase when offices open back up today.  Some guys risked it all and now they are sleeping on a futon in their aunt’s basement.


  • On a somber note, Card fan and enthusiast @Tammaland needs CardNation’s prayers and support in the wake of an unfortunate hit and run accident that affected her brother. Read more and see how you can help by going here


And in closing just want to thank Mark Blankenbaker for signing me in the off-season and adding me to the TCZ roster. Okay, so he didn’t actually sign me but I like to live out my fairy tale of being a pro athlete at times so let me live fam,  I am going to die with the lie.

The move to TCZ has been nothing less than great and  I appreciate everything they have done for me thus far.   I  was going to hire CrumsRevenge to film my wedding next year but he wanted to use a sound bite of John Popper mouth-breathing as I read my vows and that is not gonna fly.  We decided to go a different direction Mike, no hard feelings (sends text message to VillenHD).

Also Keith Poynter and I are the Dudley Boys when it comes to trash talking the state of Indiana so that was a plus.   We are gonna have some good times, share some hot takes, and make some good memories all in the name of Cardinal Athletics.


Court adjourned  (Bangs gavel)

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LJ Nesbitt

The BHK. Writer for thecrunchzone.com , 1/2 of the TCZ Podcast. Surviving in the great city of Louisville, in the not so great state of KY. Loui$ville KY thecrunchzone.com

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