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Nothing made sense on Saturday night. None of it.
From the celebrity picker on College Gameday, to rushing only three lineman and still giving up a third down conversions. From the vanilla play calling, to the continuous trash talking even in defeat. From not exploiting Miami’s secondary, to having your own secondary embarrassed on three plays in the second half. None of it made sense.
I am not going to go off the deep end and start calling for mass firings to begin. Let’s remember that Bryan Brown and Cort Dennison are both in the second year of being co-defensive coordinators. Let’s remember that this Louisville team is still on their 4th defensive coordinator in five seasons. If you fire Brown and Dennison now, you risk the chance of another 2018 season. Let’s just pump the brakes and realize where we are as a program.
To. The. Notes.
- We are in year two of a rebuild. Yes, going 8-5 and winning a bowl game was a huge accomplishment last season. But we are still building depth and still learning to play in a new system. For Satterfield and crew, this is the first prime time game they have been in if I recall correctly. A case of too much hype too soon?? Not sure, the jury is still out. But it still amazes me how many fans expect Louisville to go undefeated each season regardless of coaching or player personnel. I have always been on the “Year 3” train along with a lot of you. The secondary and corners were always a concern going into this season. We don’t have the depth or experience (YET) but we will. And like last year, Louisville has started slow and hopefully will continue to improve.
- I have questions about a lot of things, most notably…what was the game plan? Louisville looked like they hadn’t watched any film all week on Miami. It looked like they didn’t know who they were playing until the horn went off and the Hurricanes ran out of the visiting locker room like we were in the Royal Rumble. I don’t get it. We didn’t attack on offense until the 3rd quarter. we didn’t play to our strengths until we got down by multiple scores. What happened to making D’Eriq King uncomfortable in the pocket? He seemed so unbothered he had an air mattress back there and was streaming season two of “The Umbrella Academy”. Where is our pass rush? Were we so concerned about King running that we asked that he beat us with his arm? Because he sure as hell did.
- We heard about the triplets all week. The triple headed monster of Malik-Tutu-Hawkins. But I don’t know why they weren’t utilized before halftime. Why did we wait around for the gas light to come on the dashboard before putting fuel in the engine? Why did we keep trying to establish the run even when Miami was stacking the box and daring you to throw on their thin secondary?
- I hate chop blocks and I saw two plays that made me cringe. Marshon Ford could have seriously injured Miami’s Jaelin Phillips on a low hit. There was another incident later in the game where we were flagged for a chop block again. That was so out of character for the Cards, and I know for a fact that is not being taught but the staff. Clean that up. Miami had a few personal fouls due to late hits but we can’t argue that when we are doing some suspect things as well.
- Find a safety and stick with him. We rotated safeties like a IG model rotates dating partners. Isiah Hayes gave way to Jack Fagot, who gave way to Lovie Jenkins. We are only two games in but we have to clean up the erratic play by the defense. Too many mental mistakes were made and unfortunately they happened on one of college footballs biggest platforms. If this game was on the ACCN, we could get away with it. But it was primetime, and I am not exaggerating when I say that everyone saw that sh*t. You know it’s bad when you have other Twitter accounts breaking down your defensive gaffes. At one time I think the guy who played Balky on Perfect Strangers even tweeted about it.
- For all the praise of Braden Smith during last week’s game, why was he not targeted more? I don’t remember hearing his name until the 3rd quarter. We hear about Justin Marshall being a huge downfield threat, yet I can only remember him being targeted twice. We have way too many offensive weapons to be calling ice cream plays. Ice cream plays get it?? Because it’s vanilla?? Get it???………no…….f*ck you it was a good metaphor.
What if I told you, Louisville lost this game:
For the second year, we dominate in total yardage and still lose. The difference is giving up two 75 yard plays on back to back drives and capping it off with a wide open receiver running untouched down the middle of the field. The defensive meeting is going to be brutal. Still not as bad as the Georgia Tech Massacre or the Clemson Tragedy of 2018.
- One glaring weakness for this Louisville team continues to be the inability to locate and contain the opposing tight end. We seem to make every tight end we play look like the second coming of John Mackey. We refuse to cover the middle of the field, and it is very concerning. These tight ends are not just getting 10-15 yards here and there. They are either housing it or coming close to it. We keep saying “Well at least we don’t face Clemson” but hell what good is that when we are making the tight end for every other ACC team look like a 1st rounder. Again, we have to get better, this cannot happen:
- Bryan Brown was ranked as one of the top 20 assistant coaches in Division 1 last season. He knows what he is doing, as does Cort Dennison. I am not on the “fire them” train because any fan could see we are still rebuilding this team. Louisville was never going undefeated this year and we would be fools to assume we would have a top 5 defense with the amount of pieces we had to replace. Still, we expect better than to give up 150 yards in the blink of an eye.
- The one thing that scares me is the amount of times I saw the defense looking utterly confused about the coverage they were in. Too many times I saw guys with their arms up asking questions seconds before the play. Did they change the scheme up midweek? Did Miami do anything differently that the Cards were not expecting? The questions were mounting. Even former Cards began to weigh in:
- I don’t normally highlight opposing players but Miami’s kicker Jose Borregales is worthy of all praise. If you can kick a 57 yarder and still have room to spare then you earn my respect. If he is not playing on Sunday’s something went terribly wrong.
- Good to see we now have a kicker who can put it in the endzone during kickoffs. Shoutout to Brock Travelstead. Also, James Turner remains perfect on extra points, and Logan Lupo looked way better this week. Yes, we are giving love to our kicker(s) and punter because they were crapped on all of last week.
- I believe Javian will rush for another 1,000 yards this season. He could have had 200 yards rushing on Saturday night. There was one play where had Malik handed it off there was only the safety to beat and he was not catching Hawkins. Louisville is really going to hate the film review.
- Malik played well but there were a few times where he should have thrown the ball away or handed it off. I got the sense that he never felt comfortable and was rushing passes at times. He still finished with 307 yards on 26/36 passing including three touchdowns but I know he will want a few of those errant throws back. Missing a wide open Dez Fitzpatrick in the endzone and underthrowing Ean Pfeifer for another potential score are going to be hard to see on film.
- What exactly are we waiting on to open the playbook? We have the talent, we have the speed, why are we still taking the back road and not letting that engine roar on the e-way? I am dumbfounded by this.
Gameday is awesome and will always be a great show to be a part of. But I want a word with who is in charge of booking the celebrity picker. We may not have all the stars that some universities boast but we have people to choose from and in no way should we be choosing someone with no ties to the university or city.
I am a fan of Bill Murray, his movies and humor have always been entertaining. But he is from Illinois. His teams are mainly Illinois based teams. Why is he representing Louisville other than his son being on our basketball staff? Serious question, has he ever been to a football game here? I’m not crapping on him but I just don’t get why we can’t find someone to rep the city and school when moments like this arise.
You have a segment showing Lamar Jackson, Jack Harlow, and Spida Mitchell but you couldn’t set up a Skype call to have one of them be the picker?? Tom Jackson wasn’t available? Montrezl Harrell is home, couldn’t give him a call? Elvis Dumervil is retired AND from Miami, you don’t think he would have been a good fit? Eric Wood, Deion Branch, Kelsi Worrell, the list goes on.
I know people hate Bill Murray slander but check the track record. Mr. Murray is a huge jinx. We have lost all but one game that he has attended or appeared on. Louisville, KY isn’t star studded town, but we aren’t desperate either. Put some effort into it next time (whenever that will be).
And I knew we were screwed when he referred to Cardinal Stadium as “Yum Yum Stadium”. That proves two things. One, he has no idea what the name of the stadium is. And two, he literally was called to be the picker an hour before. Which is why we were left with him in a hammock and shitty internet service.
Person(s) or things that earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:
- Tutu Atwell
- Javian Hawkins
- Dez Fitzpatrick
- Malik Cunningham
- Fall weather
- Chrissy Banta live tweeting CrossFit competitions
- Home tailgaters. I love the tailgate spreads you all are coming up with. New wings flavors every game, different smoked meats, keep it up.
- Ruth Bader Ginsberg. I knew some, but not all of what she did for women in this country. She will forever be legendary and should be treated as such. Rest well.
- Meredith Ledford’s cookies. Thanks to Dave Scull I finally see what the hype is about. Well worth the wait.
- Honey (the lab on the cover of this week’s edition)
Person(s) or things that have to quarantine for 14 days:
- Mike Norvell. LITERALLY
- Drunk Miami fans in shades talking 2 centimeters away from the camera
- Bryan Brown & Cort Dennison
- Bill Murray
- This f***ing guy. Well now I know why we played poorly.
TWO MINUTE OFFENSE:
- In times like this, I remember this is not a normal year and we are lucky just to have football. Still, we have to compete better.
- Louisville vs. Pitt next Saturday at noon.
- Miami will probably wind up losing 5 games this year and we will all be sitting at home wondering what the hell happened on Sept. 19th.
- The Crunchzone Pod will record on Tuesday night. The mailbag is open but you can also DM Chrissy, Dave, or myself and we will read and answer on the show
- Seriously, no more Bill Murray. That experiment has long failed.
- Register to vote. Request your mail-in ballots now.
- Pat McAfee was funny until he wasn’t. Now he just tries too hard.
- Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Wear a mask.
- When the Cards win, they party. When they lose, we look at the photo galleries:
My wings are better, my cereal is better, my bourbon is chilled, and my loud is potent.
Be cool in this hot city.
(The Zoom call has ended)