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

Welcome BACK rock bottom, have not seen you since the 2017 Wake Forest game. I will change my cover photo back when Louisville scores an offensive touchdown in the first half.

I don’t understand how or why, but at some point Bobby Petrino lost his way and sadly there is no Lamar Jackson to bail him out of this one.  The offensive play calling as a whole SUCKS.  Hell, even Krag was able to score a touchdown.  I wrote last week about the team being out of excuses, well this week the team is flat out of OPTIONS. There are plenty of  play makers on offense. There is more than one guy that we can point to a say he can help us win. Problem is, none of those guys can give themselves the ball.  Our QB’s can’t stay in the game long enough to make the case to be QB1.  Our running back position is basically 5 guys trying not to get subbed out.  Our wide receiving corp went from the A.F.R.O.S to the Drop Squad.  We can’t get our best players the ball…. and when we actually do it’s Drop City.

Speed City??  Where? Where exactly is all this speed we heard about all winter, spring, and summer??  I never thought I would see the day that Bobby would not know how to feed his studs.  Tons of weapons, no bullets in the gun.  Tons of food on the table but the coaches can’t figure out how to get everyone a chair to sit and eat.  Tons of opportunity, but a head coach who is more reserved than a bottle of Woodford.

I always said that Tom Jurich’s loyalty to Rick Pitino cost him his job. It seems that Bobby’s loyalty to his staff may ultimately cost him his.  When it appears that no one wants to work with you to the point where you have to hire family to fill a staff, I would say its time to evaluate yourself as a coach.  When Kragthorpe was here he blamed everyone but himself. He fired his offensive coordinator Charlie Stubbs, then did the same to Jeff Brohm the next season…. then fired himself in his last season in 2009.   He blamed the defense, he blamed the previous staff, he blamed the team he inherited.  He scapegoated everyone he could to mask the fact he was a terrible coach.  In my eyes, Bobby is doing everything to mask the fact that without Lamar and a competent coaching staff, he is Krag 2.0….

Let’s get to the notes before I speak any more truth on a terrible situation:

Any outbursts and you will be removed by the bailiff Justin Renck (@JustinRenck).  Renck was already down with the throne since day one. Then he proved resourceful as an in house DJ for our friends over at the Red Rage Tailgate.  Now, Renck has entered the realms of fatherhood as he welcomed twin girls to the Cardinal family last weekend.  Sadly, the girls are still waiting on an offensive explosion to smile about.   Congrats to Justin, judging by how you have handled the last four football games and your overall tailgate mix, fatherhood should be a breeze.

  • The Malik Cunningham experiment lasted all of two quarters and unless something changes we are back in the Pass era.  Again, Malik could not make his reads and missed wide open receivers.  Again receivers dropped passes.  Again, the offensive line couldn’t create any resemblance of a comfortable pocket.  Again, the coaches failed the offense.
  • Brian VanGorder has done a good job with the defense this season and I will not fault them for tiring late in the game. It would help if the offense was able to sustain a drive for longer than 3 plays.  We have a young defense and there are some guys on that side of the ball who are going to be a force in the next few seasons.  There are still a lot of missed assignments and the “head-down” tackling has to stop but aside from that they are leaps and bounds better than they were last year. They tried their best to give Louisville a chance to stay in the game and I commend the effort.
  • I have no clue what is going on with Jaylen Smith but this is not the same guy that lit up the ACC for the past 2 years. Did we rush him back after the appendectomy? Yes possibly. But I am not sure why Jaylen is dropping a ton of passes this season.  Mental lapses? Running before the catch?  It is mind boggling. I hate this for Jaylen because he was primed to have a big season that would hopefully help propel him in the NFL draft next year.   There are 8 games remaining but that means nothing if the QB position is not solidified. And its not just Jaylen, our wide receiving corps as a whole looks bad.  Here are the stats from the game:


That is terrible.  Seth and Dez were big downfield threats last season and now neither QB on our roster can find them.  The group as a whole is also not getting separation from the defense and when they do the QB either doesn’t see them or overthrows them all together.  Again, that is coaching.

  • What you are about to see…….is disturbing.

The season started a month ago. We still have no starting running back or quarterback that we can look to and say he’s the guy. We only have confusion in the fanbase as well as a bunch of talent that we leave parked in the garage on game day.  Dae Williams gets the start. We then pull him after he gets banged up and go with Jeremy Smith who we just continued to throw balls into the backfield to. Jeremy Smith is a 3rd down power pack, he doesn’t have the speed to make up for loss yardage but we insist on making him try.  Hassan Hall and Marcus Riley not an option? Both are quick, and both have proved to be shifty. I am at a loss at what our coaching staff sees at times.  Tutu Atwell is fast but how would you know that?? We never get him the ball in space.  No screen, no jet sweeps, no anything.  Where are Corey Reed and Justin Marshall (we know Josh Johnson is injured)?  Where is Keion Wakefield? If I had Tutu on my team, I would line him up in the wildcard formation and see what he can do from there. He played QB in high school. I am sure he can manage. What do I know though?

  • Two bright spots on defense yesterday were Rodjay Burns who was the only reason the Cards were in a 1st and Goal situation and Yasir Abdullah who made some great stops, once on special teams and the other on defense.  The defense is full of young talent and they are doing this without the services of two of their best players.  Again, they kept us in the game for as long as they could and its on the offense to help them out.
  • A few fans were calling for freshman QB Jordan Travis after yesterday’s game.   While I am excited to see what he can do on the field lets be mindful that we have two quarterbacks on the roster who have been in the system and neither can perform at the level we need them to to score points.  Again, that is on the coaching staff.
  • I was once on board with the notion that if you recruit 3 star talent you can coach them up and still win.  That was in the Bobby 1.0 era and I’ve already included his 2004 staff in last week’s edition.  Bottom line, Louisville not only needs to build up a program with better recruits, they also need to build on better coaches.  Your staff takes you as far as you let them.  The problem is bridges have long been burned and relationships have been severed to the point where it would be too late if we tried. There are a ton of qualified coaches out there looking for a spot not only in a Power 5 conference but on a loaded team.  That means nothing if the head coach is not willing to change enough to let them work.  If all of your past relationships have ended for the same reason,  news flash buddy, it was you not them.
  • Hassan Hall taking a knee at the 1 yard line was the cherry on top of yesterday crap cream cone.  Not sure if he was familiar with the rule or not but you have to signal fair catch before taking a knee.  I still become confused by the new kickoff rule so I get it, but again, its on your coach to make sure you are aware.


  • Uh oh

If recruiting begins to slip we are past the DEF CON 5 stage and officially in the “holy hell we are beating out EKU and Morehead State for recruits stage”.

  • The state of Kentucky has a ton of talent this season that sadly the Cards may miss out on.  Rondale Moore is killing it up north at Purdue, and there is more talent like him coming out this year.  JJ Weaver,  Milton Wright, Aidan Robbins, Shawnkel Knight-Goff, Jared Casey, Anthony Adkins Wandale Robinson, etc. That is a ton of guys who may take their talent elsewhere.  Adkins & Robbins are committed already but as running backs you have to be concerned seeing the issues Louisville football is having in their running game.  There is opportunity to build this program and improve.  But the changes have to start within.

I will now open the court for questioning:

Kaitlyn Moore: Can we stay positive for the sake of our guys?

As a fan, I think we can stay positive through anything (see past three years) but I also think we deserve a team that looks prepared.  I am not going to hit you with the “I pay good money” speech but two seasons ago Louisville was on the verge of a trip to either the CFP or a New Year’s Six bowl.  How in the world do you fall that far that fast?  We are positive, but that is being tested with what the coaching staff is putting on the field each week.  Louisville has not had a complete game where all sides looked great since the 2016 FSU game. Hard to be positive with that hanging over you.

Cardsfanrva @AlissaMoore16: Was it wrong of me to drown my frustrations with the coaching staff in tequila at a restaurant in Charlottesville after witnessing the game in person?

It would have been wrong of you not to.  I have a feeling a lot of Card fans will need rehab and a AA meeting after this season.

CalmerThanYouAre @NotWhatchaThink: Can Chris Mack coach football??

Well, we first have to see him coach Louisville but the way he has bonded with the team as well as the fanbase helps. Oh, he has also done nothing but land 4 stars in the 6 months he has been on the job.  I would say give him a shot, he has not done any wrong since he got here.

Sleve McDichael @Evil_Ed83: Am I ever going to not feel dead inside during football season?

One day Sleve, one day.  When the coaching staff is revamped and the talent is utilized.  When the 3rd down music is anything but Van Halen.  When we are no longer afraid to use Tutu Atwell in a jet sweep.  One day….

Jeremy Faith @JmFaith78: On the B-Dub’s scale of sauces (sweet bbq to Blazin’)…..how warm is Bobby’s chair at the current moment?

Before the season the seat was sweet BBQ.  Now we are sitting at mango habanero buddy.

Tony Montana @TMo4Cards: Other than the obvious questions, do you think Mr. Khaki Pants in Ann Arbor would be a radar candidate should they lose to Ohio St and Michigan St again?

Jim Harbaugh. His personality alone would make things difficult here.  I think if anything he winds up back in the NFL. Michigan does look better this season but they still have to play MSU and Ohio State and they couldn’t beat them in down years. I don’t think we would consider him.

Mandola74: @CottrellMandy: Are we going to win any more games this season?

Let’s be clear, there are no more gimme’s on this schedule, not even with a struggling FSU team that is coming to town this weekend. Louisville CAN NOT SCORE.  Until that issue is addressed its hard to envision them winning the remaining 8 games.  Plus, they will face some stern defenses soon.  BC, Wake, Clemson, and UK all have some good defenses. Louisville struggled to score on Indiana State and WKU.  They have yet to score a first half offensive touchdown this season. They are the second worst offense in the NCAA.  To answer your question, until they improve on that, we are staring at 2-10 which was unheard of in the summer.

Kat Simpson @itskattoyou:  Why did we get rid of the black helmets?

Not sure that we did Kat. We have options for our helmets each week. I think you could see them in the blackout possibly.  Also, understand that Adidas gives us new helmet and uniform combinations each year. Pretty soon we will have a new helmet for every day of the week.

Savage Introvert @Undead_Swankin: I knew Lamar’s greatness masked a lot of the problems UofL football had but this is ridiculous. Another once in a lifetime talent suiting up is unlikely so where do we go from here?

We have a drink, we eat a good meal, and then we turn to basketball season.  I kid, we don’t turn our backs on any of our teams at Louisville regardless of the sport…ever.  I think at season’s end Bobby will have to make some big staff changes and they will be uncomfortable for him but if he wants to keep his job he really doesn’t have a choice. I think you stick with Puma since you have invested so much time in him already.  Malik should see the field in certain packages but Puma is your starter. I think you name Dae Williams or Hassan Hall your starter and stick with them. No more rotating running backs every quarter. I think you try to somehow win four games to make it to a bowl, this team is so young the extra month of practice will really help.  One thing is for sure, Vince Tyra will have to make an important decision if no changes are made.

Person(s) who earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:

Mason King.  The only time we took a shot downfield was when King boomed punts down there. At least he is consistent.   Rodjay Burns also earns a shot for his interception and for helping the Louisville offense break the 50 yard line.  Yasir Abdullah gets a shot for being a bright spot as a freshman.

Person(s) who earned a can of room temperature Natty Light:

The Louisville offensive coaching staff.  You get paid big money for this and so far it appears you are stealing checks.  If my job is to oversee a crew at McDonald’s and my store is constantly in trouble for bad service, health concerns, and other issues I lose my job.  Something to think about.

In closing, I hope that the fans continue to stick behind the team.  The last thing they need is more criticism on top of how they are playing.  Come out for the FSU game this weekend and support the team.  They feed off of that.  We have no control over the coaching staff at UofL so we just have worry about what we can control.

Its also a big weekend for basketball recruiting starting on Friday at Louisville Live.  I wish things were different, and I still hope that we can fix this despite what my eyes see.  But, the problems with Louisville football are bigger than a dropped pass or a missed read.  There are clearly systematic issues in the program and when that happens its only a matter of time before sweeping changes are made.  All we can do is wait and see.

Be cool in this hot city.

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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