“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”
As I drink my 38th consecutive water and chase it with a Gatorade while re-hydrating, I can’t help but notice that Louisville is currently sporting a winning record.
We will get to Nashville soon, but right now, I want to take a moment to marvel at our 2-1 record. Part of me wants to admire the fact that we are in front of the eight-ball for the first time in nearly a year. Another part of me realizes that the season is looking exactly like it did last season at the EXACT same point.
- Louisville begins the season against a highly ranked opponent, resulting in a loss.
- Louisville gets its first win of the season against a lesser opponent.
- Louisville gets their second win of the season over WKU once again.
- Louisville goes on the road to begin ACC play against a team they should have beaten last season.
Granted the Cards played Virginia before FSU last season, but you get it. The Cards have a rare shot at redemption on Saturday as they head south to Tallahassee. FSU presented a grand opportunity for the Cards to earn their third win of the season last year, but our former coach had other plans late in the 4th quarter.
The Noles are limping into their match with the Cards having already dropped two games and possibly being a missed extra point away from 0-3. The Cards have a great chance not only to improve on last years win total, but also to notch their first conference win since defeating Syracuse on Nov. 18, 2017.
But before we get to that, lets take a glorious trip down memory lane as we revisit the events of this past weekend. CardNation will always take over Indy and Nashville when the team is playing there, and this past Saturday was no different.
TO THE NOTES!!
Any outbursts and you will be removed by this week’s bailiff, Back Nine Bourbon’s (@retiredTN_TMan)…….wife. The BHK is still new to this marriage thing so there are times that I learn the ropes of life from the wife. And by learn I mean be dunked on both publicly and privately when I thought I was right about something. So Mrs. Back Nine Bourbon is my new hero because she wanted to present me with Bojangles, and her hubby fumbled the hand-off. It was nice to see that I am not the only married man getting hilariously chastised by their better half. I don’t want to piss her off so I will just keep this thing moving. You should do the same.
- If there wasn’t already a quarterback controversy brewing then after this past weekend, there will be. As always, the most popular player on the team is the backup QB. Malik had a great touchdown pass to Tutu, and that was followed up by an even better pass by third-stringer Evan Conley that also went to Atwell. I am not sure how Puma will be this week. If there is a chance he can’t go, it will be interesting to see who the staff trots out there on Saturday. My guess is Malik is still QB2, but who knows?
- Malik Cunningham looked good, but it’s when he has to throw the ball that he looks the least confident. It appears he doesn’t just doesn’t feel comfortable throwing downfield.
- Loving the Louisville run defense so far during the first few games of the season. Notre Dame rushed for 230 yards in the opener, but since then, the Cards have been pretty stout against the run. EKU racked up 130 yards, and most of that was in garbage time. WKU only managed 42 yards on the ground, and they have a dynamic running back in Gaej Walker. The Cards face another test this weekend when they face Cam Akers.
- This pic by Will Caudill is the definition of “running to the ball”:
- I am trying to be patient, but this staff and quarterback has to find a way to get Dez Fitzpatrick the ball. He is far too talented to have only four catches on the season. Against a terrible WKU secondary, he didn’t record a stat. That cannot happen if the Cards are looking to improve. He is our best downfield threat along with Tutu and Seth Dawkins – feed the man.
- Happy to see Javian Hawkins finally get his first touchdown as a Card. While I wanted him to continue his 100 yard rushing streak, I knew it would be an issue since WKU began stacking the box early. He and Hassan Hall continue to be a nice combination of speed and strength that the Cards needed.
- While Louisville didn’t get their first interception of the year, they did record a defensive score when Rodjay Burns scooped up a fumble and rumbled into the endzone. Bryan Brown’s defense is playing extremely well, but you could see the lack of depth playing a factor after halftime. The focus wasn’t there after halftime, but they guys didn’t break. The Cards didn’t get any favors from Mom Nature who decided playing in July type heat was ideal for a mid-September game.
- I am continuing to beat the Keion Wakefield/Josh Johnson drum. I am not taking shots at Thomas Jackson at all – I just want to see more of those guys is all I am saying.
- I’m not saying the refs had money on the game, but some of those calls on Saturday were eye opening. More on that later.
- Special thanks to the Collision Course Crew Tailgate for hosting us again on Saturday. Nashville has some nice places set aside for their fans and also nice Lyft drivers who are accomodating. I didn’t understand the crazy amount of cops who were present, but Biscuit to got to see horsey-cops so it was a win. We got yelled at for feeding the horse Funyuns and sour patch kids – had no idea he was a diabetic.
There are a few arguments on Twitter that I willingly mute each time I see the thread. Crowd size is one of them. I don’t really understand why it matters who had the bigger crowd when the scoreboard is really the only number we should care about.
For some reason, WKU fans wanted to create the false narrative that they had twice the amount of Louisville fans which, is a bold faced lie. Let us review the footage:
This is dumb, and I hope to never have to address this again in my column, but here goes.
- If you really believe that WKU had twice the amount of Louisville fans in that stadium on Saturday, then I have some oceanfront property in the Highlands for sale. For every one WKU fan, there were at least four Louisville fans. This is a fact.
- As we’ve seen with Cincy and NC State, if the school colors are similar to UofL’s, there will be confusion. WKU also sports red, black, and white in their school colors, and from a distance it is impossible to know who was who. The only clear indication about how many WKU fans were in attendance came after WKU’s 77 yard TD. It looked to me about 5k-6k in attendance, and that is counting the band.
- To put it lightly, it was hot as **** at kickoff, and the Louisville side was not in the shade. The WKU side was in the shade, and my section went from being elbow-to-elbow to “sit anywhere you like” in one quarter. After halftime, my wife and I had room to sit two seats apart if we wanted. Most of the Cardinal fans in attendance moved to the shaded side, which included the mezzanine seats. This was evident once Louisville scored their final touchdown, and you could literally see the Louisville fans cheering on the WKU side.
- It could have just been the heat, maybe it was the horrendous penalties that were being called, but WKU fans throwing the L’s down really, really, reallllllly, pissed me off. You’re not good enough to wave your red towels after a score let alone disrespect Louisville after a win. Jeff Brohm is not walking through that door. Humble thyself.
- Barstool has a Western Kentucky chapter??!!!
- We shouldn’t be surprised that you all made up a narrative that there were more fans in Nashville. You made up a mascot who is nothing more than a big red Grimus. Ol’ McDowell’s looking a** school….
- I was known to cut a rug back in the day before the back and knees checked out. While my dancing was good-but-not-great, I can still say with the upmost confidence that there is no way the Topperettes should ever take the field before the Ladybirds in any capacity. If I wanted to see a group of women dance off-rhythm to a techno beat I would watch Ellen.
There have been some calls that we all remember. Some good, some bad, some terrible. But I want to talk to any football ref at any level of officiating and see where in the hell the targeting is during this play.
Not only was it a terrible call, but the refs reviewed it AFTER the Tops had already ran a play. I have never seen a third down play be reviewed after a fourth down play was run on any level of football. They literally made up penalties as the game went on. C-USA refs will never cease to amaze me.
- Every time a C-USA ref gets a chance to be seen on television:
- Not to harp on the heat, but I will say the staff at Nissan Stadium was very accommodating. I saw 3-4 people have to get medical attention due to the heat. The concession stands began giving out free cups of ice to the crowd to assist. You can’t predict the weather months in advance, but you can try to prepare days in advance.
The courtroom will now be opened for questioning as well as statements:
T Luck (@JukeJointTony) Has your estimated win total changed for this season, and if so, how high is it now?
I really wanted to answer this after the month is over and we have seen four games, but to hell with hit. My win total is still set at 5 wins and will be that way unless we pull a major upset. There are few teams that I didn’t expect to look this good, and those are Virginia, who is now ranked, and Wake Forest, who looks to have found a nice QB. I had counted one of those teams as a win, but now I am not sure. Miami is still a mystery. NC State is, as well, and that team down the road has a QB with a nice arm. Time will tell, but I am firmly in the 5-7 boat still. We can revisit this in October.
Josh Eberenz (@josheberenz): I’ve never been more nervous with a 17 point lead. Were you nervous?
I am nervous regardless of who Louisville is playing. No lead is safe in the Ville. When Louisville got up 31-7 I was a little less anxious, but had the WKU receiver caught that last pass instead of bobbling it, we may have had a different situation. It was good to see the Cardinal defense get a stop when they needed one. It was also good to see them bend some but ultimately stand strong when they had to.
Diddy (@lamar_pierre) If this team wins 6 games, do you attribute it to the Division being drek (outside of Clemson), the coaching this year, or lack thereof last year?
Coaching, without a doubt. The division was pretty drek last season outside of Clemson and Syracuse. Louisville had FSU beaten until they didn’t, and they also had BC on the ropes for a few quarters before that fell through. By the time Wake came to town, the Cards were a shell of a team. The coaching change has already paid dividends on the field, in the locker room, and also in recruiting. I fully expect Satterfield and staff to get an extension at the end of the season or at least a hefty bonus as long as the team keeps trending upward.
Crazy Cardinal (@Terryembry14) Did you think we would be where we as a program this early in the season?
I knew there was a chance. I figured we would drop the opener after showing a ton of fight. I wasn’t sure how we would look against EKU or WKU, but all signs point to improvement. Now you have a true road game this weekend against an FSU still reeling from Jimbo Fisher’s departure. I think the season outcome depends on this game. If Louisville can get one in Tallahassee, they would have eight games left to try to find three more wins to reach a bowl. It’s not impossible.
Person(s) or things that earned a shot of top shelf liquor this week:
- Tutu Atwell. Dude continues to put up numbers.
- Javian Hawkins. Congrats on your first TD.
- Evan Conley. We have a GOOD problem on our hands.
- Jack Fagot. Way to handle a crappy situation and ejection with class.
- Rodjay Burns scoop and score.
- Louisville’s run defense.
- I-65 South. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t in traffic for longer than 5 minutes when heading to Nashville.
- Nissan Stadium restrooms. Never had to wait.
- Smoked Peach Cobbler.
- Our Lyft driver Jordan who had no idea there was a football game being played that day.
- Week 2 Lamar Jackson.
Person(s) or things that must endure a week of nonstop swamp a**
- The officiating crew at Saturday’s game.
- The drunk WKU fan who kept coming into our section, taking selfies, and then spelling out T-O-P-S.
- The heat.
- These two guys:
If you show up to a game in a replica jersey pointing to a faded hat, you deserve to lose. It is my mission to find out the logo on that hat. I bet it’s a random team, too. Like, imagine being taunted by a UK fan wearing a Buffalo Sabre’s hat.
The fact he had to look at the logo before pointing to it damn near killed me. I laughed from a deep, childish place at that for a good five minutes. Did you forget what game you were at?
If you ever see me doing this during a game, then by all means whip my ass as soon as we get in the parking lot after.
And in closing, the real test begins this weekend. Louisville has a chance to begin righting a lot of 2018’s wrongs beginning on Saturday afternoon. Regardless of their record, FSU is still FSU, and they have some good talent on this team.
If the Cards can find a way to get out of Tallahassee with a win, they will be halfway to that elusive sixth win of the season. After what we saw last year, I am loving the effort and heart they are showing thus far.
Besides, who doesn’t want more of this?
Be cool in this hot city
Court adjourned. (Bangs gavel)