Charlie Strong has a problem and it’s a good problem to have. His Louisville Football team is 2-0 after romping Eastern Kentucky to the tune of 44-7. Most Coaches would be thrilled about any win, especially one like that; Strong isn’t exactly happy about it.
He prefers to focus on the missed opportunities.
Perhaps referring to the three times Louisville failed to get into the in-zone when within the Colonel 30 yard line?
Maybe the inconsistencies of his Special Teams, whom give up 72 yards on the first two opening kicks?
Or is it the Running Back corps, the one who was out-rushed by EKU 107 to 78?
Or does this sound like we’re being too critical? Perhaps setting the standard to high for Louisville, particularly within the offense? Don’t try to tell Strong that.
“We know the weapons we have,” Charlie Strong noted. “When you get the ball in the red-zone, we’d like Touchdowns instead of Field Goals. We missed opportunities.”
His TE Gerald Christian chimed in, noting, “We [Offense] feel like we should score every time we touch the ball.”
His QB Teddy Bridgewater stuck with that message.
“There is a lot of disappointment,” Bridgewater explained. “We felt like we left a lot of points on the field. We’re chasing perfection. Today wasn’t near perfection…It’s all in house and tomorrow we’ll come back and fix it.”
These things are reasonable. These things are fair.
After putting a combined 93 points on the scoreboard in the first two games of the season, the Louisville offense figures to rank statistically as one of the highest scoring offenses in the Country after Week 1.
The Louisville receiving corps appears to be like a mine field each week: at any given time anyone can go off. Today it was Devante Parker’s 134 yard outburst.
After all, that Quarterback that’s throwing them the ball? He’s pretty good too.
So still, Charlie Strong lamented discontent. While it’s justifiable, let me repeat myself, these are good problems to have. Charlie Strong can’t be discontent about his Quarterback – who looks like everything a Heisman QB should be- throwing 4 TDs on 23-32 passing for 397 yards; even though he said he played ‘average’. He can’t be discontent about his Defense, the one who has given up 14 points in eight quarters of play. He certainly can’t be disappointed in the fact that he found out a lot about his Cardinal Team today; even against an FCS Team.
“It’s a game that we can really correct. It’s really a good game for us to correct,” Strong noted. “I said to the team before our pregame meal ‘Today we’re gonna learn what type of team we have’. If you can go out here and play just a really good clean game, then will know we’re taking the steps to be a really good football team. That didn’t happened today.”
THE FASCINATING THINGS THAT TEDDY BRIDGEWATER DOES
On 4th and 2, late in the first half, Charlie Strong and Teddy Bridgewater we’re on two different pages. One wanted to punt, the other wanted to go for it. For Teddy the desire to go for the 4th down was possibly due to frustration of his offense never in a real ‘flow’. When Charlie Strong sent the punt team on to the field, Bridgewater waved them off, they obliged, Charlie Strong didn’t and called a Timeout.
“You can’t call off the punt team. Not in that situation,” Charlie Strong explained. “I just said [to him] ‘Get off the field’. We have enough coaches on the field.”
Bridgewater calls it confusion, but he admitted that he did want to punt.
“That was a little confusion,” Bridgewater said. “We we’re in a no huddle tempo, the offensive line was at the line waiting for the ball to be snapped and the punt team was running on the field. I was just thinking, ‘Hey, I know we can run a play and get the first down. But the Coaches are geniuses.”
SENORISE PERRY FINDS THE IN-ZONE; LONE BRIGHT SPOT IN LONG DAY FOR LOUISVILLE RUSHERS
At the 8:05 mark of the Second Half, someone that had made the endzone a regular spot, found it for the first time since late October. It was Senorise Perry’s first TD since late October after he tore his ACL against Syracuse. It was certainly a special moment for Perry, one that he dubbed the ‘climax’ of his return.
“It was a relief for me. I felt really good finally getting into the in-zone and getting that off my chest,” Perry noted. “After all the stuff I’ve been through, it was something great to come back to. I felt like I worked so hard just to get back to the in-zone, I figured it was going to be a while before happened.”
Perry said that many of his teammates congratulated him, but the special message came from Corvin Lamb, his roommate and a fellow running back that suffered the same injury Perry suffered last week.
Despite the joy for Perry, it was culminated by overall frustrations from the Louisville Running Back core.
They were only able to rush for 77 yards, only having an 8 yard Senorise Perry run be the longest of the day. It’s something that’s not hardly up to par for the standards of Head Coach Charlie Strong.
“[We didn’t] stay on blocks. Our offensive line has to do a better job,” Strong explained. “We just gotta create the seams and today we didn’t create the seams.”
DEFENSIVE CONTINUES DOMINANCE
The Louisville Defense had heard it all off-season from DC Vance Beford. They weren’t hardly meeting his standards. Whether it was giving up big plays, not stopping the run; Vance Beford clearly voiced his frustrations. Clearly they were listening. They’ve given up a total of 14 points in two games and held opponents to under 250 yards in each. Sure, it’s two games. But things are going quite well for the Louisville Defense right now.
“We only set our goals for us. Once we see that the offense goes out and does what there supposed to do, then we go out and do what we’re supposed to do,” DE Lorenzo Maudlin said. “You can say that we’re going against the offense for perfection. But at the end of the day, we’re just doing what we have to do to win.
Group of 4 Carry the Load:
Preston Brown, Calvin Pryor, Lorenzo Maudlin and James Burgess combined for 29 tackles.
Preston Brown lead the way with 8 tackles, Pryor and Burgess both claimed 7, and Maudlin had 5.
Brown also led the way with 2 sacks, Maudlin had 1.
The Louisville Defense was again very impressive today, limiting the Colonels to a measly 206 total yards. Maudlin credits the new aggressiveness plan of attack by DC Vance Bedford as the reason why. As the production continues for Louisville’s defense, expect to see Bedford even get more aggressive with Blitz packages. And why not? It’s been nothing but successful thus far.
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