Even though I am not a fan of UofL Athletics in any capacity, I have always respected them… at least their football team. They’re usually pretty good. In fact, they’ve won some BCS bowl games recently and even had a Heisman Trophy winner in Lamar Jackson. Some say he’s one of the best college football players of all time. This year it’s different. While I do respect Louisville, I actually hate them. Even so, I’ve accepted that they will consistently be an 8-win team and beat Kentucky. Right now though, they are not a lock for 8 wins and may not even be a lock for a bowl game. They are starting to look like the worst team in the worst conference. Rutgers level stuff. Louisville is a magnificent dumpster fire and I think I know why.
From coaching to both sides of the ball, no one really deserves all the blame. We will start with coaching, though. Bobby Petrino has done a real Jon Gruden job this year. By that, I mean that he is getting blown out by great teams (Alabama) and just barely beating teams that have no business being in the game (WKU, Indiana St.). Petrino even threw in his own signature touch getting dominated by best team in Virginia, Virginia, and personally delivering Florida State a comeback win. It takes a special kind of stupid to have a 3 point lead, the ball on your opponent’s 25 yard line, less than 2 minutes on the clock, and throw the ball on first down. Ya done messed up, Bobby. I don’t know if it was a complete lack of faith in his running game, which I understand, or just a lapse in judgment, but Louisville was in complete control until this point. Not that it mattered in this game, but it may have contributed to other close games or losses, penalties have been out of control. Louisville gets flagged for at least 7 penalties a game for around 70 yards. Petrino needs to get his guys disciplined.
Surely an offense run by “offensive mastermind” Bobby Petrino isn’t struggling, right? Nope. They are. On paper, this offense doesn’t seem so bad. Jawon Pass had himself a pretty decent game against Florida State. He threw for 306 yards and 2 touchdowns in the loss. And, he has an all-time great quarterback name. A couple downsides though. He ran for -14 yards which is unacceptable. I really wish he would use his legs more instead of throwing the ball away. Pass also needs to work on his decision making. That interception at the end of the game should have never been thrown. He telegraphed that throw worse than anything Mark Sanchez has. If anything, he could have audibled out of that play to a run. Last thing about Jawon Pass, for the love of all things holy, get the ball to Jaylen Smith. He has been the best receiver for a while now and needs to be making more than 5 catches a game. All things considered, the biggest problem that this offense faces is their inability to convert on third down. They have one of the worst conversion rates in the country at 35. 82%. Petrino really needs to reevaluate this offense because, they are also only averaging 18.4 PPG.
Even with all the problems on offense, I cannot let the defense off the hook. Nobody could have guessed that the loss of Jaire Alexander to the draft would hit this hard, but it has. The Cardinals are now giving up 26 PPG, one of the worst in the ACC. You know your defense is getting out of hand when the other team’s equally untalented quarterback has a career day against you. Deondre Francois actually threw for a career high 4 touchdowns on Saturday. Louisville’s safety play has also been abysmal. Constantly getting beat deep, they gave up three touchdown passes of 25 yards or more and two of over 50. This defense certainly isn’t the biggest problem that this team has but they are definitely adding fuel to the flames.
Once again, I am not a Louisville fan. I used to love seeing them lose, and I still do. For some reason this year, it isn’t as sweet. Maybe it’s because they’re normally good so these losses would have been upsets. Maybe it’s because they’ve suffered enough from all the basketball scandals and I still have empathy somehow. Maybe it’s the respect that I have to have for them because of their recent success. I don’t know, but I love this idea of taking a year off from worrying about them. So I’m going to sit back and enjoy this magnificent dumpster fire that is Louisville Football.
Categories: NCAA Football