No Monday press conference for Bobby Petrino, not with less than four days to prepare for the game at Syracuse on Friday.
Not a lot of time to work on the deficiencies but Petrino is fixated on eliminating some suicidal tendencies on the offensive side of the ball. “We have a tough schedule at the end of the season so it’s important we improve, and execute without hurting ourselves,” he said Saturday. “The first thing you have to do win a game is not beat ourselves. We’ve got to get rid of the turnovers, take care of the football, and get better technically. I like the way we ran the ball late in the game but we have lot more than one thing to do. That’s the problem.”
The last thing any University of Louisville fan expected from a Bobby Petrino-coached team was one struggling on offense but who could have anticipated DeVante Parker or Michael Dyer getting injured, a major drop off in efficiency at quarterback, or the lack of effectiveness from a veteran offensive line? Coupled with a new coaching staff and a different offensive philosophy, there was much to absorb for a unit that was largely content with consuming the clock last season.
Petrino appears to have been gifted with an extraordinary defense that has given up only 14 points per game. Of the 70 points yielded thus far, 66 of them have been the result of turnovers. Extraordinary really, considering the Cardinals lost nine starters on defense. But then this is the “light” part of the schedule, with the toughest tests yet to come.
Whether the defense is strong enough to keep Louisville in games while the offense continues at sputter remains to be seen. But we do know that Petrino is aware of what needs to be done and will make the best of the short week.Give him four days, and he will make the most of them. It’s becoming more and more obvious that living up to own expectations is a long-term effort.
Expect another grinder at Syracuse for now.
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The ACC has announced that the Louisville-Clemson game will be at 3:30 p.m. for Saturday, Oct. 11. The game will be televised on either ABC, ESPN or ESPNU, with a final decision coming after the outcome of games this weekend. In other words, UofL needs to win at Syracuse and Clemson has to win at North Carolina for the telecast not to be relegated to ESPNU.
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Nora Kiesler, a 6-foot-6 center from Louisville’s Assumption High, has verballed to play her college women’s basketball at Purdue, starting in 2015. Her name was mentioned in connection with UofL recruiting but not often. She was also scheduled to visit Kansas and Michigan State.
Another grinder against a lower tier Atlantic Coast Conference team, the University of Louisville football team’s 20-10 win over Wake Forest Saturday in front of 51,463 fans at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Similar to a number of games in the American Athletic Conference last season, the sleep-inducing, slow-motion yawners, Saturday’s game reminiscent of the challenges Charlie Strong faced getting points on the scoreboard. Maybe he wasn’t so conservative after all?
If Bobby Petrino, oft described as an “offensive genius” is having the same problem, there are some things to be worked out. And it could require some time, like maybe a recruiting class or two. The UofL coach admits the offensive unit isn’t performing at a high level, something painfully obvious the last three games.
“We kept killing ourselves,” Petrino said of his offense after Saturday’s game. “We’re still a work in progress.”
He gave thanks for having an impressive defensive effort, UofL allowing Wake Forest only seven first downs, converting only two of 16 third down attempts, and only 100 yards of total offense. Lorenzo Mauldin would tie his career high of three sacks and Gerod Holliman would make his sixth interception this season.
Reggie Bonnafon, stepping in for the injured Will Gardner at quarterback, was more than adequate despite a number of rookie mistakes, including a fumble on his one yard line allowing Wake Forest to score its only touchdown. Nice to see some mobility for a change, Bonnafon escaping several breakdowns in protection, turning some broken plays into gainers. He would be credited with 46 yards rushing while completing 16 of 32 passes for 206 yards.
Remember Brandon Radclliff, the hard-charging 5-foot-9 redshirt freshman listed as the fourth-string running back? Lots of fun to watch in mop-up duty up to now. He would finally get his chance Saturday and he would make the most of it, gaining 130 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.
Leading rusher Dominique Brown would get pulled early after gaining a net total of one yard on three carries, and fumbling one of them, giving the ball to Wake Forest. Michael Dyer would carry 14 times for 41 yards.
Not quite living up to the season’s expectations thus far, but UofL will be 4-1 going into Friday night’s game at Syracuse.
Kenny Johnson, who was coaxed away from Indiana by Rick Pitino to become the newest assistant on the University of Louisville basketball team, discusses what he likes about the UofL program, looks forward to the intense competition in that Atlantic Coast Conference, and how the team is coming together. Practice begins the week of October 5.
Expect Reggie Bonnafon to be behind the ballsnapper when the University of Louisville football team takes on Wake Forest Saturday. Will Gardner is on crutches, hasn’t practiced this week.
Seemed to be just a matter of time for Bonnafon when it became evident that Gardner has had issues moving his team’s offense . The porous offensive line wasn’t helping him much, but his lack of mobility was obvious and may have been a factor in the injury that sidelined him.
What the offense needs right now is a more resilient quarterback, with the instincts and speed to counter the constant blitzes that will be thrown at UofL by opposing defenses. Whether Bonnafon is that person remains to be seen, but he exhibited those qulaities during his senior year in high school. Trinity consistently plays a good schedule against strong competition, a factor that will work in his favor.
In his first high school start at quarterback against a strong Tennessee Ensworth team, Bonnafon completed 16-of-24 passes for 215 yards and a touchdown in a nationally televised game. Later, against Indianapolis Carmel, he competed 18 of 22 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns while adding another 62 yards on 15 carries for an additional two scores on the ground.
In first game at UofL, Bonnafon rushed for two touchdowns and passed for another against an inferior Murray State team. However, he was ineffective in the loss against Virginia the follow week, unable to move the ball at all for two quarters. His first game against a serious oppoment had to be a real eye opener.
Two days later his father died, a man who probably saw every single game in which his son had participated. Reggie said last week he was dedicating his career to his father and he will be focused. A whole new perspective for him, new ways of looking at things, knowing what his dad wanted for him.
“When I come back, I’m coming back harder than ever,” Reggie told the Courier-Journal. “I’ll play for him.”
Coach Bobby Petrino has yet to confirm that Bonnafon will start, but he’s probably just keeping the Wake Forest coaching staff guessing. The guess here is that Petrino may have already made a decision to go in another direction before the game ended at Florida International.
The offensive linemen, who were unable to protect Gardner, is hearing all the criticism, much of which has been coming from the coaches during a grueling week of practice.Protecting the quarterback is their No. 1 responsbility and they’ve already lost one. They had better be highly motivated or they risk having every week be hell week the rest of the season.
Plenty of motivation to go around if Reggie Bonnafon makes his starting debut.
Tim Kubel, a 165-pound freshman from Stuttgart, Germany, scored his first goal ever for the University of Louisville to lead his soccer team to a 2-1 victory over Kentucky at Lexington Tuesday.
The two UofL goals ended a four-game winning streak for the Wildcats, who had held opponents scoreless during those games. Louisville improved its record to 4-1-1, and sets its sights on ACC foe Pittsburgh Friday at Lynn Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
The University of Louisville’s ninth-ranked soccer team will square off against archrival Kentucky Tuesday at the Bell Soccer Complex in Lexington, hoping to avenge a 1-0 loss to the Wildcats in Louisville last season.
Could be a real challenge for the Cardinals because UK hasn’t allowed a goal in four straight wins, one of which was 1-0 decision over then No. 1-ranked Notre Dame. UofL, meanwhile, is coming off consecutive wins over Boston College and Duke and has a 3-1-1 won-loss-tie record.
Ken Lolla’s team is currently in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference with a 2-0 mark, while UK has yet to play a Conference USA foe.
The game will be televised on SEC Plus, which isn’t available on Time Warner Cable.
However, it may be available on ESPN3, where it is listed on the schedule and the slot was working Tuesday morning.
Admission to the game for all fans will be one penny each, with proceeds going to the Mary Todd Lincoln House in Lexington.
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The Louisville vs Wake Forest football game Saturday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will be televised by ESPNU with a 3:30 p.m. kick off and announcers Clay Matvick and Anthony Becht calling the game. The game will also be carried on Sirius Radio on Channel 108 and on XM on Channel 193.
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Mark Blankenbaker, who runs the Crunch Zone fan blog, will be getting married Friday, somehow persuading his bride-to-be not to have their fall wedding on a football Saturday.
He will make the Wake Forest game at Papa John’s but the couple will be honeymooning next week and could miss the Syracuse telecast. One out of two is not bad for the groom.
Best of luck to the happy couple as they begin their journey.