UofL fans converge en masse at Huntington

The sweltering heat of Indian Summer encompassed Joan C. Edwards Stadium in Huntington, WV on Saturday evening, as the faithful fans of the Louisville Cardinals arrived with one goal in mind: cheering their Cards onto victory against the Marshall Thundering Herd. For this reason, they journeyed the three-hour drive down I-64 East to arrive in time to attend tailgate parties and prime themselves for their mission.

UofL fan Cindy Sturgill was in the crowd of 40,592, second largest ever at a Marshall home game.
UofL fan Cindy Sturgill was in the crowd of 40,592, second largest ever at a Marshall home game.

Parking lots were dotted with red canopies directing us to where our fans were located. Under one such canopy, I had the pleasure of speaking with Linda and Jerry Oliver, and Susan and Steve Franklin. Both couples have been Cards fans for many years. What makes this year unique for them is, as Susan proudly announced, “It’s a bucket list item for this season for us to attend every single game, both home and away. So far, so good!”

Another canopy was home camp for a group of U of L medical students. Complete with chicken wings and a cooler, these young men were ready for the game to begin. “Saturday’s for the boys!” exclaimed Madison Seay, as they raised their drinks in anticipation of the celebration they would experience with another win.

The most memorable story came from the canopy housing a diverse group of both Cards and Herd fans. This gathering was organized by Thundering Herd fans and Huntington natives, Scott and Parker Ward. These brothers shared with us that they had lost a family member who was on that fateful flight in November 1970 when Southern Airways flight 932 carrying the Marshall football team and entourage crashed moments before reaching the runway.

 Nata Sellus, Marlena Sellus and George Gambol were more than ready to devour Marshall. (Photo by Cindy Rice Shelton)
Nata Sellus, Marlena Sellus and George Gambol were tailgating long and hard. (Photo by Cindy Rice Shelton)

Amidst a sea of green, waves of Cardinal Red were prevalent throughout the stands. Undaunted by the thunderous home crowd, shouts of “C-A-R-D-S, CARDS!” were heard just as easily as “We Are Marshall!”

As the game ensued and the point spread widened, the green in the stands became sparse. The Cards fans remained on their feet for most of the game, staying until the final siren sounded, keeping their team focused on the mission: Beat Marshall. Mission accomplished.

Joining a group of UofL tailgaters were Scott and Parker Ward (far left in green) who lost a brother in the Marshall airplane tragedy in 1970.
Joining a group of UofL tailgaters were Scott and Parker Ward (far left in green) who lost a brother in the Marshall airplane tragedy in 1970.
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Jackson not happy, but Louisville pummels Marshall

Brandon Radcliff was quietly putting up 131 yards and a touchdown. (Cindy Rice Shelton photo)
Brandon Radcliff was quietly putting up 131 yards and a touchdown. (Cindy Rice Shelton photo)

Just a Marshall Thundering Herd between major opponents. Nothing to get overly excited about. Go through the motions. Don’t show Clemson anything it hasn’t seen before.

Play with one hand tied behind your back. Put the second and third stringers in there early. Pull them if they’re slow learners. If Marshall shows signs of life or disrespect, tack on a few more points.

Keep Malik Williams a secret, let the clock run out at the end of the game with the ball on the Marshall four-yard line. Don’t let that secret out of the bag just yet. Let him score that first touchdown against the Tigers.

The University of Louisville football team drubs Marshall 59-28, ending a four-game losing streak over three decades to the Thundering Herd. The nation’s third-ranked team improves its won-lost record to 4-0.

“Offensively we were a little sloppy at times,” said Coach Bobby Petrino. “We had a great effort from out defense (which gave up only 220 offensive yards).”

Lamar Jackson looking more excitable than exciting during the first 15 minutes, tossing lots of incompletions, struggling for yardage, looking almost average. Still managing to turn in a 72-yard touchdown pass play to James Quick, however, to give the Cardinals a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.

The sophomore quarterback, who said after the game he made a lot of mistakes, would still complete 24 of 44 passes for a career-high 417 yards while running for 62 yards. He would pass for five touchdowns and rush for two more.

James Quick, Jamari Staples and Cole Hikutini collecting 98, 94 and 85 yards, respectively. Hikutini good for two touchdowns, Quick for the one getting UofL on the scoreboard first.

Brandon Radcliff taking some of the running game heat off of Jackson, chalking up 131 yards on 19 carries, including a touchdown.

Asked how he would grade himself on this game, Jackson replied, “I would give myself an F.”  Pity the poor opponent when Jackson finally brings his A game.

After four games, he has 13 TD passes and 12 rushing touchdowns.



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One writer not hopping on UofL football bandwagon just yet

Editor’s Note:  I don’t know the writer Steven Callahan or agree with his opinions. And he wouldn’t provide a bio or a photo. However, his views may provide some balance to some of the unbridled confidence in the local media over the past week.

Every year a college football team rolls to an impressive win early in the season and everyone quickly jumps on their bandwagon.  The formula is usually the same. Said team, thought to be decent, but not great, gets a victory that looks like a marquee win, while being led by a proposed stud player and everyone goes crazy.  The team falters at some point and is not a threat for the rest of the season.  This season that team could be the Louisville Cardinals.

Card March before the dismantling of Florida State. (Photo by Cindy Rice Shelton)
Card March before the dismantling of Florida State. (Photo by Cindy Rice Shelton)

The college football world has gone crazy after UofL whipped Florida State 63-20.  In Las Vegas, quarterback Lamar Jackson is now the odds on favorite to win the Heisman and Louisville is suddenly a solid bet to take home the National Championship. The Cardinals jumped from tenth to third in the latest polls, their highest ranking since Britney Spears and Kevin Federline were still considered news.

Add to that, Louisville is favored BIG to win all of its remaining games (well over 90% chance for all but two) and they are also favored, just not as big, in the two games they have against ranked opponents (at Clemson and at Houston) The college football world has gone crazy for a team that will clearly fall short for some very obvious reasons.

Continue reading “One writer not hopping on UofL football bandwagon just yet”

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New UofL Foundation Chairman says lawsuit not necessary or productive

Every day is Game Day at the University of Louisville for Brucie Moore whose first challenge as the new Chairman of the UofL Foundation is the threat of a lawsuit from the UofL Board of Trustees.

Moore, who succeeded Bob Hughes in the role last Friday, said she didn’t believe “a legal lawsuit between the Trustees and the Foundation is necessary or productive.” She said the Foundation has approved the addition of two new personnel to help respond to numerous open records’ requests and intends to be as transparent as possible.

Larry Benz and Mark Lynn during Foundation board meeting Friday.
Larry Benz and Mark Lynn during Foundation board meeting Friday.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Moore is from Waverly in Union County where she serves as County Attorney/Prosecutor. She obtained her law degree from the University of Memphis. She also serves on the UofL Board of Trustees.

“My heart is with this University,” she told reporters. “As I walk around this campus, I see the students, I see the faculty and staff. It’s Game Day every day on this campus. This University has been here over 200 years. We’ve had a rocky few months but every major university responds to challenges, and we’re going to move forward.”

Moore said she was in favor of a forensic accounting of Foundation records, something “that means a lot of different things to different people. This Foundation has grown so much so quickly that we need to get our arms around this process.”

She believes the audit should be a joint effort between the Foundation and the University. “All members of the Board of Trustees are welcome to have input into the process, including the naming of the accounting firm.”

Moore was appointed to the UofL Board of Trustees in 2008 by then Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. According to the Courier-Journal, Moore has given at least $71,745 in campaign donations since 1998, including $4,000 to Beshear; $1,000 to Beshear’s son, Andrew; and $1,240 to the Kentucky Democratic Party.

According to sources, Gov. Beshear, a University of Kentucky grad, wanted to scuttle the UofL Foundation, and fold the organization under the auspices of the Board of Trustees. All recent Beshear appointments appear to be leaning in that direction.

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Last Friday, Jim Ramsey stepped down as President of the Foundation and Bob Hughes agreed to relinquish his chairmanship in the interest of the University and to promote harmony between the two organizations.

No indications as yet of any reciprocal actions from Larry Benz or Craig Greenberg, members of the Board of Trustees who led the attacks against Ramsey and the Foundation.

The Trustees will meet Thursday to consider nominations, the Foundation on Friday to consider requests for proposals to conduct the comprehensive audit.

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Humble pie for Gene Deckerhoff, the voice of Florida State football

Gene Deckerhoff gets a large dose of humility.
Gene Deckerhoff gets a large dose of humility.

Never have I heard anyone more arrogant about their football team than Gene Deckerhoff, the Florida State play-by-play announcer, during his interview for a local radio sports talk show on 93.9 FM last Friday.

Deckerhoff got exactly what he deserved when the University of Louisville dissected the Seminoles 63-20 the following day.

At one point, Gene Deckerhoff said he “would have to use a microscope to find any chinks” in Florida State’s armor. He noted that FSU’s offensive line was by far more superior to last year’s offensive line. He also expected Dalvin Cook “to have a breakout game against Louisville to be honest with you.” And “I honestly think this is best defensive line Florida State has had in the last 15 or 20 years,” expecting them to get a sack or two of Lamar Jackson.

On and on, he went. Totally obnoxious.

Hats off to RedRageTailgate.com for the video below. The only thing sweeter would be Deckerhoff’s actual play-by-play. Here’s hoping that becomes available.

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