A few lessons from Louisville’s 72-0 thrashing of FIU

Once a Cardinal Bird, always a Cardinal Bird, as Jon Cecil, from Murray who once was the Cardinal Mascot, demonstrates after UofL's one-sided win over Florida
Once a Cardinal Bird, always a Cardinal Bird, as Jon Cecil, from Murray who once was the Cardinal Mascot, demonstrates after UofL’s one-sided win over Florida International.

The 72-0 rout of Florida International was much too easy but we may have learned a few things about the University of Louisville football team Saturday, including:

  • Charles Gaines needs to be in on all kickoffs, offensively and defensively. His 93-yard dash a thing of beauty, ending UofL’s six-year-long drought on touchdowns on a kickoff return. Looked like he had another one when he picked up an FIU fumbled punt of its own 15 and waltzed into the end zone (only to have ball ruled dead).
  • These Cardinals aren’t content playing down to the level of their opponent, not this one anyway, holding FIU to only 30 yards and two touchdowns for the entire game.

    “Yesterday, we had a walk-through, a mental walk-though, and I just didn’t like how things were going,” said Charlie Strong. “So I stopped the walk-through and made them start over, I just had to tell the team they have the expectations around here. So, we have raised the bar and I expect us to go out today and perform, and we did, they responded well.”

  • Florida International just wanted the game to be over, choosing to chew up time with their feeble running game, throwing only nine passes. After the game, the officials issued a statement about the clock that rarely stopped:

    “Coach Turner made a comment to one of the officials that, given the amount of injuries and the limited numbers of players he had available, he wanted to run the ball in the second half.  One official misinterpreted that comment.  Coach Turner, at no time requested that the clock run.  FIU threw just one pass in the second half.

    “After reviewing the tape there were five times that the clock should have been stopped and it did not. Four times were on first down and one play where the runner went out of bounds, based on a quick review of the video.”

  • Dominique Brown can make things happen without much help, that 77-yard run to the one-yard line largely of his own making, without much blocking.
  • Will Gardner has a future, the one-time Alabama commit connecting on five-of-five attempts and a touchdown.
  • Zeke Pike does exist, the heavily-recruited quarterback turned wide receiver pulling in a four-yard pass from Gardner in the fourth quarter.

The crowd of 51,586, tenth largest in UofL history, arriving late, leaving early. Noon kickoffs are a pain, providing a weekly test for fans. They’re not perfect, they are buying all the tickets, and most are showing up. They deserve much better than noon kickoffs.

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

1 thought on “A few lessons from Louisville’s 72-0 thrashing of FIU”

  1. Enjoyable afternoon, we’ll take the win, sumburn notwithstanding. Had a thought pregame when three blasts boomed out before kickoff: Did those signifiy the three previous wins? How about boomers for each of our wins before game starts? Just imagine how exciting that will be counting out the wins! Let’s start a new tradition.
    Go Cards!

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