You just know that many cynics and doubters among the local fan base were watching in disbelief, having convinced themselves that U of L had absolutely no chance against West Virginia. Yet the outcome was very much up in the air with less than two minutes on the clock. Maybe, just maybe, this coaching staff isn’t as bad as some people seem to believe.
Some impressions from the game:
— The defense has steadily improved as the season has progressed. One got the feeling they were finally getting the hang of it. With the exception of the Pat White escape at 1:36, they seemed to be actually having fun out there for a change.
— Chris Fowler, of the ESPN broadcast team, made an excellent point about the previous head coach over-recruiting on the offensive side. Some key players on the defensive side were offensive stars in high school and had never had to make tackles or disrupt passes. They are learning on the job.
— Rod Council does his job well, as was obvious on the pass deflection that was called pass interference and led to West Virginia’s second touchdown.
— Lamar Myles and Deon Palmer, now that is ferocity! Turned the Mountaineer offense into a bad juggling act at times.
— George Stripling showed some glimpses of why fans thought he would be special before last season. If he sees daylight, he is difficult to stop. However, he dropped several screen passes that could have keyed an upset. Also, he’s never going to run through or over anybody.
— Where was Bilal Powell? Were we just imagining how talented a runner he is or was that just wishful thinking on our part?
— Maybe Brock Bolen didn’t see more action because he was misreading blitzes and missing key blocks, putting Brohm in jeopardy. Let’s hope it was just a bad day. U of L needs his brawn in the backfield.
It’s too easy to nitpick the coaching decisions, particularly on offense where the play calling is much too predictable. One has to give the coaching staff credit for putting U of L in a position to win a game in which all the experts thought they were so outmatched.
Was the U of L defense that much improved tonight or were they merely pumped up with adrenaline playing a top 10 team? The answer to this question could help determine whether the Cards chalk up any more wins this season.