Scribe who predicted 10-2 for Louisville has had enough

By Ed Peak

I’ve had enough. My family has had enough. My neighbor has had enough. My neighbor’s cousin has had enough. Card nation has had enough. You get the picture.

Card Nation is ready to jump off the closest cliff. Louisville’s 66-31 loss to Georgia Tech Friday was……embarrassing. Depressing. Frustrating. Mind boggling.

I knew Louisville (2-4) would have a hard time defending Georgia Tech’s option attack. But not to the tune of 542 yards. Yellowjackets quarterback TaQuon Marshall made the Cardinals defense look like……..well. Nothing I’ve ever seen. Bad. Bad. Really bad.

Granted few teams run huge option as well and is difficult to stop. But this was not a stellar Tech team at 3-3. The win broke a seven game road losing streak.

You can dig deep into the Cardinals’ problems. On its opening possession Friday, quarterback Puma Pass had a wide open Mickey Crum only to over throw him on a fourth and one play from midfield.

I don’t have a problem with throwing the ball on fourth and one. But that is a telling sign. You can’t run one yard for a first down. I know, catch them off guard, which the Cards did.

Remember this Louisville team had first and goal at the Virginia three yard line and could score only a field goal.

Georgia Tech took over and drove right down the field for the first of 10 scores, nine touchdowns. The Yellowjackets had 547 yards of offense. They threw two passes. Tech never punted. Worst loss at Cardinal Stadium ever.

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Nowhere to go but up for Louisville football

Okay, let’s get this out of the way now. Louisville got beat by a superior team Saturday night in the Camping World Kickoff.

“They’re very good,”said Louisville coach Bobby Petrino following the game. “There’s no question about that. Offense. Defense. Special teams. They out-coached us. So basically they beat us in all phases. It was a tough game. No doubt they were the better football team.”

Alabama’s offense scored, almost at will, the defense scored, as did the special teams. That about covers it all. There are reasons the Crimson Tide have won five of the last nine national championships. They have the best players, the best coach and the top program in the country. I don’t see the Crimson Tide losing many, if any, games this season.

As Petrino said after the game the Cardinals have to take this loss as a learning experience. The Cardinals have very winnable games the next two weeks in Indiana State and Western Kentucky.

“The biggest thing we have to do is learn from this,” said Petrino. “Learn from it come back next week and do better in practice. Understand where we didn’t execute. Our defense was on the field too long. It was a real difficult game for us.”

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Ho hum, familiar cast of characters for college football playoffs

Its the time of year when I unveil my college football final four and teams to watch. I’ll blindly predict who will be in the college football playoff. When I say blindly. I mean blindly.

I haven’t seen any of these teams play a game. I couldn’t if I wanted to because practices are closed to most everyone. Even if I could I couldn’t gather much from practice because after all it is just. Practice.

Let’s get this out of the way right away. Alabama is No. 1 in just about every preseason poll. They should be. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. The Crimson Tide have one of the best coaches of all time in Nick Saban and have had 10 top 10 finishes and won five of the last nine national championships.

According to the Alabama media guide, the Crimson Tide return 12 starters, seven on defense, three on offense and two specialist. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but believe me Bama has players, as will quickly become obvious against the University of Louisville on Saturday.

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Half a century of covering Louisville sports for Ed Peak

Our man Ed Peak (left), a veteran sportswriter, teams up with Gary Graves of the Associated Press to cover the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May, as well as many University of Louisville games.

Editor’s Note: More on Ed Peak from the man who knows him best, Ed Peak. I first met Ed while we were young sportswriters at the Courier-Journal; he was part of the Friday night high school sports crew, I was on the copy desk. He reminisces about some of the high and low points along the way of a 50-year-plus career of covering local sports.

By Ed Peak

I have been involved in reporting sports since my freshman year of high school. That’s 50 years. I take pride in reporting the facts. I try not to slant the news right or left.

Taking solace that in all my years I have never once jumped out of my seat in a press box to show my emotions for a team I was covering with a loud yahoo. I have never withheld information about a team or individual. Good or bad. I learned old school.

I was covering a Kentucky Colonels basketball game for my college newspaper, The Quadrangle, of Jefferson Community College. The late Earl Cox, then Sports Editor of The Courier-Journal sat next to me. He said to me.”Ed, how would you like to work at the C-J taking high school games on weekends over the telephone. We pay well.”

I jumped at the chance. The C-J was one of the top newspapers in the country at the time. I got to work with one of the greatest Prep Sportswriters in Bob White. I got to work with Dave Kindred, Dick Fenlon, Billy Reed. Mike Sullivan, Tev Lauderman, Jim Bolus, Russ Brown, Ron Coons, Johnny Carrico, Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford just to name a few. I learned from some of the best.

About the same time, 1972, Wayne Perkey, asked if I would do a high school “Game of the Week” for his morning radio show on WHAS 840. I was also asked to help with the Saturday, “Telescore84” scoreboard show that preceded University of Kentucky football games. It was all sports scores and information. I was very fortunate to have these gigs. I learned a lot and appreciate all the help along the way. I learned to be “Fair and Balanced”.

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At least one coach believes Louisville can beat Alabama

Photo by Cindy Rice Shelton

By Ed Peak

Anyone who would bet against Alabama in the opening game versus Louisville, Saturday, Sept. 1 in Orlando’s Camping World Kickoff would be … crazy.

The Crimson Tide comes into the game having won five of the last nine National Championships and three of the last the six.  Alabama has won 26 Southeastern Conference titles — double the number of second place Georgia and Tennessee with 13 each. The school has produced 125 First Team All Americans including at least two every year since 2008. In 2011 the Crimson Tide had seven.

I'm sure the talking mouths on the local sports talk radio shows will have a field day with those comments. What is he supposed to say 'We're going to lose 200-0.'?

The boys from Tuscaloosa are preseason ranked No. 1 by Street & Smith’s, Athlon preseason publications, USA Today Coaches Poll and The Associated Pres. Sports Illustrated and Lindy’s Sports have the Tide ranked No. 2.
Alabama opened as a 25.5-point favorite and has remained there for months.

The Cardinals come into the game with a sophomore quarterback, Jawon “Puma” Pass, who has never started a game and was the backup to Lamar Jackson in each of the last two seasons. Louisville’s strength lies in its offense with a bevy of wide receivers with speed. Sophomore Dez Fitzpatrick, junior Seth Dawkins and seniors Jaylen Smith and tight end Mickey Crum can all catch the ball. Freshman Tutu Atwell is fast and has impressed during fall camp.

The offensive line has size and speed in sophomores Mekhi Becton (6-foot-7, 335), center Cole Bentley and seniors Kenny Thomas, Lukayus McNeil (6-6, 324) and Linwood Foy (6-4, 299). The running backs should be solid in sophomore Trey Smith, Dae Williams and Colin Wilson. In all the Cardinals return seven starters on offense.

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