Lack of Creativity Succumbs 28-20

If there is doubt about what Bobby Petrino left in terms of talent and problems, there is little doubt that he left a good nucleus of football fanatics. That contribution alone outweighs much of the negativity surrounding his legacy. Somewhere between 35,000 and 38,000 UofL fans on hand, looking for something positive during the rebuilding phase. Nice showing considering the circumstances.

— Card fans saw a living, breathing bandwagon in the visitors’ section where there were actually 2,000 – 3,000 Bearcat fans. More than have traveled to Louisville combined in all the years this observer has been following UofL football, and that’s a lot of years. More Bearcat fans at Papa John’s last night than have been at Nippert Stadium for many UofL-UC games in the past.

— Ron English is the UofL coach who inspires confidence in fans that he knows what he is doing. Can’t say too often how much the defense has improved since last season and since the beginning of this season. Most impressive.

— For almost four quarters, a University of Louisville football team teased its fans with the prospect of a win over a top 25 team. Probably would have accomplished it with with less predictable play calling. Calling a draw play for Brock Bolen on third down and 23 early in the fourth quarter is not going to get it done. How many times has Bolen been stopped with with only a yard to go?

— Cincinnati knew exactly what the UofL offense was going to do on their last fourth-and-one in the fourth quarter, lining up two deep right over the center for the inevitable quarterback sneak. No surprise, no gain. Insulting to the Bearcat defense. Insulting to Card fans. Embarrassing for Eric Woods and Hunter Cantwell.

— When the typical fan knows exactly what plays the coaches are going to run in crucial situations, you know a well-coached opponent is going to take advantage. The lack of any consistency in the running and passing games has allowed defenses to focus on a below average quarterback, pinch the ends, and force Cantwell into desperation hell.

— Special teams are not special. When Trent Guy lines up for a kickoff return, you have reason to be excited. But he’s not lining up. Got injured again somewhere on a mysterious play in which nobody saw him get injured. The Brock Bolen phenomenon, mysteriously disappearing in the Pittsburgh game. Wouldn’t be near as frustrating if you saw the actual injury. Where’s Brock. Oh, he’s injured again. Where’s Trent? He must have an injury. Where’s Victor? Never mind.

— UofL fans have been blessed with good passing teams over the last couple of decades. Always a bright spot even when the Cards were considered fodder for good or mediocre opposition. That tradition has been relegated to the scrap heap this season. The odds of restoring any semblance of that aspect of the game are not good.

— With their post-game comments, the UofL coaches and players have indicated that they are experts on why they are not winning football games. Real credibility, however, comes in showing that you actually know what it takes to win.

Opening 2009 Pitch In Gainesville

As the Philadelphia Phillies were wrapping a World Series title, University of Louisville coach Dan McDonnell was releasing the Cards’ 2009 baseball schedule.

Every fan who shivered through last year’s season opener at Jim Patterson Stadium in February will confirm that sunny Florida is probably a better place to start a baseball season. UofL will kick off the 2009 season at Gainesville against Florida in a three-game series, Feb. 20-22.

The first of 32 home games will be against Eastern Kentucky on February 25. Visiting conference foes will include Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and South Florida. Series on the road are against defending regular season champ St. John’s, Seton Hall, Rutgers, Cincinnati and Villanova.

Big Ten opponents include Indiana, Ohio State, Iowa and Purdue. Other Southeastern Conference foes are Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. The games against UK are April 14 in Louisville, April 28 in Lexington.

The Cards finished 2008 with a 41-21 record, including the Big East Tournament championship. UofL will return eight of nine position players, including third baseman Chris Dominguez, conference co-player of the year, and southpaw Justin Marks, an all-conference team member.

Here’s a link to a printable version of the full schedule.