Losing Long Not Necessarily Fatal

The big question is who replaces injured Scott Long as the University of Louisville football team travels to Syracuse. After scoring two touchdowns in last week’s win, Long suddenly was considered indispensable, the key to a successful season.

Losing Long is regrettable but far from being a season breaker. Continue reading “Losing Long Not Necessarily Fatal”

More Bad News

Scott Long Injured Again

No expletives but some real pain here.

The University of Louisville football coaching staff has confirmed reports to WLKY-TV’s Fred Cowgill that wide receiver Scott Long suffered another serious knee injury today in practice, which probably means he is out for the season.

Long returned to action three weeks ago in the Memphis game after missing the first four games because of a pre-season injury. He had five receptions for 134 yards and two touchdowns in the win over South Florida.

The UofL roster lists Long as a junior.

Work In Progress: Making Perception Reality

My, how winning one game can change expectations. The surprising win over South Florida has more than one critic of coach Steve Kragthorpe changing their opinion about U of L’s prospects in the Big East. Some have even dared raise the prospects of a conference title.

Granted, wins over respectable Memphis and Middle Tennessee teams may have paved the way for the changes in perceptions. But even during losses to UConn and Kentucky, Kragthorpe’s team displayed a grit unseen during 2007 until the last half of the final game against Rutgers. It is obvious to any serious observer that the players are buying into the system. You can sense it in the way they talk about the coaching staff.

No, there’s not the explosiveness there once was. But to expect a team to forever be an offensive juggernaut is not realistic. It’s taking a while for fans to adjust to the nail biters but winning can be equally rewarding, whether it’s by an extra point or by a lopsided score.

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Defensive coordinator Ron English is a miracle worker, having transformed an anemic and disrespected defense into the aggressive and unrelenting unit that now makes it possible to beat teams like South Florida. Defensive tackle Adrian Grady was named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week following his six-tackle, two-sack performance. Linebacker Jon Dempsey added nine total tackles, including six solo stops, while defensive tackle Earl Heyman had seven tackles and two sacks.

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U of L’s game at Pittsburgh on Saturday, Nov. 8 will have a noon kickoff at Heinz Field. The game will be televised by the Big East Network through ESPN Regional and will be available locally on WHAS-TV.

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Tickets are still available for the University of Louisville’s exhibition basketball doubleheader that same Saturday against Northern Kentucky University at Highland Heights. The women’s competition will tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. Tickets are $38 for lower level seats, $30 for upper level. Call the UofL Ticket Office at 852-5863.

Monday Morning Minutia

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb1 Rick Pitino is being true to his word when he talks about team quickness, expecting to get the ball across center court in less than four seconds. A couple of passes and it’s there. He told the scrimmage crowd that players who can’t keep pace may just have to transfer. In a kidding way, but you knew he meant it.

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ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb1 You’ve heard the expression there’s not a bad seat in Freedom Hall? Well, the well-healed fans on the lower level may never admit it, but some of them are getting jibed. Specifically, if you are sitting in the second or third row on either side of the court, you are constantly straining to see around the person in front of you. Not much fun, especially when they are wearing baseball caps like during last night’s scrimmage. I’ll take the upper level any day over that.

ul-cardinal-head-logo2-thumb1Card Game is still trying to figure out whether Sonja was at the UofL-South Florida football game and, if she was, whether she was watching Breeder’s Cup races on a Dick Tracy wristwatch. We may never know for sure but I can’t imagine her being at a game disguised as an empty seat. At any rate, she provides a recap of the Breeders Cup results here.

Louisville Football Back In Polls

Amazing, welcome back to the land of the living.

The University of Louisville football team received 15 votes in this week’s Associated Press poll, coming out of nowhere to be ranked 33rd in the country. The Cards are ranked 34th in the Coaches Poll.

The ratings are based largely on UofL’s win over 14th-ranked South Florida team 24-20 on Saturday. Some South Florida fans are badmouthing their team, bemoaning the fact that USF lost to a team that had been beaten by Kentucky 27-2 in the season opener.

Sounds like typical football fans after a loss. If they had done their research, they would have known that Louisville had only nine players in that UK loss who had ever started a college football game. Hate to be the one to break it to you Bulls’ fans (and Kragthorpe haters), but things change.

These players have a lot more game experience under their belts and it’s not the same team. Nor is the Kentucky team the same team, getting their buttocks handed to them 63-5 by Florida. The Lexington outfit received zero votes this week.

Stereotypes are for the blindly ignorant who fail to recognize or acknowledge that football teams are always a work in progress, getting better or worse. The Cards are getting better.

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