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.
Louisville takes a three game losing streak on the road to Boston College next Saturday. After an off week Wake Forest (3-2) visits. Then road games at Clemson and Syracuse. The season finishes with home games against North Carolina State and rival Kentucky.
I can’t see another win on the schedule. Yes, I’m the dunce that predicted 10-2. It shows you what I know. What I do know is this isn’t a good Louisville team. The warning signs started early.
A lackluster win over Indiana State in the rain. A narrow win over a struggling Western Kentucky team. A smashing loss at Virginia. The fourth quarter melt down against Florida State last week.
If you listen to the sports talk shows, read Twitter and talk with your neighbor, the fan base is fed up. With the basketball investigation heating up and two Louisville assistant coaches accused of giving money to recruits the outlook is not good. I thought we were past most of this. Just when you think things couldn’t get worse, they do.
A crowd of 51,658 showed up for the football game, but when it started raining midway in the second quarter many left with their team down three touchdowns.
“I couldn’t blame them for leaving,” said Cardinals receiver Dez Fitzpatrick. “I would have left too. We have to give them something more than that.”
Needless to say fans are calling for Bobby Petrino’s head. In his second stint as Louisville head coach Petrino is 36-22 overall and 21-14 versus the ACC.
“We got beat, we got beat bad,” said a solemn Petrino following the game. “It’s a bad loss, it’s something that’s challenging. It was something that was disappointing to me.”
Fans are ready to run Petrino out of town. But a change at this juncture makes no sense. If you do make a move it has to come after the season. Petrino’s buyout is $14 million. I don’t think the university has that type of money to throw around.
This is a young Louisville team with only three senior starters on offense and two on defense. No Lamar Jackson to cover up mistakes with his play. I’m not taking up for this group, but this is a very young team.
Will it get worse? Yes. Can this team regroup and finish strong, I just don’t think so. Michael Bush, Brian Brohm, Elvis Dumervil, Eric Wood, DeVante Parker, Teddy Bridgewater, Preston Brown, are not running through that Cardinal Stadium tunnel. I don’t see a win the rest of the year. This team is so beat down mentally when something goes bad that it is incapable of recovering.
I’ve been through some lean football seasons in covering the Cardinals since the late 1960s. This one seems like it will remain that way.