While a 9-0 start was doing wonders for improving the national perception of University of Louisville football, a loss appeared almost inevitable with so many shortcomings in critical areas of the game.
Starting with a defense that has routinely allowed opponents to move the ball almost at will and counted on other teams to stop themselves. Little semblance of effectiveness on special teams, glaring weaknesses in kicking and and kick returns, offensively and defensively.
Not much difference between the loss and all the wins the University of Louisville football program has claimed this season, except that it was a total defensive letdown this time, yielding almost 300 yards rushing and 246 yards passing.
Digging themselves a hole so deep that not even Teddy Bridgewater could bail out the defense. Nowhere to hide. Totally exposed.
In previous games, Bridgewater and his stable of receivers had successfully managed to overcome the adversity created by the defense, allowing their teammates to avoid the harsh glare of the spotlight. From game one through game 10, there has been little, if any, noticeable improvement.
Charlie Strong’s charges confirmed in the 45-26 loss to Syracuse, that despite its 9-0 record, that Louisville is far from being a national contender. That most of the wins have come against inferior competition. That having an exceptional quarterback like Bridgewater cures lots of ills, at least for a while.
Or, as Charlie Strong has kept saying, this team has a lot of room to grow.
A rotten birthday for Bridgewater even though he had a solid performance. He was never in a position to respond to the onslaught. All but lost in the thrashing was the fact that the Miami sophomore completed 36 of 50 passes for 422 yards and three touchdowns.
Don’t bother checking out the BCS Standings or the polls on Sunday. Louisville, the last great hope of the Big East, will be hard to find.