NC State belts Louisville in Belk

Great being in another bowl but nobody happy just being.

Too many memories of better outcomes in previous bowl games, too many reminders Tuesday that the restoration of the Louisville football program is far from complete.

Some of the glaring deficiencies that hindered U of L early in the season resurfaced in the Belk Bowl. The inability to run the ball, to protect the quarterback, to hold on to the ball, the disappointing interceptions.  Only four penalties called against the Cards, three of them in the third quarter, but each time breathing new life into the NC State offense.

The lasting image from this game will be that of Teddy Bridgewater absorbing brutal hits, taking the beating of his life, getting back up time after time. While U of L’s offensive line improved dramatically from game one to game 13, it’s obvious that the unit was outclassed by the seventh best team in the ACC.

Bridgewater, with 274 yards passing, exceeded the total of NC State’s Mike Glennan by 10 yards. At one point in the first half, the Wolfpack had 175 yards passing and zero yards rushing. So much for a balanced approach being the most efficient offense.

As badly as U of L was beaten on both sides of the ball, somehow the Cards found a way again of still being in contention at the end, against superior opposition. Charlie Strong pulling out all the stops trick plays, onside kickoffs, fake punts, anything, everything, nothing to lose but a bowl game.

Just never had the feeling that Josh Chichester was going to be the hero in this game. Or that Victor Anderson would make the must-have yards on third and fourth-down plays, that’s supposed to be Dominique Brown’s proven ability. DaVante Parker was apparently covered like glue, or at least we hope he was, with only one reception.

Time for second-guessing is over, another bowl under the belt. The restoration is coming along nicely, takes time, a few more bruises along the way.

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Author: Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, as well as a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

3 thoughts on “NC State belts Louisville in Belk”

  1. Thankyou for pointing out the offensive line. I know you have to objective and all, but I would go on to say… for their size, the UofL lineman are as soft as they come.

    I don’t know which Offensive linemen are seniors, but I would argue they all need to be replaced. They stepped up one game early in the season against UK and that was the only game I’d give them much credit.

    I just hope Charlie Strong makes it clear that their positions as starters are not safe next year. As a whole, they do look like doors on hinges more than any type of a wall.
    You also forgot to mention how UofL had to settle for a field goal after getting a turnover that left the offense 1st and goal… STILL CAN’t Convert TDs. Our redzone conversion percentage has to be among the WORST in NCAA football.

    Oh and the 50+ yard FG attempt that would not have been short had their not been a sack the previous play. lol Icing on that dirt pie.

    3.5 quarters of absolute beating.. Every positive note was smashed within a play or two.

    The Final score at the end doesn’t tell the story at all. The offense as a whole was so demoralized up to a point…That had Charlie not called for the fake punt to light a little bit of a fire, we would have started to see injuries left and right. Particularly, to Teddy Bridgewater.
    Despite the loss. Teddy Bridgewater is counting his blessings. And he’ll have a short career if the Offensive Line is not dealt with.

  2. Whenever the NC St. defensive needed to exert its will, the Louisville offensive line showed little ability to provide even token resistance. Is it just me or does it just seem like we have failed to convert about 100 4th and short plays over the past 5 years? Whether it is a lack of talent, inexperience or desire, the improvement shown during the year appears to be due to a lack of good teams in the Big East. The O-line was exposed last night. Without the fake punt and onside kick, this probably would have been a 45-17 type of game.

  3. I just wanted to chime in as an NC State Fan and a former D-1 football player at Furman who watched the game last night. I was very impressed with Bridgewater. That kid is talented and tough and made a fan of me. You guys have a very bright future ahead of you and I wish nothing but the best for Charlie Strong and your young football program.

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