Okay, let’s get this out of the way now. Louisville got beat by a superior team Saturday night in the Camping World Kickoff.
“They’re very good,”said Louisville coach Bobby Petrino following the game. “There’s no question about that. Offense. Defense. Special teams. They out-coached us. So basically they beat us in all phases. It was a tough game. No doubt they were the better football team.”
Alabama’s offense scored, almost at will, the defense scored, as did the special teams. That about covers it all. There are reasons the Crimson Tide have won five of the last nine national championships. They have the best players, the best coach and the top program in the country. I don’t see the Crimson Tide losing many, if any, games this season.
As Petrino said after the game the Cardinals have to take this loss as a learning experience. The Cardinals have very winnable games the next two weeks in Indiana State and Western Kentucky.
“The biggest thing we have to do is learn from this,” said Petrino. “Learn from it come back next week and do better in practice. Understand where we didn’t execute. Our defense was on the field too long. It was a real difficult game for us.”
I thought the Cardinals played hard, they were just over-matched. There were a few positives starting with sophomore quarterback Jawon “Puma” Pass. He played the whole game going 20 of 39 for 252 yards and two interceptions.
“He made some nice runs, escapes,” said Petrino. “Then there was a point where he got overwhelmed a little bit by their pressure and the different blitzes they use. They do a little of things bringing guys from different sides.”
Petrino said he left Pass in the game to learn and never really thought about taking him out. “I wanted him to keep playing, never a question of taking him out of the game. I wanted him to get all those reps. I kept him in there. It was a hard opener for him. No question about that.”
Louisville has to find a way to run the ball better and it’s secondary can’t let receivers run free. Alabama quarterbacks threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals were limited to 268 yards total offense which included only 16 yards rushing. Alabama rolled up 519 yards of offense, 222 yards on the ground.
Pass said following the game the toughest part was, “losing the game. They disguised where the pressure was coming from very well.”
Pass did throw two touchdown passes to sophomore Kemari Averett. “He’s big. He can get open. He can block as well.”
Another positive was junior Mason King’s punting. King averaged 43.6 yards per punt of six kicks.
So. Take what positives you can from this game and move on. The competition can’t help but help. Except for Clemson the Cards won’t see that kind of talent again this season.
A lot of Cardinal fans on Twitter and Facebook are ready to give up on the season. Hey, it’s one game against a marquee team. Louisville has 11 games remaining. Will UofL win all of them? No. Just enjoy the rest of the season and watch this team grow.