First game on the road in a new conference, another milestone for the University of Louisville football program.
Kinda scary, even if it is at the University of Virginia. The Cavaliers have won only two Atlantic Coast Conference games over the past couple of seasons. Despite being picked to finish sixth in the ACC’s Coastal Division, the Cavaliers have surprised the analysts in their first two games.
Virginia gave UCLA a scare in their season opener at Charlottesville before succumbing 28-20 to the Bruins, then ranked seventh in the nation, and the following week ended an 11-game losing streak with a 45-13 pasting of Richmond. The Cavaliers have to be feeling pretty good about themselves, eager to prove they’re getting better as Louisville arrives.
Over the past couple of decades, UofL has had mixed results in their first road games in three other conferences.
The Cards lost their first Conference USA game on the road in 1996 to Southern Mississippi 24-7 at Hattiesburg. They stumbled 45-14 against South Florida in their first road game in the Big East at Tampa in 2005. They defeated Temple 30-7 in their first road game in the American Athletic Conference at Philadelphia.
Although Louisville and Virginia have played only two games until now, they have been very good ones, decided by field goals in the closing minutes. UofL defeated the Cavaliers in a 30-28 cliffhanger at the Fairgrounds in 1988, but the Cavaliers returned the favor 16-15 in Charlottesville the next season.
Bobby Petrino relishes such challenges, of course. “It will be the first time we get to travel together … and then deal with the crowd noise offensively and defensively, so it will be a good challenge on the road against a team that I think is playing well.” he said.
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The game will be televised by WAVE3-TV, and Kent Taylor gets the pre-game coverage started with a live broadcast of “Inside The Cards” from Charlottesville at 11:30 a.m. He’ll have an interview with Petrino, followed at noon by the ACC Blitz, a preview of the day’s ACC football games.
A record crowd of 5,862 showed Tuesday at the Yum! Center for the UofL vs. Kentucky volleyball meeting only to be crushed, seeing the Cardinals lose three out of four sets.
The volleyball team, which won the American Athletic Conference title last season with an 18-0 conference record, is 3-3 this year under third-year Coach Ann Kordes.
The women’s soccer team, under Coach Karen Ferguson-Dayes, lost to Kentucky still again last week, this time by a 2-0 score. It was UK’s fourth straight win over UofL in the sport. Dayes is in her 14th season at the helm.
The women’s softball lost both games against the Wildcats last season.
Not a good trend, and it’s not confined to Olympic sports, as Jeff Walz and Rick Pitino can attest.
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Leonid Yelin, the former UofL volleyball coach, has moved on to Syracuse where he has compiled a 5-2 won-lost record in his third season. Yelin picked up his 500th career win in 2013, becoming the 32nd active coach to achieve the milestone. He brings his charges to the KFC Yum! Center on October 13.
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UofL’s men’s soccer team hasn’t scored a goal since knocking No. 2 Maryland 1-0 three games ago and soaring in the national rankings to No. 2 in a couple of polls. The Cardinals lost to St. Louis 1-0 in Tuesday night’s game and tied Cornell 0-0 last Friday. Big test coming up against Duke Saturday at Lynn Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
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Remember the career guidance program that Charlie Strong started for UofL football players last season? An idea that made a lot of sense and should be followed up on by Bobby Petrino. Former assistant Larry Slade was in charge of the program, receiving some assistance from Keith Thomerson, who sums up his experiences here.
She has closely watched Angel McCoughtry and Shoni Schimmel play for the Atlanta Dream so she is quite familiar with the Louisville game.
Asia Durr, the top-ranked player in the recruiting class of 2015, has made her choice official. It’s the University of Louisville women’s basketball team for her. Sorry, Baylor, Duke, Maryland, Notre Dame, UConn and Kentucky.
Durr, a 5-foot-10 point guard from St. Pius X High School in Atlanta, led her teams to Georgia State championships in 2013 and 2014, an AAU championship and two gold medals for the USA in international competition. She averaged 24.4 points and 7.1 rebound per game as a junior last season.
“Durr is just special.” said Full Court scout Bob Corwin, who’s been evaluating talent since the mid-’80s. “She’s a lead guard who knows how to make her teammates better, but can also take over a game in scoring.”
- Has started in 72 of 94 career games and compiled 1,835 points, 1,003 rebounds, 193 assists, 220 steals and 59 blocked shots.
– Career shooting averages of 51 percent from the field, 34.0 percent from 3-point and 81.0 percent from the line.
– As a sophomore started in all 33 games and averaged 21.2 points., 6.8 rebounds., 2.8 assists, and 2.6 steals to help her team to a 30-3 record and a 3A state title; shot 52 percent from the field, 36 percent from 3-point and 86 percent from the line.
– As a freshman started in seven of 29 games and averaged 12.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.8 steals to help her team to a 24-5 record and a state tournament appearance; shot 51 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3-point and 76 percent from the line.
Another exceptional catch for Jeff Walz. Video here.
A month ago Amonte Caban was seemingly headed to the Southeast Conference, having narrowed his list to Mississippi State, South Carolina, Clemson, Tennessee and Kentucky, according to A-List.
But on Tuesday, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker from Smiths Station, Alabama, made a verbal commitment to play football at the University of Louisville. He’s a four-star prospect in the mold of Calvin Pryor who delivers a bruise when he hits an opposing ball carrier.
Opposing running backs don’t want to see Caban in their path because there’s usually no escaping him. Rivals ranked Caban as the nation’s 14th best inside linebacker after his junior season during which he recorded 124 tackles in 12 games, including 11 for loss and three sacks.
“He is the perfect combination of size, explosiveness and want-to,” his coach Jason Dukes told OANow. “He’s got some things to work on as far as details but he’s highly critical of himself, and that makes him someone who willing to study and correct those errors. He’s a great high school player, and he’s going to be a really, really, really good college player as well.”
Feel the pain he delivers on an ongoing basis in the accompanying video:
Evan Purtilar, taking direct aim at the goal before the University of Louisville vs. Murray football game, will always do well in corn hole competition. He is a one-year-old fan and the star attraction at Purtilar family tailgating. He missed the toss but has never lost a game.
John Ramsey, a longtime local radio personality and comedian, has joined the ESPN 680 radio lineup. He’s a staunch University of Louisville fan with the knowledge of the local sports scene to quickly become a force.
He’s going to provide a strong counter-punch to Matt Jones, the biased University of Kentucky fan, blogger and commentator, who delights as much in disparaging UofL athletics as he does in covering UK sports.
One difference is that Ramsey, a Ballard grad, actually played sports, including football and track. And he’s much more sophisticated in his delivery, with a quick wit, humor and a wide assortment of skills
Ramsey strongly favors UofL even though he was once a member of UK’s track team. “What I didn’t like was the whole elitist thing with UK where they didn’t want to play UofL for so many years, like they were so far above us,” he said Monday on his 10 a.m. radio show. “It’s all about relationships with me. I got to know UofL coaches like Denny Crum, Howard Schnellenberger and other coaches over the years, and I’m a UofL fan.”
Among Ramsey’s considerable talents are his skills as an impressionist, often mimicking Howard Schnellenberger, Muhammad Ali and the late Howard Cosell. He had the hosts in stitches on ESPN’s Early Birds show with a recent Schnelly call-in. Ramsey and Ali are, in fact, close friends. Watch for his exposure to quickly expand at ESPN.
He continues to host WAVE 3 Listens Live daily at noon on TV, and has worked for several local radio states over the last 15 years. He also is vice president of marketing and government affairs for the Ali Center and has worked in sports marketing at UofL. He also has performed at the Comedy Caravan.
Here’s a link to his version of the Big Blue Post Game Show.