Defense Take Note

Briefly revisiting the U of L win over Cincinnati. The Cardinals’ defensive unit received rare praise from an unexpected source yesterday. Ben Mauk, the UC quarterback, told the Cincinnati Post:

“Louisville is a great defense. They fly around and have good team speed. It’s not like we’re playing against air out there … “

One did get the impression that the defense matured somewhat after what could have been a disastrous first quarter. It was also obvious, however, that they still had a way to go when UC receiver dropped a wide open pass in the fourth quarter. Equally apparent is that these guys are working on getting better, serving notice in posing a serious challenge to a good quarterback on the final series of downs.

What to make of UConn

Difficult to get a handle on UConn. The Huskies are 5-1, having beaten Duke, Maine, Pittsburgh, Temple and Akron while losing by one point to Virginia. Out of all those teams, only Virginia is respectable. Winning, however, instills confidence in teams, and UConn will be powered by high levels of adrenaline.

U of L will be coming off a good win over a tough opponent. Some improvement on defense should carry over into an improved focus during this week’s preparations. The stop on that last series of Cincinnati downs was a beginning. Build on it.

We believe Brian Brohm latched on to the leadership role in a new way in the win over Cincinnati. Now that the Heisman Trophy talk has died down, Brian should be able to do what he does best, keep those receivers moving the chains. Brock Bolen and Anthony Allen can help by chewing up yardage as well.

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These comments by David Harding in the University of Cincinnati’s independent student newspaper are too good not to share:

Louisville fans don’t respect the Bearcats. But why should they? The UC Bearcats just can’t seem to beat their rival down Interstate 71 in anything. No matter if the sport is football, basketball, baseball, or volleyball, UC just can’t find wins against the Cardinals.

The basketball team has lost four out of their last five meetings with Rick Pitino’s Cardinals. Brian Cleary’s baseball team is just 3-6 in their last nine meetings against the team down south.

Even the women have had their trouble. The women’s basketball team has lost five out of their last six against Louisville.

The last time the volleyball team beat the Cardinals was 2003. Louisville has dominated the women’s soccer team, boasting a 3-0 record over the Bearcats in their last three meetings.

Since They Won’t Go Away

What a strange football season. A sense of fair play forces me to acknowledge UK’s win over a No. 1 team. The win was noteworthy but there’s nothing unusual about top 10 team teams getting beat. Anybody can beat anybody, and they are doing it this season. We salute you with one hand UK but we disrespect you with the other. As Yoda would say, “The joy, we do not share.”

Meanwhile …

Juan Palacios may get a red shirt year after suffering an injury in basketball practice Saturday morning. The early diagnosis was a sprained MCL and depending on the severity of the injury, Palacios may redshirt this season, coach Rick Pitino said. Red Shirt

The Message Board Experts

Such animosity on the message boards these days, one post after another calling for Kragthorpe’s scalp. Some fans want it today, can’t wait another game. A few even want a piece of Tom Jurich. The same ones wanted Pitino’s hide before the basketball team started winning last season.

Message boards are a blessing and a curse. They give fans a chance to discuss the latest developments and rumors with fellow fans as well as outlets for venting their frustration. This is a godsend in a town where the media has been historically lazy in covering local teams or devoting an inordinate amount of space to a rival school.

Unfortunately, the amount of redundancy and drivel on them often makes it difficult to find anything meaningful. You also have to sort through all the untruths and rumors, many times by rival fans. Inside the Ville makes it possible to ignore some posters but the sheer number of them is a challenge at ITV and Rivals.

Administrators and coaches must be careful about who they share information with, fearing that any comment will wind up on a message board. Sources are drying up because inside information is difficult to obtain on the boards these days.

Still, the message boards provide a useful exchange of views. There are plenty of people who are able to keep things in perspective. And there are a few who are actually knowledgeable about football and basketball. I will continue to frequent the message boards as long as those guys are around.