Off week is anything but off for Louisville football

Tough weekend for University of Louisville football diehards.

Trying to make sense of a 45-26 beating at Syracuse, hoping it was an aberration, not a trend. Knowing that a previously undefeated team, that wasn’t getting better, now has the full attention of Charlie Strong. Forced to wait another week for the arrival of UConn at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.

The closer to the game we get, however, the less UConn will look like a patsy.

Safe to surmise that UConn has largely been taken for granted, with fans looking forward to another nationally-televised showdown at Rutgers. Wanting to atone for the last minute loss in 2006.

The closer to the game we get, however, the less UConn will look like a patsy. The Huskies have a 4-6 won-lost record, with wins over Massachusetts, Maryland, Buffalo and Pittsburgh. They’ve been competitive in every game save one, a 40-10 shellacking by Syracuse.

UConn, which also has an open date this weekend, needs two more wins, as did Syracuse, to become bowl eligible this season. There won’t be any lack of motivation.

Of course, with the possibility of an undefeated season, the Cards had even greater motivation last week. That didn’t go so well did it? But the fact is Louisville still has a shot at a BCS Bowl if it can win the final two games.

We don’t yet know how this team will respond to adversity — or having had its butt kicked royally. It’s time for a defense that has been pushed around all season long to not take it anymore, grow up, make a stand, show some progress, push back, maybe even dominate. This is a Charlie Strong defense after all.

The determining factor may well be whether leadership emerges on the defensive side of the ball. Strong has occasionally alluded to a lack of it on a unit dominated by sophomores and freshmen. He’s got another week to pull it out of them.

Credit Bleacher Report for the video:

Bargains for high flyers

Approximately 1,200 tickets remain for the Louisville-UConn home football game next week. The seats are located in sections 1-5 of the UPS Flight Deck and can be purchased individually for $12.

The ticket office is also offering a special promotion where fans can buy four tickets, four hot dogs and four drinks for $50. Those tickets have to be purchased in person at any of the UofL ticket office locations.

Big East Commish scrambles for playoff scraps

While some in the Big East Conference are rejoicing, the league suffered still another blow Monday with the agreement of the BCS and the Presidential Oversight Committee on six bowls and a “Group of 5” arrangement.

New Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco seemed to be ecstatic that the conference was not shut out altogether. “This is a better plan for us because it gives us the same guaranteed access for our conference champion,” he said. “We’ll work out all the revenue. We’ll be fine. This gives us an opportunity to play in one of six games on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day. That’s great for our conference. That’s no way a negative.”

Mike Aresco

We think he may have been too close to the process, the conference still allowing itself to be manipulated by college football self-appointed big boys to monopolize the the playoff system.

There will be six bowls as part of new four-team playoff system, with the winners of the Southeastern Conference, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac 12 and the Atlantic Coast Conference each receiving automatic bids and as many as five of the other bids (unless Notre Dame qualifies). Two of the bowls will host the semi-finalists on a rotating basis, with a selection committee determining the participants.

The Big East no longer will be assured on an automatic berth as it is now. Instead it will be lumped into the “Group of 5,” with the strongest team from the Big East, Conference USA, Mountain West, Sun Belt and the Mid-America Conference receiving a spot in the sixth bowl.

The deal with ESPN is reportedly worth $475 million annually, and all schools involved will receive far more money than they do now. ESPN pays $180 million annually for the current system. With that much money involved, the power brokers have been flexing their muscle, protecting their interests, regardless of who gets harmed.

The intimidation process was so persuasive that Aresco actually thought he got a good deal for the Big East.

Where’s the line for the class action lawsuit?

So far to go but Louisville is 9-0

Jeremy Wright breaks loose for a 32-yard jaunt late to Temple’s 4 yard line in the third quarter, setting up Teddy Bridgewater’s fifth touchdown pass of the day, a nine-yarder to Andrell Smith (see video below) two plays later. Smith had two of those touchdowns and Wright would rush for 100 yards in Louisville’s 45-17 win. (Click on photo to enlarge)


As Charlie Strong says, the best thing about his University of Louisville football team being undefeated after nine games is how much better this team can become.

What he’s not going to say is that having an exceptional quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater offsets many of his team’s weaknesses.

A lot of good quarterbacks have come and gone at UofL. Johnny Unitas, Jay Gruden, Chris Redman, Stefan Lefors, and Brian Brohm just to name a few. Bridgewater not only continues that tradition but he could well be the best in the program’s history.

Bridgewater would throw for five touchdowns in the 45-17 win over Temple, a new career best for him. He would again connect with nine different receivers and accumulate more than 300 passing yards for a third time this season.

His offensive abilities overshadowing some potentially consequential deficiencies in the kicking game, offensive and defensively. The opening kickoff being returned 93 for a Temple touchdown. The defense allowing the opposition 36 yards per kick return, the offense starting most of its drives from behind the 25 yard line.

Opposing running backs are racking up some major statistics against UofL’s defensive unit, the latest Montel Harris, with 117 rushing yards. He managed only six in the second half but six other teammates combined for 183 yards in the game.

As an equal opportunities quarterback, Bridgewater makes little distinction between highly touted receivers and the others, giving Ryan Hubbell his own personal highlight reel with that catch and run covering 72 yards for a touchdown. He would find Andrell Smith for two more touchdowns, and DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers for the other two.

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The shaky start, a 93-yard kickoff return, going hand-in-hand with breakfast tailgating, a noon time kickoff and cold, wet rainy conditions, all but guaranteeing at least 11,000 no shows at another UofL sellout, the final attendance coming in at 44,609. The early morning stuff and the wet conditions finally taking a toll on a portion of the fan base.