Humble pie for Gene Deckerhoff, the voice of Florida State football

Gene Deckerhoff gets a large dose of humility.
Gene Deckerhoff gets a large dose of humility.

Never have I heard anyone more arrogant about their football team than Gene Deckerhoff, the Florida State play-by-play announcer, during his interview for a local radio sports talk show on 93.9 FM last Friday.

Deckerhoff got exactly what he deserved when the University of Louisville dissected the Seminoles 63-20 the following day.

At one point, Gene Deckerhoff said he “would have to use a microscope to find any chinks” in Florida State’s armor. He noted that FSU’s offensive line was by far more superior to last year’s offensive line. He also expected Dalvin Cook “to have a breakout game against Louisville to be honest with you.” And “I honestly think this is best defensive line Florida State has had in the last 15 or 20 years,” expecting them to get a sack or two of Lamar Jackson.

On and on, he went. Totally obnoxious.

Hats off to RedRageTailgate.com for the video below. The only thing sweeter would be Deckerhoff’s actual play-by-play. Here’s hoping that becomes available.

Louisville baseball tops Atlantic Division back to back

No. 1 in the Atlantic Division. Again.

The University of Louisville baseball team finishes the regular season on top after defeating Wake Forest 3-1 Thursday while Florida State was losing 4-2 at home to Miami.

Devon Hairston on a tear. File photo by Cindy Rice Shelton.
Devon Hairston on a tear. File photo by Cindy Rice Shelton.

Devon Hairston providing the hitting, knocking the first pitch to him over the left field wall in the second inning. He would finish the day with two hits, score two runs and drive in two runs. The home run was his third this year and he’s currently batting .370.

Brendan McKay and Zack Burdi supplying the bulk of the pitching.

McKay struck out six batters, gave up six hits but only one run in six innings. He’s 11-2 this season and 20-5 in his collegiate career. Burdi claimed his 10th save of the season, shutting down all three batters he faced in the bottom of the ninth.

The Cardinals are guaranteed one of the top two seeds in next week’s ACC Championship tournament, which kicks off Tuesday at Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, North Carolina.

 

Brendan McKay usually gets the job done for Louisville baseball

As one watches Brendan McKay go into his windup, the mind moves forward, envisioning the big lefthander on the mound as the University of Louisville baseball team goes for a College World Series championship. It’s unavoidable, dreaming, looking forward. He’s one of those rare individual who radiates confidence.

Brendan McKay, deliberate and focused.
Brendan McKay, deliberate and focused.

There’s nothing flashy about how McKay goes about his job, rarely showing any emotion or seeming to be in a hurry. He just appears to be totally zoned in on the next pitch, his next at-bat, or the next play. Not much of a conversationalist either from what we’ve heard, not one for horseplay, rarely smiling, never laughing, just totally focused on baseball. The basics, the fundamentals, they work for him.

He’s off to relatively slow start at the plate this season, with his 292 batting average. He has two home runs, eight doubles and 16 runs batted in. Forget about stolen bases or triples, he is not a gambler or fleet of foot. Expect his batting average to improve, however, because he’s always striving to get better at everything he does. His future is as a pitcher. Expect him to do well at that position in professional baseball.

Last season, McKay finished 9-3 with a 1.77 ERA, four saves and 117 strikeouts in 96.2 innings while starting 13 games and making 20 appearances overall on the mound. Had a .308 average with four home runs, 34 RBI and 14 doubles in 58 starts as a hitter

The soft spoken sophomore is the logical choice to be No. 1 in the pitching rotation because he always seems to be in control. He earned the assignment after Kyle Funkhouser, one of UofL’s always winningest pitchers, got off to a shaky beginning. Brendan was ready, eager to bear the responsibility, embracing the challenge.

With his impressive 1.70 earned run average, McKay is off to a 6-1 start this season, third in the nation in 61 strikeouts, having recorded eight or more whiffs in six of his seven starts this season. Earlier this season, he had a career-best 13 strikeouts against Notre Dame, the most for a UofL pitcher since 2003.

Louisville football gets Clemson, Florida State early

Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson

It’s going to take a while, if ever, for teams to figure out how to stop University of Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. A possible lucky break in getting Florida State and Clemson early on the 2016 football schedule.

Yeah, we know Deshaun Watson returns next season at Clemson. We also know he runs in slow motion compared to Jackson. That could be a problem for Clemson against a veteran Louisville defense next season.

Louisville will square off against Florida State at home in week three and travel to Clemson two weeks later.  Get off to a good start this time around and it could be a special season for the Cardinals.

“This another challenging schedule overall,” head coach Bobby Petrino said. “We have six teams who played in bowl games last season and three teams that finished the year ranked in the top 25. We have a lot of work to do before we start playing games, but with an experienced team returning, they understand the challenges ahead of them and know what kind of preparation is needed to be a successful football team.”

Houston is other nationally-ranked team on the 2016 schedule, on the road in the second-to-last game.

UofL will also play Duke, NC State, Wake Forest, Kentucky and Charlotte at home. The road schedule also includes Syracuse, Marshall, Virginia, and Boston College.

The 2016 football schedule:
Date Opponent Location Time
Thursday, Sept. 1 Charlotte PJCS TBA
Friday, Sept. 9 at Syracuse Syracuse TBA
Saturday, Sept. 17 Florida State PJCS TBA
Saturday, Sept. 24 at Marshall Huntington, WV TBA
Saturday, Oct. 1 at Clemson Clemson, SC TBA
Friday, Oct. 14 Duke PJCS TBA
Saturday, Oct. 22 NC State PJCS TBA
Saturday, Oct. 29 at Virginia Charlottesville, VA TBA
Saturday, Nov. 5 at Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA TBA
Saturday, Nov. 12 Wake Forest PJCS TBA
Saturday, Nov. 19 at Houston Houston TBA
Saturday, Nov. 26 Kentucky PJCS TBA
Saturday, Dec. 3 ACC Title Game Charlotte, NC TBA

Something to build on for Louisville football

Youth is an excuse for a while but it gets old quickly.

What a difference between the first and second halves for the University of Louisville defense, going from dominating the Florida State offense in the first half to getting flattened by the same unit in the second half.

The lasting impression from the first 30 minutes was that of a very aggressive UofL football team that had FSU quarterback Everett Golson running for cover. The kind of defense Louisville fans had been expecting from this year’s team, holding Florida State to zero net rushing yards and two field goals.

The letdown was so pronounced that it makes one wonder what may have occurred during the locker room at the intermission. More likely the UofL players were congratulating themselves, expecting more of the same in the second half but losing their edge, forgetting what gave their team a 7-6 lead at the half. Or maybe they were just spent, having exerted so much energy on a hot, muggy day in Tallahassee.

What they demonstrated in the first half was that this is a Louisville team with the potential to compete with top-level teams, playing inspired football, looking like a team capable of running the table the rest of the way. Unfortunately, they gave the impression in the second half that they will be lucky to achieve a winning record this season, much less getting to a bowl game.

Before writing off the rest of the season, however, one should acknowledge that Florida State is a good team with superior athletes, making the adjustments it needed to make in the second half. Dalvin Cook will definitely be playing on Sundays in the NFL, making some professional athletes look inept as well. Expect Florida State to have its way with Clemson and again go undefeated in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season.

Louisville, meanwhile, needs to get over that second half and focus on what is possible. Except for that second half against FSU, UofL was getting better in every game, in a position to win each of them.

What appears to be lacking right now is the kind of vocal leadership provided by players like Lorenzo Mauldin. Someone who set the example, giving everything he had and more, putting his body on the line, demanding his teammates do the same. Those leaders will have to surface this week if they are going to emerge.

Bobby Petrino should have the video for the first 30 minutes of the Florida State game running non-stop in the locker room this week. That’s the kind of effort he needs from this Louisville football team. But for 60 minutes. Every game.