No time to be upset, Louisville rolls over Indiana State

Jordan Nwora goes up for three of his 21 points (Cindy Rice Shelton photos).

Always a good sign when Jordan Nwora makes his first three-point attempt, setting a positive tone for his University of Louisville teammates. Quickly squelching concerns about whether there was going to be another upset in the commonwealth.

Never any question, not with Nwora sinking his first 3-pointer 39 seconds in the game. UofL making nine of its first 10 shots, racing out to 27-13 lead. Respecting their Missouri Valley Conference opponent, not overlooking anyone, overwhelming Indiana State 91-62.

Nwora with 14 points, including two threes, in the first half, winding up with 21 for the night. Still another offensive show for him, but he was also adding five rebounds and a couple of assists.

No surprise, just Samuell Williamson living up to expectations with 15 points and five rebounds (Cindy Rice Shelton photo).

Best of news for UofL fans is that he has some offensive help this season. Among the supporting cast is Dwayne Sutton who was recording his first double-double this year with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Then there is Samuell Williamson, with 15 points and five rebounds, the best performance of his young career.

Lamarr Kimble, a graduate transfer from St. Joseph’s, finally getting comfortable in a Cardinal uniform, winding up with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists. Ryan McMahon making three of four 3-point attempts for nine points, two assist and zero turnovers.

Indiana State would manage to stay within 11 points at the 16 minute mark in the second half. But that was as close as they would get the rest of the way. Not a chance of an upset this night.

Gallery photos courtesy of Cindy Rice Shelton:

Streak Lives On For Indiana State

By Paul Sykes

The opening opponent for the University of Louisville football team got their season started last night. Maybe we scheduled the wrong guys. Indiana State University extended its losing streak to 27 games, falling 26-20 in overtime to NAIA school Quincy in Terre Haute.

The doormat of college football staggers into Papa John's eight days from now.

It was “black out” night for the Sycamores, and they began the game with all intentions of doing just that to the Illinois visitors. A 40-yard field goal by Braulio Martinez got ISU off to an early 3-0 lead. Chris Stutzriem tossed a five-yard touchdown pass to Ryan Roberts midway thru the first quarter. Then running back Darrius Gates heaved a 75-yard bomb to receiver Bryant Kent at the end of the quarter to put the Sycamores up 17-0.

Quincy chipped away at the lead over the next two quarters while holding ISU scoreless. 17-3 at the half and 17-6 after 3 quarters. A wild 4th quarter saw Quincy roar back to tie the game with 40 seconds remaining but miss the winning extra point attempt.

Quincy won the overtime toss and elected to defend. They stopped the Sycamores on three minus yardage running plays and Martinez missed the mark on a field goal. Taking over the ball, they marched down to the one-yard line and punched in the winning score on a second down plunge by QB Sam Donatucci.

If any Cardinal fans were nervous about the first opponent (and I doubt any of you were) go ahead and exhale deeply. The doormat of college football staggers into Papa John’s eight days from now.

Would-Be Cards Kicker Returns To Louisville

By Paul Sykes

For Gabe Mullane, the journey has been a long one but he’s finally getting to do what he wants to do: Punt the football.

He was wearing a University of Louisville uniform when Marcus Vick did the legendary leg stomp at the Gator Bowl. He banged heads against ex-Card and current Pittsburgh Steeler William Gay in practice drills. He wore jersey #17, the number of legendary quarterback Stefan LeFors.

Mullane was among the incoming freshmen in Bobby Petrino’s talented and highly ranked 2005 class but he wasn’t so highly regarded.

The would-be punter from Canton, Ohio, was good enough for the traveling roster and back up Todd Flannery and Brent Moody.  But he wanted a little bit more than that. He transferred to Indiana State the next season, missing the chance to go to the Orange Bowl and play on Petrino’s best squad ever.

Didn’t matter. Gabe wanted to play, not watch. At ISU, he got the opportunity. Maybe more than he wanted. Last year, he punted 82 times for over 2,400 yards, had a 66-yarder for his personal best and dropped 17 of them inside the 20 yard line.

As a senior, team captain and leader, Gabe has set the bar even higher for the upcoming season. He would like to average 42 yards a kick and see the Sycamores break their 26 game losing streak. To return to Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium will be a thrill.

Here’s hoping Mullane has a great season for the Sycamores, except for the season opener for Louisville. Catch, release and boot, Gabe. This old wannabe kicker wishes you the best. Watch the shanks.

Louisville’s First Opponent Gets A Jump

By Paul Sykes

I’m not a big fan of having to open up against an opponent that will already have a game under its belt and the luxury of a couple of extra days to prepare, but this is Indiana State, not Penn State.

ISU, the University of Louisville’s opening opponent, will have one game under its belt before it arrives at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Sept. 5th. The Sycamores will host Quincy College from Illinois this Thursday evening.ISU MASCOT

  • ISU returns 19 starters from last season’s 0-12 team, including 10 players on offense and nine on defense.
  • Sophomore Chris Stolzreim, a transfer from Wyoming, has emerged as the likely starting quarterback.  He’ll have returning wideouts Koby Kraemer, Ryan Roberts, and Jeramie Gray (from Jeffersonville) as targets, as well as juco transfer Larry Lacotti, the leading receiver in a recent scrimmage. Junior running backs Darrius Gates and Antoine Brown are getting the majority of the carries in practice.
  • Defensively, the Sycamores set up in a 4-2-5. Linemen Jordan Bright, a 6-foot-7, 290-pound red shirt freshman and Milton Redwine, a 6-foot-3 junior, will test the Cards up front.  Coaches expect big things out of senior defensive back Mike Woods, who sat out 2008 with a leg injury.
  • Alex Sewell, who lead the team in tackles last year, and Larry Carter return in a secondary that ranked ninth last year in NCAA passing defense, allowing only 152 yards a game.

Louisville should win easily against the Sycamores. The margin will depend on how many guys Kragthorpe wants to have see action. My guess is that he’ll turn it over to the reserves in the fourth quarter if the Cards are comfortably ahead. Let’s go with Louisville 45-17.

Who’s up for a road trip to Terre Haute on a Thursday night to scout the Sycamores?