Tag: Louisville football
With semester exams out of the way, tis the season for transfers.
First one out at the University of Louisville is Ryan Mack, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound redshirt tackle from Memphis. He started 12 football games during his sophomore season and six games this year before losing his spot to Aaron Epps, a 6-foot-7, 285-pound redshirt junior.
Shortly thereafter, UofL’s offensive line began to show significant improvement.
Football fans should be familiar with Mack’s No. 74, frequently called out by officials for all those false starts, resulting in losses of field position, momentum, and five-yard penalties for UofL. All a matter of timing.
Next one out the door is Akoy Agau, the 6-foot-7 sophomore basketball player from Omaha by way of the Sudan. While Coach Rick Piitno is fond of players from Africa, Agau never showed much promise during his freshman year. He has seen limited action in three games this season after recovering from sports hernia surgery in July.
The rumored departure of starting guard Chris Jones, fanned by University of Kentucky huckster and bootlicker Matt Jones, turned out to be either a toal fabrication or wishful thinking on Jones’ part. Anyone who defends Matt Jones deserves him.
The last vestiges of the aluminum bleachers from the old Cardinal Stadium at the Fairgrounds have finally been pulled or knocked down. And as this video from Business First indicates, it was not a job for the faint of heart.
For fans wanting chairs from the first and third-base sides, we’re told that the Kentucky State Fair Board still has that under consideration. But first, the board has to get a $3 million demolition request approved by the Kentucky General Assembly, which is no easy matter. Probably a cliffhanger in the closing hours of the legislative session.
Jeremy Smith was scheduled to visit Notre Dame last week, then head for Alabama for a couple of days over the weekend. But he made some significant changes in his itinerary and wound up at the University of Louisville.
So much for the Irish and the Crimson Tide.
Smith obviously liked what he saw and heard during his Louisville visit, and has made a verbal commitment to become an integral part of the UofL football program.
A 6-foot-2, 225-pound running back transferring from Fresno (Calif.) City College, Smith rushed for 1,735 yards and scored 17 touchdowns this past season. He capped it off with with 168 yards and a touchdown in a season-ending win in the State Center Bowl.
Smith played high school football at Hammond High Magnet School in Louisiana. He exploded for 447 yards and seven touchdowns in a game against Pearl River High as a junior in 2012.
If Gerod Holliman wasn’t tracking down the football, the ball was finding him.
Entirely appropriate that Holliman would make a pick on the last play of the regular season, intercepting a pass from Kentucky’s Patrick Towles, returning the ball 65 yards to nail down a 44-40 win for the University of Louisville.
The interception was Holliman’s 14th of the season, tying an NCAA record.
Holliman was honored Thursday with the Jim Thorpe Award for the 2014 season, the highest honor a defensive back can receive, and he was also named first team All-America on the Walter Camp team. He is the first UofL player to earn first team Walter Camp honors since defensive end Elvis Dumervil in 2005.
Holliman was also named a first team CBS All-American on Wednesday and was a first team All-ACC selection by the media and coaches this season.
The redshirt sophomore made at least one interception in nine of 12 games. He amassed 245 return yards on picks and returned one for a touchdown. He also had 37 tackles, including three for a loss, in nine starts. He had one sack and three pass break-ups.
Holliman was one three finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. He edged out Alabama junior Landon Collins, credited with 95 tackles, six pass breakups and three interceptions, and Oregon senior defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, with 63 tackles and two interceptions.
Keeping it in the family.
Wide Receiver Gerald Christian will play his final game with the University of Louisville football in the Belk Bowl but his kinfolk will continue to maintain a strong rooting interest in the Cardinals after the bowl game.
Gerald’s younger brother, Geron, a 6-foot-4, 305-pound offensive lineman has made a verbal commitment to play at UofL as a member of the incoming 2015 class. He played his high school football at Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic, which had an 11-3 won-lost record this season.
Geron had previously committed to play at the University of Miami. He also received interest from numerous schools, including Arkansas, Mississippi State, Central Florida and East Carolina.
Filling gaps on the offensive line is critical for the University of Louisville football staff, with three of five starters graduating this year.
Christian is the 21st commitment in this recruiting class. The signing period begins Feb. 4.
According to some, the LSU administration was insecure about its ability to sell tickets for an LSU-UofL matchup in the Music City Bowl and, as a result, the University of Louisville football team will be playing Georgia in the Belk Bowl on Jan. 30.
While the traveling distance — an eight hour drive to Charlotte as opposed to 2 1/2 hours to Nashville — is a concern to some Cardinals’ fans, the actual matchup is even better, with UofL ranked 20th, Georgia 13th in the final College Football Playoff ranking.
If the claim is true, Louisiana is mired in the mid-Sixties about football perceptions. Reportedly using its clout to lobby for what it perceived to be a bigger name opponent, LSU was able to get Notre Dame, practically guaranteeing a win over a traditional power.
Or, shudder to think that Steve Kragthorpe, a former UofL football coach fired after three disastrous seasons, may have had a hand in the decision. Kragthorpe is listed on LSU’s roster as Chief of Staff and Special Assistant to the Head Coach. Hard to imagine him wanting LSU to run up against Louisville.
We get it that UofL fans should be insulted by what LSU fans would perceive as a sleight. What they can’t comprehend from their exalted view is that the University of Louisville is a respected football institution, with two BCS bowls to its credit and a member of the club. Typical SEC pretentiousness, we suspect.
LSU Football Coach Les Miles also may have had visions of getting his butt handed to him in Nashville, with as many as 35,000 University of Louisville fans witnessing the humiliation. That possibility would have been a bit much for a school whose universe revolves around Tiger Stadium with its 102,321 seats and its football legacy. So Miles settles for a ho-hum matchup against Notre Dame.
Would Louisville fans like to have played LSU in the Music City Bowl? Of course, but a game matching up two of college football’s better teams from the 2014 season means much more.
UofL Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham left Georgia last year to join Coach Bobby Petrino. Grantham spent four years as Georgia’s defensive coordinator where his defense was among the nation’s best in 2011. Louisville’s defense is currently ranked sixth in overall defense this season.
The Belk Bowl will be one of only 10 bowls this year that has two ranked teams competing against each other.
A grateful Bobby Petrino expressed his appreciation to University of Louisville fans for their unprecedented support during the first year of his second term as the UofL football coach — a level of support that set two important all-time marks.
A total of 55,428 fans set the single game record against the University of Miami in the opening game, and average attendance was 52,971 for six home games.
The open letter, which first appeared in the Courier-Journal, also acknowledges the 15,000 fans who traveled to South Bend for UofL’s first-ever appearance against Notre Dame.