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Tag: Louisville football

Grantham ends speculation, sticking with Louisville football

January 28, 2015 4 Comments
Todd Grantham happy here.

Todd Grantham happy here.

Todd Grantham is happy at the University of Louisville, thank you, reportedly turning down an offer to become the defensive coorinator with the Oakland Raiders.

A relieved Bobby Petrino made the announcement Wednesday, one week before the national signing day for college football.

“We’re very pleased and happy that Todd is going to be staying at the University of Louisville,” Petrino said. “He’s done a fabulous job with our defense that ranked in the top 10. He’s one of the finest assistant coaches in the country, and  you expect excellent coaches like Todd to get opportunities in the NFL. I’ve always had respect for the job that Todd has done throughout his career, especially this past year at Louisville, and we’re happy that he has and his family will continue to be members of the Cardinals’ family.”

Grantham, who is adding up frequent flyer miles on the recruiting trail, confirmed in a statement:

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to have interviewed for the defensive coordinator position with the Oakland Raiders, but I’m committed to the University of Louisville. I said when I came to Louisville that I thought we could win a national championship, and we are building toward that goal with the success we had this season. Coach Petrino and Tom Jurich have given me a great opportunity and I’m grateful for their commitment. My family loves it in Louisville, and I think we are establishing something special here with head coach Bobby Petrino and our staff. Our main objective over the next week is to finish strong in recruiting and continue to bolster this signing class.”

Case closed.

Collision course for Louisville football

January 13, 2015 2 Comments

National Championship TrophyWhile viewing the national championship football game Monday, one couldn’t help wonder what it would be like to have the University of Louisville football team competing on such a lofty platform.

ESPN indicates that for the semifinal games, some 28.3 million TV’s were tuned into the Ohio State vs. Alabama game and 28.2 million for the Oregon vs. Florida State game.

The cable network has reported that viewership for the final game was 33.4 million. That compares with NCAA basketball championship games of 21.2 million households for UConn over Kentucky in 2014 and 23.4 million for the Louisville over Michigan game in 2013.

The championship event received the highest Nielson rating for a program in cable television history, with a metered rating of 18.5% — a 21 percent increase over the BCS Championship game last season — and peaking at 20.5%. ESPN offered viewers 12 different ways of seeing the game, including the flagship station, ESPN2, ESPNU and nine other options on ESPN3.com.

The University of Louisville is scheduled to receive approximately $17.1 million annually as a member of the ACC as a result of the conference’s 15-year $240 million contract with ESPN. That could be possibly be higher, with two ACC teams participating in the lucrative Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl.

The schools don’t get any extra money based on whether they win or lose in the playoffs, although the coaches have some nice financial incentives. That’s okay. UofL couldn’t buy that kind of exposure for $17 million, but it is possible to achieve it on the playing field.

Right, Howard?

Preliminary work begins on UofL Academic Center

January 6, 2015 7 Comments

Academic CenterSome earth moving equipment is already on the scene at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, with some of the preliminary work being done on the Thornton’s Center for Academic Excellence for University of Louisville athletes.

The ongoing work will inevitably affect the current main entrance at the south end of PJCS during the 2015 season, requiring special preparations for the secondary entrances  of the stadium. The metal fence will have to come down, of course, and some tailgaters may need to quit partying earlier to get to their seats in time for kickoff.

At least one architectural rendering (below) appears to indicate that the south end will continue to be the main entrance. Ground-floor walkways through the center of the facility will provide fans with some interaction and appreciation for the the new center.

The exterior of the academic center will be striking, adding a unique and majestic new look to the stadium. The 40,000-square-foot facility will have tutorial space, laboratories, and offices and classrooms to serve more than 750 student-athletes across the university’s 23 sports.

Vice President of Athletics Tom Jurich has indicated that construction probably will begin in late March, with completion expected in time for the 2015-16 academic year.

Screenshot 2015-01-06 11.44.33

Why the loss to Georgia was easier to digest

January 1, 2015 0 Comments

Another new year, halfway through the first year in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

What this observer realized in the moments following the University of Louisville football team’s loss to Georgia in the Belk Bowl, a 37-14 blowout, was that the defeat was a bump in the road. That UofL had exceeded expectations the past season, with a new coaching staff, injuries to two starting quarterbacks, and seven games without DeVante Parker.

UofL fans celebrated entry into the ACC in July.

UofL fans celebrated entry into the ACC in July.

Competitive with such programs as Notre Dame, Clemson and Florida State, confirming that Louisville’s previous successes, which included wins in two BCS bowls, were not aberrations, anomalies, departures from reality.

In the past, an embarrassing loss to a team like Georgia would have been devastating, a major setback in the overall progress of UofL’s athletic program, making it more difficult to schedule programs with perceived stronger traditions, a hindrance to Louisville’s efforts to join a better conference. But those are no longer concerns with Louisville in the ACC, which guarantees the schedule will continue to be respectable and offer opportunities for UofL to compete for national championships.

It could be argued that with Louisville’s new conference affiliation the win meant much more for Georgia. A win over an ACC team instead of a Big East program. Not that that makes any easier for the ACC to digest, especially with Clemson’s 40-6 rout of Oklahoma, Georgia Tech’s 49-34 win over Mississippi State, and Notre Dame beating LSU 31-28.

Don’t get me wrong. The loss to Georgia, especially by such a lopsided margin, was depressing, suggesting that UofL football still has a long way to go and could get off to an embarrassing start in the opening game against Auburn next season. But having an ACC schedule assures that Louisville will not be locked out of the process as in the past.

Louisville defense has no answers for Chubb

December 31, 2014 3 Comments

The bad news is the University of Louisville lost 37-14 to Georgia in the Belk Bowl. The consolation prize that UofL, because of its membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference, will continue to face high level competition on a consistent basis.

Any hopes for another big-time victory over a ranked opponent began to fade early in the second quarter with second-string quarterback Reggie Bonnafon struggling to move the offense. A surprising move by Coach Bobby Petrino, suggesting that he wasn’t all the happy with the choices of Kyle Bolin.

Bolin wasn’t connecting and Georgia was figuring out Brandon Radcliff. Offense was stalling, time to try something new. But Bonnafon was back to his back to his youthful quarterback ways, throwing an interception on his third passing attempt, Georgia scoring two plays later, going up 20-7.

Big mistake, Coach Bobby Petrino expecting Bonnafon to outmaneuver a serious defense any better than he had in previous outings. Bonnafon still way behind the curve, lacking the speed and instincts to overcome shortcomings and inexperience.

The second big mistake, one smacking of desperation, was trusting kicker Ryan Johnson to be able to pull off a trick play on the fake punt. Johnson’s unconstested pass attempt fluttering in the wind and falling fall short of the intended receiver.

One also has to question having James Quick out there again on kickoff returns, with that one-handed carry of his tempting the Georgia defenders, onlookers expecting the ball to come popping out at any time.

Georgia clearly the better team, with an offensive line providing strong consistent protection for its quarterbacks while reducing the vaunted UofL defense to onlookers on too many occasions. Georgia’s Nick Chubb, even better than advertised, racking up 269 of Georgia’s 305 yards on the ground.

Louisville will continue to have a steady diet of strong opponents, starting with Auburn in the first game next season. UofL finishing a challenging season with a very respectable 9-4 won-lost record. Encouraging that no one is trying to steal Bobby Petrino, with his history of taking significant steps forward in the second year of his tenures.

Mauldin gets that UofL sheepskin

December 22, 2014 0 Comments

Screenshot 2014-12-22 11.54.55University of Louisville President James Ramsey gets a bear hug from senior tight end Lorenzo Mauldin during UofL’s winter commencement ceremonies over the weekend at the KFC Yum! Center. Mauldin has often said he considers Louisville his home after a childhood that saw him constantly moving in and out of numerous foster homes in the Atlanta area.

He majored in communications at UofL. Getting a degree was the ultimate for Lozo, as only he could articulate in a couple of recent tweets:

Happy trails to Ryan Mack, Akoy Agau

December 18, 2014 0 Comments

With semester exams out of the way, tis the season for transfers.

Ryan Mack

Ryan Mack

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.

Akoy Agau

Akoy Agau

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.

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