A few thoughts from a glorious fall afternoon at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, watching the University of Louisville football team thoroughly dominate Syracuse:
- Even allowing for the post-upset letdown, it’s hard to believe this Syracuse team pummeled West Virginia a week ago. Makes one think the ACC might be getting itself another Duke – in football as well as basketball. And WVU might be more competitive with Kansas in the Big 12 on the gridiron than on the hardwood.
- Charlie Strong has this team improving every week, but they still make far too many errors. They had two touchdowns erased by penalties, including the best play of the day: a fake field goal in the 4th quarter that was wiped out by TWO ineligible receivers downfield. That brought some major groans from the faithful.
- Fortunately for the Cards, Syracuse was even more self-destructive, taking a bunch of costly and silly penalties.
- And Strong deserves a shout-out for the pink sweatshirt he wore to honor breast cancer victims. Truth be told, he looks better in red.
- Teddy Bridgewater is establishing himself at quarterback, taking command of the offense and often finding a way to make something out of little. He is still prone to taking the big loss by forcing things, rather than settling for a small loss when it’s the prudent thing to do. His legs got him out of trouble more than once this day, and what mistakes he made didn’t come back to haunt him.
- Given the shaky state of UofL’s punting game, why kick the ball away with one second left in the first half? Taking a knee – or heave into the end zone – might have been a better choice.
- Word to the wise: don’t go up against a UofL basketball player for Homecoming King. Kyle Kuric won last year, and Peyton Siva was definitely the crowd favorite this year. The judges liked him too – he won.
- Anxious moments for Cards fans when Dexter Heyman went down in the fourth quarter. But relief as he was joking with Strong as he came off the field. Heyman didn’t return, but his mates on defense stepped up and made some key stops down the stretch, allowing only a meaningless late touchdown.
- Just as we were thinking that one thing UofL lacks is a ground game that can chew up yards and the clock, the old Victor Anderson reappeared, high-stepping his way out of a tackle to turn the corner and motor down the sideline for the clinching TD. But the Cards still need a grind-it-out ground game…
- Really nice moment between the first and second quarter when Anthony Connor came out onto the field in a golf cart and stepped out to wave to the crowd and receive a lengthy standing ovation. He looked to be in good spirits. Syracuse fans showed some real class by joining in the standing O.
Cards are back to even on the season. If they can keep improving, could a 13th game be in their future?