The question is whether to go for a first down, less than a inch to go in overtime.

Yes, of course. That is if one wants to make a statement about how far Louisville football has advanced this season.

Definitely not, if one is inclined to play it safe, going for the field goal to get points on the board.

Few, if any, of the UofL fans in the crowd of 43,887 seemed interested in taking the conservative route. Neither was Charlie Strong, the man responsible for such optimism.

This team has come a long way this season. From non-achieving and irrelevant to being competitive in every outing. Louisville outplaying South Florida in every phase most of the day. The coaching staff, players and fans maybe too eager to take the next step. A little too confident.

Justin Burke inches short. Field goal South Florida for a 24-21 win, first time in Louisville. The second guessing had already begun before fans entered the tunnel leading to the Green Lot.

Give the ball to Bilal Powell with his 140 yards for the day? Or to Jeremy Wright with his fresh legs and quickness? The only thing certain with 20/20 hindsight was that Justin Burke would not have sneaked, not with the defense lined up three deep over the center.

Charlie Strong didn’t need to make a statement. The program is light years ahead of where it was at this time last season.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

11 thoughts on “Desire to make a statement costly for Louisville football”
  1. Well Charlie i guess you where right about the fan support for football games late in the season,big game yesterday, against a good team, and hardly anybody showed up.Thirty minutes before kickoff and hardly anybody was inside the stadium, i know it was a early game, but early games are a part of big time college football.I guess having big time college football in a basketball crazy state is nearly impossible.

    1. One problem for people arriving late was the traffic control in the green lot. We reached the back end of the green lot (the D section) on northbound Floyd and it took us 17 minutes to enter the A gate less than what would be 3 blocks if there were cross streets.

      Why? One problem is the number of cars coming southbound on Floyd making the required left turn into the lot an exercise in futility. And then the people walking up the center from the B, C, and D sections limit cars getting to the driveway area of the lot. There was a security person controlling the walkway but showed such favoritism to the pedestrians that often when there was a gap in the southbound Floyd traffic no one could turn into the lot because it was backed up to the street.

      Sure people need to leave home earlier (we made it to our seats with five minutes to spare) but UofL needs to address these two issues. One suggestion would be to give the guardian of the crosswalk a walkie talkie so he/she could be alerted of how far back Floyd is backed up. A second suggestion would be having the security on Floyd stop the southbound traffic (I have no idea where it is coming from because the instructions on the back of my parking pass don’t indicate it being allowed south of A) so the northbound cars which back up onto the Waterson can make their turn.

      We should be thankful we have more on site parking than almost any on campus stadium but that doesn’t mean the traffic couldn’t be handled better.

      1. The last time I came south on Floyd with a friend, the signs indicated no southbound traffic on that street. The police were allowing them, however. I usually leave home three hours before a game. We just enjoy the atmosphere around football games so much.

        1. When he says three hours, guys, he really means that, or even more! Never does the car get to a destination, when the observer is driving, as quickly as to a UofL event. Any good suggestions for breakfast Sat. besides our usual country ham and biscuits? GO CARDS!

  2. Take the three, IMHO. The worse scenario possible in college football overtime is failing to score on your opening possesion. That gives the other team a couple of chances to advance the ball for a chip shot…or even get six.

    Take the three. IMHO. I’ll support any decision tht Charlie Strong makes…he’s the head coach…but I’m entitled to my opinion.

  3. I was in favor of going for it and still am. The game really didn’t come down to just that one play. There were seven big plays in the game. USF made five and we made two. That’s the bottom line.

  4. I think it should have been handed off to powell, he has enough mass to make it the extra inch the that QB lacks. what was up with the passing game? we passed twice to the other team, and almost passed 2 more times in the game to wide open defenders?! Was I the only one calling for little Will to be put in? something crazy was going on, perhaps Burke should be checked for red-green color blindness?

    1. Burke was hit on his INT. That’s why the ball went off line. And the other INT was on Brown. And maybe we now know why he hasn’t thrown before from the WildCard.

  5. First game in many years I was able to attend. Something that I don’t understand is why every time Justin Burke is in the QB sneak, he stands straight up instead of staying behind center and staying low. Today wasn’t the only time he’s done this. He’s a senior and should known better.

    But, that didn’t cost UL the game. Special teams need a lot of work still and the INT’s cost the Cards. Except for the long USF run and pass, the defense was on it like Donkey Kong.

    1. Seemed like the right thing to do at the time. But now we know we should have listened to our head instead of our heart. That gets you in trouble a lot of times.

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