Louisville football and those expectations

For the most part, they are who we thought they were.

  • Charlie Strong’s team has made steady progress, competitive in every game this season, only one of the six losses by more than eight points.
  • Questionable, however, is whether a 17-10 loss to West Virginia Saturday was much of an improvement over a 17-9 loss to the same team a year ago.
  • Notable that Darius Ashley was a running back last season, picking up 164 yards against WVU in 2009. The converted cornerback apparently wasn’t available for this game.
  • Louisville’s defensive unit, consistently stingy giving up yardage during conference play, allowed West Virginia only 261 total yards. But that 48-yard pass play to an uncovered Noel Devine brought back some unpleasant memories.
  • A senior-laden offensive line wasn’t up the challenge against the fourth-ranked defense in college football. One shudders to think about replacing most of the offensive line next season.
  • Quarterback Justin Burke, a distant runner up to Adam Froman in the signal-calling category. Completing 12 of 24 passes for 145 yards, with another of those dreaded game-ending interceptions.
  • Josh Chichester, the big guy again unable to haul them in, including the Justin Burke interception which appeared to be within his grasp despite being tipped. Probably asking too much.
  • Bilal Powell, not the same since the Pittsburgh mishap, managing only three yards rushing. If it’s true he was ill for several days, well …

Not who we thought they were:

  • Doug Beaumont, the most dependable receiver through the first five games, the target of only one pass.
  • Chris Philpott the leading ground gainer with his 21-yard carry on the fake punt.
  • Jeremy Wright is not superman.

Video highlights:

  • Any crowd over 50,000 is worthy of a video if you enjoy seeing the stadium near capacity. Attendance of 51,772 proves the locals can get up early enough to make noon game starts. UofL averaged 50,648 for seven games this season, including two games surpassing the 55,000 mark.
  • A Justin Burke keeper for three yards, questionable on a highlight reel, but at least it was for positive yards in a game in which Louisville netted only 26 of them on the ground:

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Charlie Springer

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

4 thoughts on “Louisville football and those expectations

  • November 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm
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    Whatever happened to those great offensive displays so typical of the Louisville-West Virginia games? They used to rag us about those during those national TV games back then. I wonder if the analysts would more impressed by the defensive struggle we saw today.

  • November 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm
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    I’m trying to understand the play calling over the last several games. Going for it on 4th and 6. Not trying any flare or screen passes. They kept stacking the box and we kept pounding right at them. I do think their defense speed was faster than our offensive line.

    • November 21, 2010 at 7:43 pm
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      Good crowd Saturday.West Virginia just had more talent than we did,their defense was really fast and i think they would have stopped any plays we tried to run,especially with Bilal Powell being ill.The good news is we,re getting more talented players next year and years to come, so the talent gap between our players and the rest of the BIG EAST players will disappear.

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