Louisville Football Halfway To Where?

By Paul Sykes

Louisville football is about where most fans thought it would be at this time of the season, despite all the chatter about not meeting expectations. Whether the team has shown improvement or not may strongly hinge on one’s perspective, whether one looks at things objectively or subjectively.

  • At the halfway point, Louisville is 2-4 overall and 0-2 in Big East play. My preseason picks and had Steve Kragthorpe’s team at 3-3, the Kentucky loss the only miss.
  • Louisville has actually gained more first downs than the opposition, 119-111. Of these, 62 have come by air and 49 on the ground. I would have lost the bet on that stat.
  • As for the highly-debated lack of third down conversions, Louisville has converted 35 of 91 times while limiting the opposition to 35 of 90 third down successes.
  • Three linebackers lead  the tackling. Jon Dempsey with 33 solo, 31 assisted, Chris Campa with 21 solo and 20 assisted and Antwon Canady in fourth place with 17 solo and 12 assisted. Telling fact: both Dempsey and Campa are juco transfers.
  • Justin Burke, despite his sidelining, still leads in passing attempts, passing touchdowns and interceptions. Louisville is averaging 237 yards through the air, the opposition 201 yards.
  • Louisville has coughed up the ball seven times this year while recovering only one. U of L has lost at least one fumble in nine of the last 10 games.
  • The longer the better? Ryan Payne is a perfect one of one attempt from 40- yards out on field goals. He’s three of four from 30-39 yds. and three of five from 20-29 yds.

My nominee for missing in action is Troy Pascley who had 12 catches and four touchdowns last season. Nowhere to be found in 2009. The pleasant surprise has to be Cameron Graham,  a junior who has overcome the injuries that plagued him last year with 12 catches and two touchdowns.

How do you see the U of L finishing the season? Who has been a pleasant surprise thus far? Who are the underachievers?


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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.

6 thoughts on “Louisville Football Halfway To Where?

  • October 21, 2009 at 8:36 am
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    Pre-season I predicted 3-9…they might make that…or 4-8

  • October 21, 2009 at 9:53 am
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    5-7. Gut feeling that there will be an upset at one of the three “un-winable” road games that will make Jurich’s decision more difficult.

  • October 21, 2009 at 10:47 am
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    I had predicted 6-6. Tough road ahead to reach that now. I think that the pleasant surprise for me this year is the recovery and performance of Scott Long. Stay healthy, Trent. My MIA is any semblance of a defensive pass rush. Gotta put the heat on the passer and UofL can’t seem to. Could Dexter Heyman help here?

  • October 22, 2009 at 9:01 am
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    Let me furnish some content from the October 21 on line edition of The Sporting News which had four references to UofL football.

    The first was simply that someone we had offered chose to go elsewhere. We have been mentioned in that area almost weekly.

    The second was in the “Feeling the Heat” article which lists Krags as on the number one hot seat. Some comments were “His teams are 13-17 in 2 1/2 years and have lost their last eight games against BCS teams and 10 of the last 12. Arrived in 2007 with with 17 starters returning from an Orange Bowl champion team and couldn’t build on the momentum….. Lowlight: Two losses to a horrific Syracuse program in two tries; three losses to rival Kentucky.”

    Third is in the BE review which says last year we “appeared overmatched at times against quality competition. The problems that plagued the Cardinals then – penalties, turnovers and a decided lack of depth are the same ones that plague them now” which says things are not getting any better.

    The fourth was in the “What We Learned” article which in part featured UC. It concludes with “It’s probably safe to say that Cincinnati can find a way to beat Big East LIGHTWEIGHT (my capitalization) Louisville this weekend with Collaros. Or frankly, with you or I under center.”

    Lest you think one individual at TSN has a vendetta against us I point out that these four references were written by four different individuals. We have become a punching bag for analysts. And a laughing stock for opponents’ fans.

    Thank you Steve Kragthorpe.

    • October 22, 2009 at 9:37 am
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      With Halloween falling on a Saturday this year, I wonder just how many will show up at the Arkansas State game? We’ve talked to three couples that won’t be attending and, honestly…a pot of chili, beers and watching the kids come to the door sounds as much fun as watching us play the boys from Jonesboro.

      It may be the last Cardinal win of the year, though…so I’ll be there. On the bright side, the Lady Cards play the next day in Freedom Hall.

  • October 22, 2009 at 9:17 am
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    Just putting things together from some things I’ve heard is that kragthorpe still feels like he has done things right and and the job was just too big at fixing things and a lot of bad luck. I think he has had some bad luck with career ending injuries, but the rest proves he’s living on another planet.

    Just leave Steve.

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