Nobody would have been surprised if the Louisville defense had collapsed with Pittsburgh poised at the one-yard line. Pitt’s LeSean McCoy already had 125 yards behind him, needing only one more for his third touchdown. Overtime loomed.

Three minutes earlier, McCoy had appeared invincible, carrying six U of L defensive players with him from the five-yard line into the end zone.

Not this time thanks to Lamar Myles and Rod Council, U of L’s most consistent defenders all season long. Myles tipped the ball out of McCoy’s hands, Council recovered the fumble. Game over.

* * *

Brian Brohm suffers in comparison with himself. When he makes a mistake, people shake their heads. As good as he is, Brian badly needs to work at throwing the ball away when it’s obvious that a sack is coming.

* * *

Peanut? Peanut Whitehead? Was that you out there? Welcome aboard, man, we’ve been waiting for you forever.

* * *

The defense is improving, holding the opposition scoreless in the first quarter for the second game in a row. Not too shabby in the second and third quarters either. Gotta stay pumped when the clock is running out in the fourth.

* * *

Mario Urrutia four catches, no drops, and no penalties. No negative impressions. A feel good experience.

* * *

Bilal Powell continues to impress. Haven’t seen instincts and speed like that in U of L’s offensive backfield since the days of Arnold Jackson in the late nineties.

* * *

After the game, I had an opportunity to chat with Dennis Donoghue, the father of U of L offensive lineman Mike Donoghue, who suffered a career-ending spinal injury in the Cincinnati game. He was named a student assistant coach by Kragthorpe this week.

Dennis (see photo at right) was wearing the familiar No. 66 jersey in honor of his son. “Mike is obviously disappointed but he will be okay,” he said. “He has recently changed his major from communications to finance so he’s going through a lot of changes. We have a lot of confidence in him.”

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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.

8 thoughts on “Pitt Postlude”
  1. Only ONE more chance to watch Brian Brohm in person at home. Everyone get out there and support this team Nov.29 and let the Brohms know how much we appreciate what they have meant to Louisville football.

  2. Unfortunately, I’m a season ticket holder

    who is forced to watch these disgusting…things…at close range.

    Observations about the Pitt game:

    About 7000 no shows “voicing” disapproval

    Grey leaden sky all game, mirroring general spirit of crowd pre-game and for much of game

    UConn deja vu ugly train wreck of a finish — lucky to win the game. Drained most of fun out of game.

    Another trick play against us goes for a big gain, this time a TD (what is that–5 on the season? I quit counting. ) We used to be the team that pulled the rabbits out.

    Pedestrian, predictable play calling again, lets opposing D coordinators prepare well for us, and keeps us scoring in the 20’s (instead of 40’s) — and today we had everyone back on O, so what is the excuse now?

    The play calling says this to me: We don’t play ferociously to win –we play not to lose. The only time K gets super aggressive is with his back against the wall.

    Positives: Brian, Brock, Harry, and Bilal Powell! And maybe marginal improvement on D — but hard to tell since Pitt’s O is so bad.

    My nightmare scenario posted after the Syracuse game is going to happen: I said my fear was that K would somehow get to 5-7 or 6-6 and he’d keep his job. And we’d be stuck with mediocrity.

    Because ever since Mid Tenn (or Syracuse!) I was convinced he’s never going to be better than a top 20-40 range coach — and every game since then has merely confirmed it more in my mind.

  3. And, Charlie, it’s time for you to rev up and understand the new world of sports. It’s corporate to the core– Ricky P and Tom J use the code words all the time (branding, etc.).

    As in the high level corporate world, there is no long-term loyalty, on the part of the exec or the employer. The nonsense of wanting a top 10 coach to pledge to “stay forever” is fairy tale– unless he’s at the end of his career like Pitino.

    And though the high level corporate world is certainly not perfect, it is an effective, efficient system–and a very reasonable model to use here.

    If you don’t produce — you’re out quickly. VERY QUICKLY if you take over a smooth running system with 10 yrs of very “profitable” yrs and a ton of talent returning– and then start posting “losses”.

    There are no “excuses” at that level in business– nor should there be at this level in sports.
    The top ones simply overcome and still get it done.

    And guys like K….don’t.

  4. Excellent comments. I’m not defending anyone here, just a fan who wants to see the team get better. Before pushing anyone overboard, we should have at least one season under the belt. It has been pretty ugly up till now. We would all be shocked if somehow Kragthorpe pulled it all together and won at least two out of the last three games. The odds are very much against it but at this juncture, I don’t think we have any other choice but to wait and see. I just can’t see Tom Jurich being so far off on his choice of coaches.

  5. Tom’s human…not his fault.

    Reality in football world– good coaches aren’t sitting on the sidelines. Changes occur at end of yr, so…

    Tom’s been successfully buying young FBall coaches on the cheap for yrs– and getting away with it.

    However, FBall is the cash cow providing all these new facilities.
    Second-guessing now but…wasn’t (isn’t?) it time to try to grab a “Pitino” level FBall coach at this point of our aspiration level.

  6. Another excellent comment. What you’re saying is that we were approaching a point where the U of L program had become a destination job, certainly with the pay level that Petrino had reached. Could have picked off a top assistant somewhere. I don’t believe that realization has been made by many fans. Monday morning quarterbacking maybe, but he could have to make another decision soon. This time around go for a proven coach.

  7. Top Ten Reasons Why the Coach Should Stay

    #10–He’s already written Chapters 1-2 of, ‘Magnificent to Mediocre in Six Easy Steps.’
    #9–We can always pick up excuses that we can use at work, like ‘I acknowledge that mistake, and have corrected it.’
    #8–Our players will see lots of good-looking homecoming queens from the other schools, since we’ll always be invited that weekend.
    #7–There will be no more fear of a Big Ten school swooping down and stealing our coach.
    #6–It will be easier to recruit since we won’t have to compete against Notre Dame—just Ball State.
    #5–Games will be a lot more predictable–especially the offense.
    #4–Just when we thought we knew all the ways to lose, we will learn one more.
    #3–The Louisville Fire will sell lots more tickets to people who got hooked on exciting football.
    #2–Psychiatrists will have a banner year, treating athletic staff with delusions of adequacy.
    #1–Cats fans will finally love our choice of coaches.

  8. gentlejohn: Thank you for well thought out comments. A couple of wins might dissipate those impressions.

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