Defense Escapes With Win


Scrimmage Brings Out The Fans

Great crowd, far exceeding expectations for many observers, for the University of Louisville’s annual spring football scrimmage. This observer estimates there were between 15,000 and 18,000 fans on a perfect evening, with temperatures hovering between 60 and 65 degrees. The crowd was restricted to the west side of Papa John’s due to stadium expansion construction on the east side.

By Paul Sykes

They decided to have a “overtime” to decide the winner between the offense and defense during the spring scrimmage.

Offense with the ball at the 25-yard line, needing only to score to clinch this thing, and relying heavily on the strong second half running of redshirt freshman tailback Darius Ashley. Let there be no doubt, he did his part in moving the ball to the 2-yard line, with a 4th and goal situation.

The much-aligned defense from last year held, though on the final play. Ashley stopped on a run to pay dirt. Game over. Defense wins.

Score a win for the defensive unit in a scrimmage game that leaves a bunch of questions about this Cardinal football team this fall.

  • Ashley will be a force for this Cardinal offense if Kragthorpe has the sense to use him. No lack of respect to incumbent Vic Anderson at tailback intended, but Ashley hits the line hard … punishing … and keeps his legs moving. Count me in as a believer. I hoped he’d get a chance tonight. He did not disappoint.
  • The quarterback job is still wide open. All five contenders showed flashes of brilliance and I liked the way Justin Burke moved the offense in the second half. Still no leader going into summer workouts.
  • My hope for the future wide receiver Josh Chichester had two great catches, but also two drops that would have been touchdowns. Jury still out on him being the next great Cardinal receiver.
  • Did anyone else notice just how thin our ranks looked on defense?
    Let’s pray we get an injury free season or some fill-ins. It honestly scared me to see how few were on that side of the field.
  • Kicking game still an embarrassment. Sure, we hit the extra points, but failed to connect on four field goal attempts within 40 yards. Two excellent kickers from Butler High School scholarshipped to UConn and Murray?
  • Art Carmody, where out thou?

Still, some impressive individual and team plays on both sides of the ball. The summer workouts will determine who wants a chance at significant playing time this fall. Work hard, guys. The 15,000 to 18,000 in attendance at the scrimmage are behind you.

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Paul Sykes

Paul Sykes owns Paul Sykes Advertising and does contract work for other advertising and publishing firms. The proud husband of Sonja, he has a fascination with bears, bars and Cardinal sports. He's also the moderator of

4 thoughts on “Defense Escapes With Win

  • April 18, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I think we have a good tight end in Nathan Nord. Seems to have all the right moves. He was impressive in pulling in hard thrown balls.

  • April 18, 2009 at 8:06 am

    That was an incredible crowd, which I would have estimated to more than 20,000 people. Every time a U of L team has a good season, be it men’s or women’s basketball, football, baseball, volleyball whatever, the fan base grows. We are getting close to the point whether it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, you still have a bunch of faithful followers and that’s a great thing to have. We don’t want to be like UK fans, however, pretty much a miserable lot because they have no other interest in life. Not that they many other interests to chose from in rural Kentucky.

  • April 18, 2009 at 10:27 am

    I just want to say Zach Stoudt is the only real talent in this QB contest. He is a redshirt freshman with real potential. UofL is going to lose, and lose big this year, why not throw the kid in the fire and give him a chance to gain valuable experience. Burke, Froman, etc, UofL will not win. I’m thinking of whats best for the program down the road b/c this year is a waste. Go cards, and soon enough we will he those much anticipated words, “Steve Kragthorpe is no longer the coach of the University of Louisville Football team.”

  • April 19, 2009 at 9:13 am

    I was impressed with Zach Stoudt also on Friday night. This is new territory for Cardinal fans…an actual battle for quarterback this year. As we’ve heard for months now…this decision is “all on” Coach Krags and let’s hope he’ll give all the candidates a chance to show why they’ll be the man for the job. In the fall. Maybe even in the first game of the year. But for not real long after that.

    Receivers and quarterbacks need time to build up a familiarity with each other. Dissatisfaction can occur when, for example…QB3 has a great relationship with WR2 and they click a lot of times on the field. QB1 just can’t seem to get the ball where WR2 likes to catch it, but QB1 always hits WR1 in the catchable zone.

    It’s different, also…as a running back, if you are taking handoffs from a 5’10” QB instead of a 6’4″ QB.
    Takes time for the small but important things to click and the longer there is a QB battle, the longer it will take for the things to mesh.

    Sonja is a big fan of Tyler Wolfe. I haven’t decided on a favorite yet in the QB battle, but I’ll expect a guy back there that has some mobility, can throw on the run and can deliver both the accurate 10-15 sideline throw and the flanker bomb. Only Koach can make that final call…although I’m sure he’ll have plenty of advice fronm Cardinal Nation.

    Are we sure Dave Ragone doesn’t have any elgibility left?

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