West Virginia Vignettes

You just know that many cynics and doubters among the local fan base were watching in disbelief, having convinced themselves that U of L had absolutely no chance against West Virginia. Yet the outcome was very much up in the air with less than two minutes on the clock. Maybe, just maybe, this coaching staff isn’t as bad as some people seem to believe.

Some impressions from the game:

— The defense has steadily improved as the season has progressed. One got the feeling they were finally getting the hang of it. With the exception of the Pat White escape at 1:36, they seemed to be actually having fun out there for a change.

— Chris Fowler, of the ESPN broadcast team, made an excellent point about the previous head coach over-recruiting on the offensive side. Some key players on the defensive side were offensive stars in high school and had never had to make tackles or disrupt passes. They are learning on the job.

— Rod Council does his job well, as was obvious on the pass deflection that was called pass interference and led to West Virginia’s second touchdown.

— Lamar Myles and Deon Palmer, now that is ferocity! Turned the Mountaineer offense into a bad juggling act at times.

— George Stripling showed some glimpses of why fans thought he would be special before last season. If he sees daylight, he is difficult to stop. However, he dropped several screen passes that could have keyed an upset. Also, he’s never going to run through or over anybody.

— Where was Bilal Powell? Were we just imagining how talented a runner he is or was that just wishful thinking on our part?

— Maybe Brock Bolen didn’t see more action because he was misreading blitzes and missing key blocks, putting Brohm in jeopardy. Let’s hope it was just a bad day. U of L needs his brawn in the backfield.

It’s too easy to nitpick the coaching decisions, particularly on offense where the play calling is much too predictable. One has to give the coaching staff credit for putting U of L in a position to win a game in which all the experts thought they were so outmatched.

Was the U of L defense that much improved tonight or were they merely pumped up with adrenaline playing a top 10 team? The answer to this question could help determine whether the Cards chalk up any more wins this season.

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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.

7 thoughts on “West Virginia Vignettes

  • November 9, 2007 at 2:03 pm
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    In Morgantown this morn, they are saying they played a pitiful game and still won. We played better but…

    Moral victories 10 games into the season…excuses every game…belly-aching about being screwed by missed calls or something…same precitable offense

    The key point–and Mike of the Card Chronicle blog hits it on the head–is that the nucleus of the finest O players in U of L (and Big East) history are 10 games into a go-nowhere season

    And there are no excuses for that…no matter how fancy you dance

  • November 9, 2007 at 2:56 pm
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    U of L does have a great quarterback in Brian Brohm and tremendous receiver in Harry Douglas. But the best offensive players in Big East history currently reside in Morgantown, WV.

    Ten games into the season and some of us are still deluding ourselves about the U of L offense. Due to unfortunate circumstances, the offensive line is as green as they come. That’s much of the reason Anthony Allen and Brock Bolen aren’t going anywhere and why Brian Brohm appears to be in too big a hurry much of the time.

  • November 9, 2007 at 3:29 pm
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    Charlie, I’m not delusional– nor are some other sharp FBall minds I know, shaking their heads.

    Yeah, we’re green on the O line and Brohm’s getting pressured. Wouldn’t be anywhere near the pressure or a factor if we actually had imaginative play calling and crank up the running by at least trying Powell,etc.

    D is green too — big deal. And we haven’t suddenly switched a bunch of O players to D. What 1 or 2 tops?

    No, what’s delusional is that we should be having moral victories and trying to concoct plausible excuses for losing this far into this season.

    The talent cupboard was nowhere near that bare. There was an obvious and horrendous lack of preparation for the season from the get-go…and although the D has improved 10 games in, the O has chugged in the 20’s (with supposedly great O minds at the helm). No handing out any medals for any of that in my mind…

    I’ll say it again: there are NO excuses in the corporate world at this level.

    Nobody’s happy–nobody’s really sure on K (even at the top I can tell you). But everyone has adopted the stoic party line of “this is a long-term effort” — and are simply going to gut it out.

    And hope for the best…

    Me…and most fans…are long gone already to BBall

  • November 9, 2007 at 4:36 pm
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    I have to commend Louisville for showing up to play last night. It was a great all around game by them, but you can see where they need to improve(defense) in order to consistently beat teams like WVU.

    Brohm was great last night, but I’m proud of the way the WVU defense handled him though. We had sacks, and the pressure on the QB from the D-Line is something we haven’t seen in Morgantown in quite some time.

    BTW, is Matt Simms on Louisville? I could of swore I saw him talking to Brohm last night on the sidelines.

  • November 9, 2007 at 5:46 pm
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    Where are we green on the offensive line besides right guard? Wood and Bussey were preseason All-Americans and Barlowe and Giacomini started last year. Hell, even Brian Roche was a high school All-American who would have played before now if he hadn’t gotten injured before his freshman year.

  • November 9, 2007 at 7:55 pm
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    Yes, Matt Simms is a redshirt freshman for UofL this year.

    George Stripling up the middle on 3rd and C’mon, you gotta go with Bolen there.

    For those of you who Tivo’d or DVR’d the game, look back for this. One thing that really disturbed me was one of the defensive plays before or after the nine minute mark of the 3rd quarter. One of UofL’s safeties or corners was FRANTICALLY trying to get some info out of somebody right before WVU snapped the ball. He was holding his arms up like he had no clue what the defensive play was or that somebody wasn’t in the game, or something. I’m sure confusion happens every now and then but I have NEVER seen a player looking so visually confused and/ frustrated on the field right before a play. (Oh wait, maybe when the D was leaving wideouts open on punts earlier in the year; might be comparable. Nonetheless, they were both a part of our D this year.) If someone can review the game tape and explain to me what was going on would be great.

  • November 10, 2007 at 12:46 am
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    The DB on that play wasn’t confused. He seemed to be the one that knew what was going on. There were three WR’s on that side of the field and only two DBs to cover them. He was frantically trying to get someone to move over to that side of the field.

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