By Paul Sykes
You could sense the gleam in the eyes of the Arkansas State players. Â Driving the ball late against a beleaguered LouisvilleÂ defense. First and goal with a minute and change left. Shooting themselves in the foot to stay out of the end zone and give the Cards a scary win.
This one shouldn’t have been this close. Two missed field goals in the second half, chip shots blown by star-crossed Ryan Payne. A chance to make it 28-3 at the end of the first half but foiled by vintage Steve Kragthorpe play calling. All we needed was a witch flying out of the sky to trip up Brandon Heath on his interception return to paydirt.
- Give Will Stein all the praise he deserves for moving the first half offense as well as anyÂ Louisville quarterbackÂ has done this year.
- Give Bilal Powell a slap on the helmet for almost 100Â yardsÂ of rushing.
- Hug Darius Ashley for tacking on another 70-plus yards of elusive running.
- Credit Trent Guy for some wonderful catches.
- Thank the 21,500 fans who proved themselves worthy.
But…realize this. Louisville failed to score in the second half. Andalmost allowed a mediocre Sun Belt Conference team to take a contest to overtime that would have been played out in front of less than 5,000 fans in the waning minutes.
The final four games aren’t going to be nearly as easy. South Florida in Tampa. West Virginia in Morgantown. A dangerous, reborn Rutgers team here to end the season.
Syracuse, please come in weak in two weeks. Louisville fans would like to see a win before Tom Jurich ends an era of UofL football coaching futility.