Category Archives: Football
Well maybe this one isn’t in time for the whole weekend, since it’s late Friday night. But hey, life happens, and posts are sometimes difficult to get published in a timely manner. But this is still Justin Time for Saturday and Sunday at least.
Cards getting FIU at the perfect time
I will try to do an expanded prediction piece of the FIU game on Saturday morning, so I will keep this fairly brief. I think the perfect medicine for the Louisville football team following a loss at Virginia, is this game against FIU. Louisville beat this team 72-0 last season, and while some people say this FIU team has improved, that was a Charlie Strong coached team that scored 72 points. FIU will start a freshman quarterback who I think will be very overwhelmed by the speed of the Louisville defense. He and the head coach both talked about how their last opponent, Pittsburgh, was built to be big and strong and kind of slow. But Louisville is completely different and very fast. I don’t think even they realize how fast the defense is.
In their weekly football recap, Florida International head coach Ron Turner and quarterback Alex McGough talked about their game against Pittsburgh and previewed the Louisville matchup a little bit. FIU led Pittsburgh 16-0 before eventually falling 42-25.
The quarterback is a true freshman and certainly doesn’t seem to lack any confidence when it comes to playing the Cards. I don’t think he realizes what he is in for. But I guess if you are an FIU fan, you have to like his attitude.
Although the Louisville Cardinals are currently not ranked in the Top 25, there are still some intriguing games this weekend, highlighted by an ACC clash between (1) Florida State and (22) Clemson. Quarterback Jameis Winston will not play in the first half, so this one could get interesting. Personally, I would still love to see the Seminoles undefeated when they visit Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on October 30.
If you aren’t going to make the playoff, I know that rankings don’t matter too much, but of course you still want your team to be ranked. Louisville has some ground to make up, as they are the last team on “others receiving votes” in the AP poll. That essentially has them ranked 44th. Speaking of that, the ACC has three teams knocking on the door of being ranked: North Carolina (26), Duke (27), and Virginia Tech (29).
The action starts tonight as (5) Auburn hits the road to face (20) Kansas State in what is sure to be a rowdy environment.
(20) Kansas State vs (5) Auburn 7:30 ESPN
(11) Michigan State vs Eastern Michigan 12:00 Big Ten Network
It seems like it is taking forever for the next game to get here. Anytime your team loses, you just want them to get back on the field as soon as possible to get the nasty taste of defeat out of your mouth. Florida International just happens to be that unfortunate team that has to play the Cards on Saturday. Although there is nothing they can do to get the win back at Virginia, you can bet that Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals will come out and play like they are trying to win two games on Saturday, not just one.
According to quarterback Will Gardner, and offensive coordinator Garrick McGee, Tuesday’s practice, the first since that loss, was a solid start to the week of preparation for FIU. “We had a really great practice,” Gardner said. “The guys were flying around making plays. I was very accurate. Things were going great today. The offensive line was finishing blocks. It was a great practice out there today.”
ESPN.com released their updated ACC Power Rankings on Sunday, and the Cards dropped down to 8th. With games still remaining against Florida State and Clemson, Louisville definitely will have their chance to show where they belong on this list.
Well Saturday was just an ugly game, there is no other way to put it. Turnovers left and right by both teams, no real rhythm, just a weird game. After the first drive by UofL, you thought that things were good and we were going to roll to an easy victory. And then the rest of the 1st quarter happened, along with the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
I was at the game, and I haven’t watched it on DVR yet, which always shows some things that you miss while at the game. So I can only go off of things that I saw from the upper level and gathered by talking to other people about the game.
First off, man it’s rough being at a road game and losing. I packed 5 shirts for the trip, all Louisville. So after the game, and on Sunday while still there for a little bit, and the trip home that takes you through West Virginia, I would be in a Louisville shirt. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Honestly the Virginia fans didn’t really say too much. They were more excited for their own team than worrying about disrespecting Louisville fans. At least that is what I saw. Their excitement doubled when they learned that Virginia Tech lost to East Carolina. So overall, they had a pretty good day.
This week’s edition of Justin Time for the Weekend may be a little shorter than usual. Of course I did not get this done ahead of time, so it is about 6:45 a.m. on Friday as I type this. But the first topic I cover will explain why this post will likely be a little less content than normal. I hope everyone has a great weekend and it is highlighted by a Louisville victory on Saturday in our second ACC football game.
Heading to Virginia
That’s right. In about an hour or so, I will be hitting the road and heading towards Charlottesville, Virginia to see the Cards in their first ACC road game. I am hoping I am able to make one road trip a year to check out all of the ACC schools. Not sure I will make it to Syracuse for a football game in the Carrier Dome, because blah. I have a lot of friends going to South Bend for the Notre Dame game, which will be amazing I’m sure. But I can’t make it up there this year, so that one would be a while before I could get back. But it will be nice to be able to check Virginia off the list. I hear it is a beautiful campus and town.
Virginia was picked to finish last or at least close to last in nearly every ACC projection that I saw. Now whether they will or not remains to be seen. But that was at least the perception of them heading into the season. In saying that, I am way more excited to see us play Virginia than someone like Temple, SMU, Houston, Memphis, and other teams in our former conference. The middle of the pack and lower tier teams of the ACC are just way more exciting to me than what we are used to. Not to mention, this is just a big game in general as the Cards will try to start out 2-0 in the conference, with the next conference game being against Wake Forest at home.
Bobby Petrino told the media on Thursday that running back Michael Dyer is still questionable for the Virginia game on Saturday. He has practiced the last two days, but is still sore. According to Howie Lindsey, Petrino said that Dyer wants to be back, but there is atrophy in the thigh. Livestrong.com describes atrophy in the leg: The most common reason for atrophy to occur in the legs is disuse. Lack of activity for any reason — illness, injury, seated desk job, sedentary lifestyle — can lead to loss of leg muscle.
When the depth chart was released, it showed Dyer as the backup running back. If he is unable to go for the third straight game this season, L.J. Scott will likely move into the backup role behind Dominique Brown. I think we are all comfortable with Scott as the backup, but it sure would be nice to have Michael Dyer back soon.
Special to CardinalSportsZone.com from Andrew Ramspacher.
The following breakdown of the Virginia Cavaliers was sent to me by Andrew Ramspacher, who is the beat writer for the team for the Daily Progress in Charlottesville. Who better to get information from than the guy who covers the team daily? Here you go!
As of three weeks ago, this was clearly going to be Greyson Lambert’s team. The redshirt sophomore quarterback had been with the first team since day one of spring ball, was named co-captian in April and appeared on the cover of the media guide. He would take over from the brutal David Watford experiment (eight touchdowns, 15 interceptions as the starter in 2013) and was destined to break the on-going QB carousel that defined the Mike London era.
But then came the 2014 season opener in which Lambert was intercepted twice for touchdowns in the second quarter and the UVa staff threw in little-known Matt Johns. All Johns did was immediately lead a touchdown drive and nearly rally the Cavaliers to an upset of the then-No. 7 Bruins.
The depth charts for both the Louisville Cardinals and Virginia Cavaliers are listed below. The first thing that sticks out about Louisville’s, and it isn’t a surprise, is Michael Dyer listed as the backup running back. Hopefully this means he is finally healthy. He showed flashes of what he could do in the first game last season and then this spring, but that’s it. Other than that, he has been hampered by injuries. A healthy Michael Dyer gives the Cards a huge weapon for ACC play.
There aren’t really any other surprises on the rest of the depth chart, which is good. Let’s keep continuity and stay healthy. And when you see someone listed as a backup and not a starter, it really isn’t a big deal. We know the main guys who will get to play, whether they start or not.
With Virginia, they will go with two quarterbacks during the game, as they have in the first two games this season.
11 Will Gardner 6-5 226 So.
7 Reggie Bonnafon 6-3 206 Fr.
12 Brett Nelson 6-4 220 Sr.
The ACC Digital Network released this video just a few hours ago. Lorenzo Mauldin has been a fan-favorite for quite some time. He certainly wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve. Most people know his story about his background, and whether you do or don’t already know, this is worth a watch. I believe this originally aired before the season started on an ACC preview show, but I only caught the last part of it then. Check it out.
On Monday, Virginia head coach Mike London met with the media for his weekly press conference. He talked about the upcoming game against the Cards as well as the state of his own team, and VirginiaSports.com has the full transcript, which you can read below.
COACH LONDON: We’ll start with a brief comment about Louisville, our ACC opponent this week. I’ve had a chance to meet Coach Petrino over the last couple of head coaches meetings. I’ve known him over the years and his coaching accolades and things that he brings to his team. Their team is playing very well. This will be a great challenge for us. We’re excited about the challenge as these guys come into Charlottesville. So I’ll take any questions.
Q. You guys are second in the country in turnovers forced through two weeks. What does it say about the players? What’s it say about the schemes that you guys have been able to bring in two years ago, basically, alter everything sort of two years ago. Was there a missing piece of this defense, and now two years later you’re tops in the country two weeks into the season?
COACH LONDON: It’s been a mindset, a concentrated mindset on turnovers and how it changes the game. Obviously we had success last week with the seven turnovers and if you look back – has led to about 31 points. I don’t think we had that all of last season. The guys defensively are doing a pretty good job with Eli, and Max Valles coming off the edge and some of the other things that are happening, they’re causing havoc. And the strip sack, cause fumble, the interceptions, all those things that have been geared towards playing better defense. The players have bought into that. We have to continue that. We have to continue. It’s great that we had it in two games, but we need to do it particularly this game because this team we’re playing is a very good team. But the mindset defensively has been to create turnovers and give yourself a chance to win.
This week on 55……….
We talk commitments……HUGE commitments. How the Cards are doing under Bobby P. Red-White scrimmage tickets go on sale. Hot dogs, Nelson, Intrastate rivals and more. Is there one more big commitment in the CARDS for UofL this week? I say L yeah! So strap in, here are the 55 most ridiculous things I have heard, had to debate, or just thought about this past week. This …..is……55.
1) ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC………..I’m really not sure if I said it enough times but ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC ACC. My bad, I know that was the same #1 as it was last week but so much more respect nationally just due to the conference switch. Much more fun league to be a part of as well. Got the following tweet right after the game….
3) Last year we would have “slipped by” or “escaped” This year we shut down a top ACC team. So proud of this team…..
4) Read my experience from my first ACC game here
Louisville freshman running back L.J. Scott had a heck of a game on Saturday against Murray State. He rushed for 126 yards on 11 carries (11.5 yards per rush) and had 1 touchdown. His longest rush was for 68 yards. He also had 1 catch for 8 yards.
Because of that performance, Scott was named the ACC Rookie of the Week. The freshman came into this season with a lot of hype because of how well he has performed since the spring when he got to campus early. He definitely showed what he can do and gave Cards fans a glimpse of what the future will look like at the running back position.
UofL has announced that the Louisville-FIU football game on September 20 will kickoff at 3:30 pm ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports 1. The Cards beat FIU 72-0 last season.
A reminder that this week’s game at Virginia will kickoff at 12:30 pm ET and be shown on the ACC Network, or WAVE 3 locally.
Bobby Petrino just picked up a commitment from Paul Harris, a 6’4 wide receiver who is a former Tennessee Volunteer. Harris now plays at Iowa Western Community College. He is originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland.
Coming out of high school, Harris was a 4-star prospect on Rivals. He is currently a 3-star on 247 Sports. The Cards will lose some big experience at wide receiver after this season, so bringing in the 6’4 Harris is a great thing for Petrino.
There aren’t too many exciting games (on paper) in the ACC today, or in college football for that matter. There are a couple of ranked games around the country, but honestly, it’s college football. So of course it’s still exciting! The ACC should have a pretty good day today, and carrying the flag for the conference will be Virginia Tech as they try to take down Ohio State.
There are some other games of interest to me. I’d like to see Virginia have a win since we play them next week. After the performance last week, Wake Forest needs a win anytime they can get one, so hopefully today is it for them. Troy usually has a good team, so Duke could be challenged. I would like to see Miami have a dominant game, anything to make our win look even better! San Diego State is usually a solid program, so North Carolina could have a decent game on their hands. Then obviously the big one with Virginia Tech and Ohio State. I guess you could say I am very wrapped up in this whole ACC thing. College football is fun. Oh, and Go Cards!
Here is the full schedule of games for the ACC. It looks like it is ESPN3 day for the conference.
I started this new weekly blog last week, and I must say that I think I am going to enjoy doing it. If not, you will know because it will just stop. But the point of it is just to give my thoughts and opinions on whatever comes to mind, obviously focusing on UofL sports. But rather than just posting facts and passing along information, this is more of an open forum for me. Like with most of these types of posts that I do, I go into it with a little plan, and just start typing and see what happens. It seems to work better that way for me. Maybe there should be more of a plan, I don’t know. I haven’t taken 1 journalism class in my life so I am not 100% sure how that whole process works. I will just type what comes to mind, and hopefully you enjoy reading it. If not, here is my apology: sorry. Now, onto this week’s topics for you to read about Justin time for the weekend!
The 6-0 start is there for the taking
When the football schedule came out, we were all excited to see the big names like Florida State, Notre Dame, Clemson, and Miami. We realized we finally had a good schedule and we are not in the AAC or Big East anymore. The more you looked at the schedule, the more you may have noticed that the second half of the schedule is much tougher than the first half. I couldn’t help but think that if we just got by Miami, a 6-0 start was very possible. Well, we got by Miami for sure. Now just take a look at the next 5 games.