It was a very eventful weekend for the city of Louisville as well as the University of Louisville football program. If you are like me, you were focused on the Derby festivities, but kept an eye on the NFL Draft at least. The Kentucky Derby is what this city is known for, and I was lucky enough to have tickets, so of course that was where my attention was. But I also get mobile alerts, and somehow my phone was working at Churchill Downs, so I was aware when former Louisville players were getting drafted, which was a plus.
In all, a school record 10 players from UofL were drafted. Florida State had the most players with 11. On top of those 10 for the Cards, four (so far) have also signed free agent deals and will have a chance to make a team.
Here is just a quick rundown of where the players were selected.
The Louisville Cardinals had their football pro day on Wednesday inside the Trager Center, and there were representatives in attendance from all 32 NFL teams. There were three head coaches there: New England’s Bill Belichick, Pittsburgh’s Mike Tomlin, and Cincinnati’s Marvin Lewis. The cool thing about that to me is that they easily could have been somewhere else since both Alabama and Southern California also had their pro days on Wednesday. I am sure they sent team personnel to those also, but to have any head coaches here is a pretty big deal.
We have just seen a college career come to an end that we won’t soon forget. There are surely going to be some good wide receivers come in and play for UofL over the next several years. And the best ones will undoubtedly be compared to DeVante Parker. He has set a bar that will be nearly impossible to reach. The combination of his talent along with him being a hometown kid just make him one of the biggest fan favorites to ever come through the UofL football program.
Although he missed the first 7 games of his senior season, Parker still climbed to (or near) the top of many different categories in the UofL history books. So there will always be that “what if” factor with Parker’s numbers, especially because 6 of those first 7 games were said to be the “easier” part of the 2014 schedule. No telling what kind of numbers he would have put up against teams like Murray State, Syracuse, and Miami (again).
Here are where his final numbers rank in some of the wide receiver categories in UofL history…
As Reggie Bonnafon was being attended to early in the 2nd quarter of Saturday’s Governor’s Cup game between Louisville and Kentucky, reality started to set it: we were going to have to turn to 3rd stringer Kyle Bolin. No big deal, right? Just down 13-0 to Kentucky, who has all kinds of momentum, and Bolin entering the game completing 4-7 passes for 35 yards in his career. No panic at all in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Now be serious, you know you were worried.
I love great stories in sports. Maybe “Rudy” was still fresh in my head after having watched it last Saturday before the Notre Dame game. So immediately, I turn to my buddy I go to games with, Chris Tingley, and say “Well, he IS from Lexington.” How sweet would it be for a kid from Lexington to bring the Cards back in this game against Kentucky? The Wildcats didn’t offer Bolin a scholarship until well after he was committed to Louisville. They let him get away, and on Saturday it would come back on them.
Unless you are subscribed to our e-mail list, which sends you an e-mail every time a new post is made on CardinalSportsZone.com, there may be some things you miss during the week. By the way, getting on that e-mail list is a GREAT idea, not to mention easy. On that column there on the right (on the full site), there is a section called “Follow CSZ via email.” Just click “follow” and get signed up. It is a great way to keep up if you can’t always check out the site to see if there are new articles.
Now back to this. If you missed things during the week, or even if you didn’t but want a page with all of the links about Louisville-Syracuse from the week that we posted, here it is for you. This way you don’t have to go search if you want to see things like the depth chart or the video of Bobby Petrino talking about Syracuse. It is all listed below. If anything else gets posted today about the game, I will add it on here too. Hope this makes things easier for you. Go Cards!
Here are the depth charts listed on each team’s website for Friday night’s game between Louisville and Syracuse. For Louisville, although it does say “Will Gardner or Reggie Bonnafon,” we know that Coach Petrino has announced that Reggie Bonnafon will start the game. It does list Matt Milton as a starter at wide receiver. Personally, I am STILL waiting for him to break onto the scene. I feel like I have been hyping him up for 3 years now.
The offensive line still has the “or” word used at center and right guard. Another interesting note is that James Quick is not listed as the first or second punt returner. Sticking with special teams, Brandon Radcliff is not listed as a starting kick returner, possibly indicating that he will continue to get more carries from the running back position.
11 Will Gardner 6-5 226 So.
or 7 Reggie Bonnafon 6-3 206 Fr.
12 Brett Nelson 6-4 220 Sr.
Anytime I go to a UofL football game, I like to watch it back on DVR before typing up too much about it. It is easy to have initial thoughts and reactions while at the game, but you do notice a lot more when you watch it again on TV. So since I finally was able to do that and I just finished with it, I will close the book on the Wake Forest game with these few thoughts, before moving on to Syracuse.
*I believe that Reggie Bonnafon had a very good game. In my 3 quick hitters after the game, I mentioned this, but I have to expand on that after seeing the game again. If you just look at the stats, you would think he was average at best. He threw for 206 yards on 16/32 passing and did not throw for a touchdown. He also did not have an interception. He rushed for 46 yards on 14 carries. Two of those carries were on 3rd and long and he picked up the 1st down with big runs. Huge plays!
Speaking of 3rd and long, the rest of the offense did not do him any favors when it came to down and distance. In the first quarter, actually on the same drive, the offense for the Cards had two different penalties on 3rd down that backed them up to 3rd and long. On 3rd and 9, there was an illegal substitution that backed it up to 3rd and 14. Bonnafon would actually convert that into a 1st down with a great throw to Eli Rogers, but that kind of penalty just can’t happen. Then on 3rd and 4, the Cards were called for a chop block, backing them up to 3rd and 18. On the next play, Bonnafon was sacked. Before the chop block was called, Louisville had picked up that 1st down on 3rd and 4.
Today Mike Huguenin, Bryan Fischer and Chase Goodbread posted the latest in their series of dynamic duos. They have been compiling the best duos at every position by league. (click here for full list) Today’s Position was Wide Receivers. It didn’t take long to see a few familiar faces.
Here is the excerpt:
This is the second in a series looking at the best positional tandems in college football in each conference, taking into account both college production and pro potential. Today it is the best pair of wide receivers.
ESPN.com blogger Andrea Adelson recently was able to interview Louisville tight end Gerald Christian, and she posted that on the ACC blog on Monday. Christian looks to have a big season under Bobby Petrino, and I couldn’t agree more. While I think every player on offense will have their best season so far, Christian will be a mismatch for nearly anyone that tries to cover him. He should thrive this season.
Here is the interview posted on ESPN.com…
How much more will you be used in the Louisville pass game this year?
A: Coach Petrino, he’s known for using his tight ends and he’s a great coach. I like how he takes his personnel and utilizes their strengths. He’s going to take me and put me in position to be one-on-one against a linebacker and one-on-one against a safety, where he targets me to have mismatches to exploit the defense. Last year, the offense was just learning plays, whereas Coach Petrino takes his playmakers and targets them more to make plays.
ESPN.com has been releasing their position previews for the ACC recently and saying which team has the best group at each position. Today they previewed the wide receivers, and the “best of the best” goes to Louisville! Of course we already knew that. But it’s always good to see people from around the country take notice. Here is what they said about the Cards’ wide receivers:
Phil Steele released his Preseason All-ACC teams today, and there were plenty of Louisville Cardinals getting some recognition. DeVante Parker and Jake Smith were the only players to make the first team, although he has Smith as a center. Smith moved to guard in spring practice. On the second team, you will see Lorenzo Mauldin as a defensive end, even though he will basically be a linebacker/defense end hybrid this season. But it’s whatever. In all, 12 different Cards made the list. Charles Gaines is on it twice because he runs with animals.
Of the 12 players on the 1st Team Offense, Florida State has 6 of them. So they will probably be pretty good this season.
Here are the teams. What do you think?
Eli Rogers is without a doubt one of the great leaders on this football team. What are his hopes and wants for this season?
Friday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium was everything you wanted to be as a fan. Gorgeous weather, free admission, free parking, activities for the kids, $2 beers, and Louisville football with Bobby Petrino back at the helm.
I am just going to give you some quick hitters with stats or things I noticed. You also have the option of reading the full recap on UofL’s site.
*I know it is just the spring game, and you are playing against your defense, so maybe this isn’t always good…but the yards, points, and fun that you remember are back. The red team had 21 points after the 1st quarter. I remember plenty of times last year when we were in the 4th quarter with about 21-24 points hanging on for the win against teams like Memphis or Houston. The offense is back folks.
*Will Gardner looked great. He completed 32-37 passes for 542 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did throw 1 interception that clearly was a bad decision and looked forced. But other than that 1 mistake, he looked good.
The details have been announced for this year’s Spring Football game. Check them out below…
*Friday April 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET
*Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium
*Stadium games open at 6:00 p.m.
*Activities outside the stadium start at 4:00 p.m.
*Live music in the Street Fest area with food, $2 beers, and carnival rides
*$2 beer during the game on the Norton Party Deck
*Concessions open on the concourse
*Cardinal Authentic Store open in Street Fest with sales up to 70% off
*After the game, players signing autographs for 45 minutes. Some players will be available for pictures.
There are many more than just five reasons to attend a Louisville spring football practice. But for the sake of your time and attention, I have narrowed it down for you. So far, there have been 8 practices for the fans to attend. There are 6 more before the Spring Game on Friday April 11 at 7:30. So in case you need any motivation, here are 5 reasons why you should attend a spring practice before it’s too late…
1) Because you finally can!
We all appreciate what Charlie Strong and his staff did here, that’s a given. But when it came to stuff like this, you would think that the Louisville football team was Fort Knox. There would usually be one or two open practices for the fans, and that was it. So if you couldn’t make one of those two, you were out of luck. This year has been completely different. All 14 spring practices are open to the public. That gives you so many chances to go see the team, so take advantage of this opportunity. We know what it’s like to feel shutout from seeing our own team out there on the practice fields. This is a real treat.
I attended the open football practice on Wednesday afternoon at the Trager Indoor Practice Facility. Like most spring practices without the full pads on, it is hard to tell too much from what you see. But since I did go and saw more than those who were not there, I can at least come up with some quick hitting notes, so this should be better than nothing for those who could not make it out there. If you want to see the full spring schedule, click here.
*Teddy Bridgewater is not walking through that door unfortunately.
*In all seriousness, I am fully confident that by the time practice starts in the fall, Bobby Petrino will have his quarterback groomed and ready to go. Things are just shaky right now. Will Gardner looks good at times, but then average at times. Kyle Bolin is usually Mr. Accuracy, but he wasn’t today. He also had a couple of fumbles. The overall quarterback play for me was average at best today.
According to Ryan Bartow (247 sports) and Mike Hughes (InsideTheVille), Louisville has offered 2015 safety Khalid McGee of Miami Northwestern High School. New wide receivers coach Lamar Thomas made the offer. Scout.com is the only service that I saw a rating for him, which was a 3-star.
McGee is about 5’10 and 180 lbs and also holds an offer from Florida State. Since he is only a junior, he will surely get more offers next season. Right now most of his offers come from his home state: Florida State, South Florida, Central Florida, Florida Atlantic, and Florida International. He also has a couple other offers from random places like Cincinnati and Utah, but obviously most come from the Sunshine State.
The Cards fell to UCF last night 38-35. The Offense was led by Teddy Bridgewater who finished 29-38 for 341 yards and 2 TD, Dominique Brown added 88 yards and 2 TD and James Quick got his first collegiate TD off of a 30 yard fumble recovery that took place on a UCF punt attempt. Devante and Eli were the 2 TD recipients. Preston Brown had 12 tackles and Calvin Pryor added 11 tackles and 1 INT. Below are some videos and pictures we got from the game, enjoy and remember that the season isn’t over!
(Don’t forget to check out our facebook page photo gallery for more pictures)
Thursday night our University of Louisville Cardinals defeated the Scarlet Knights from Rutgers 24-10 in what will likely be the last meeting ever between the two schools. Say what you may about Rutgers and how bad of a football team they were 10 years ago but they really had stepped up to play the part of conference rival since we got into the Big East/AAC. Teddy Bridgewater went 21-31 for 310 yards and 2 TD while throwing a very rare INT, only his second of the season. Senorise Perry added to the offensive attack with 13 rushes for 104 yards and 1 TD with his longest rush for 42 yards. Louisville’s Defense come up huge with 8 sacks and forced Rutgers QB Gary Nova to be….Gary Nova as he threw 4 INT’s. Calvin Pryor III led the Defense with 14 total tackles. Below are some videos and pictures we got from the game, enjoy!
(Don’t forget to check out our facebook page photo gallery for more pictures)