Bobby Petrino did a short interview with the ACC Digital Network while at the Belk Bowl Press Conference on Wednesday. One thing that he was asked about was who would be lining up under center for the Cards. He says that Will Gardner will not be available, which we already knew. He then says that Reggie Bonnafon should be ready to go.
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.
This week on 55…………
We talk Basketball watch party. We talk big win over Notre Dame. We talk ranked teams and end of seasons. I will share a story of my trip to Notre Dame, a gallery of the trip and more tidbits as we go. We talk kentucky football and much, much more. So without further adieu, get ready for the ride. Without further interruption, here are the things from this week that stood out to me the most. The most ridiculous, interesting and factual things I came across. This is 55……….
Now that a few hours have passed since the game ended, I feel like sitting down to write about it. I have gotten much better over the years as to how I take losses. I do realize that I have no impact on the game whatsoever, and it is just that, a game. It is entertainment and a distraction from everyday life and real problems. So realizing that helps move on from losses. However, getting back to being the huge fan that I am, this one hurt!
In every game, there are good things and bad things that happen. This game seemed to be full of both. I would normally get on here and write about how things are just fine and this team will be ok, and no worries. That is just how I am now, Mr. Optimistic. The proof of that is that a few minutes after the game ended, a text came in that started with “I know you are the positive fan but…”
But I won’t be 100% positive talk here. I will address the problems that stuck out to me, no need to hide from them. So I will look at things from both sides. And since I am the positive one, I would prefer to end my post on the good things, so let’s go ahead and get the bad stuff out of the way. Before my negativity starts, just know that I still 100% support this team, including coaches and players. I love my Cards and one halfway critical post does not change that.
Louisville’s offensive and defensive coordinators, Garrick McGee an Todd Grantham (respectively), met with the media over the last couple of days to discuss the upcoming game against Clemson. They also talked about their own team a little bit. The links to the videos are provided, as well as summaries of key notes they talked about.
-Practice was good. The kids were spirited. Not everything was perfect but it’s like that on Tuesdays because you are installing a new game plan, playing against a new defensive structure, but the spirit was there.
-Clemson has a really good defensive scheme. They have powerful guys in the middle. They have one of the top pash rushers in the country (Vic Beasley). They have three really good linebackers. They have length at safety. “I think #20 is 6’4.” So they present plenty of challenges for us.
On Monday afternoon, Bobby Petrino met with the media for his weekly press conference. He talked about Syracuse, previewed Clemson, and said that “there’s a good chance” that DeVante Parker will play on Saturday. Check out the video from thecrunchzone.com or just read the transcript below. Or do both, that is also an option.
Looking back on the Syracuse game, it was a big win for us. It was a good win for us. Again our defense played extremely well. They not only stopped the run and hit the quarterback, but they scored four points. We watched the video. We saw improvement. We hurt ourselves in the first half with penalties and we turned the ball over. There definitely was improvement in the second half.
The other thing I’m excited about is that you can see the competitive spirit and the players competing extremely hard to compete and win the games.
Highlights from the game last night from the ACC Digital Network.
Well the Cards just went to the Carrier Dome and exercised some demons. Going up to a place that hasn’t been to friendly, Louisville leaves Syracuse with the 28-6 victory. They improve to 5-1 on the season and are now 3-1 in ACC play. Here are just some quick thoughts right after the game.
*First off, the defense was outstanding once again. After facing 3 freshman quarterbacks in their first 5 games, the Cards finally faced a team that has been decent on offense. Senior QB Terrel Hunt threw for 294 yards last week against Notre Dame. Louisville held him to 196 yards in this game and he threw 2 interceptions and 0 touchdowns. He obviously didn’t throw for a touchdown because this defense didn’t give up a touchdown all game. In fact, they haven’t given up a touchdown since the 3rd quarter in the Virginia game.
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.
Bobby Petrino said on the ACC teleconference today that freshman quarterback Reggie Bonnafon will get the start again on Friday night against Syracuse. He also noted that Will Gardner will be available, which is good news of course. Petrino said that there is still a little swelling on the knee of Gardner, but that he will practice again today.
In his first start on Saturday against Wake Forest, Bonnafon was 16/32 for 206 yards. He did not have a touchdown or an interception. He rushed for 46 yards on 14 carries.
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.
Photos by Tim Haag (@UofLBirdsNest)
It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but it was a win. Here are three quick observations from the game yesterday.
The defense had another great game
Some things are obvious, but it has to be said. This defense picked up the slack for the offense once again this game. Gerod Holliman continues to impress as he got his 6th interception of the season and had a great return that almost went for a touchdown. He also had a huge hit on a Wake Forest player that sent him out of the game and got the crowd very energized. He is clearly one of the fan favorites on this team.
For the game, the defense only gave up 3 points, and that was after a fumble by Reggie Bonnafon around midfield. They also only gave up 100 yards of offense from Wake Forest. Lorenzo Mauldin was in the backfield all game and came away with 3 sacks. Sheldon Rankins actually had an interception on what seemed like the 30th time that the Demon Deacons tried to run that shovel pass play up the middle.
Facing a freshman QB for the 3rd time in 5 games, the defense did exactly what they should have done, shut him down.
Bobby Petrino announced today that Louisville QB Will Gardner is out and Freshman Reggie Bonnafon will start in his place. Gardner went down with an apparent knee injury last Saturday against FIU. Will a great performance Saturday be enough to win Reggie the job for good? Going to be interesting for sure.
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 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
Bobby Petrino spoke at media day on Saturday morning for about 40 minutes. He talked about how the team has looked in practice, who some play-makers are, how he makes his opening script for a game, and more. Here are some of the key things he talked about…
*Will Gardner – Petrino said that Gardner is doing a good job and that the staff is throwing a lot at him. He said that Will probably feels like he isn’t executing like he was in the Spring, and he isn’t, but it just takes time.
*Reggie Bonnafon – Petrino has done nothing but rave about the freshman from Trinity since he got to campus. From his athleticism to his ability to make plays, you can really tell that Petrino likes Reggie. This past week, Bonnafon moved up to the veterans practice, and Kyle Bolin moved to the newcomers practice. Petrino talked about Bonnafon’s ability to run and makes plays with his feet. He says he hasn’t had a guy who could do that since Stefan LeFors.
Monday at ACC media day, Bobby Petrino did about 40 interviews. Obviously, a lot of those were just saying the same things over and over…and over. But some things stuck out that he said, of course. One of those was when he was discussing the backup QB job. Will Gardner has not been officially named the starting quarterback, but all signs point to that being the case. Petrino did say that if the season started now, he would be the starter.
During the spring, Kyle Bolin and Brett Nelson were battling for the backup spot. Neither could really separate from the other. It was learned Monday that Bolin actually injured his knee this off-season and it required surgery. Bolin’s dad told Jeff Greer of the Courier Journal that Kyle tore the meniscus in his right knee. If you remember, he tore his ACL in his left knee during his senior year of high school. He is expected to be 100% when preseason camp starts.