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.
*All in the first quarter, Matt Milton had a touchdown, Keith Towbridge had a catch for a long gain, and L.J. Scott had some big runs. Combine those with Gardner’s stats and the fact that Tobijah Hughley was snapping the ball to Gardner, and I was pretty pleased with my “5 Players to Watch on Offense” post.
*Speaking of L.J. Scott, he did what I expected. He made all kinds of plays, and now people will surely know his name if they didn’t before. The freshman, who should still be in high school right now by the way, racked up 92 yards on 13 carries. And they weren’t a quiet 92 yards. He made some spectacular runs.
*James Quick caught 5 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. He is going to have a big season in 2014. Petrino will know how to utilize his strengths and get him the ball in the open field. With all the hype surrounding Quick coming into 2013, some people were disappointed. I think that all gets forgotten about in 2014.
*I was very happy to see Michael Dyer have a great game. He played for both teams and finished with 14 rushes for 150 yards and 3 touchdowns. I will continue to say this: if he gets to 100% health and is in full Michael Dyer mode, he is the best running back on the team. I have no doubt about that.
*Not only did James Quick have a solid performance, but other guys put up some big numbers catching the ball as well. And that is to be expected under Bobby Petrino. DeVante Parker will be a mismatch for pretty much anyone he faces this season. He had 10 catches for 109 yards. He also had a long touchdown catch negated by a penalty. The big tight end, Gerald Christian, had 8 catches for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eli Rogers had 6 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown.
*It was the spring game, awesome weather, and a good time with friends, so I can’t say I put 100% focus into what the defense was doing, so I won’t even fake it. I do know Chucky Williams had a good game with 9 tackles and an interception, although that one was basically served up to him on a platter. It was still good to see him make the play.
*When all was said and done, it was great to be back out there watching the Cards go to work and be exciting while doing it. From “Enter Sandman” being played to all of the yards and points, it certainly felt like old times. September 1 against Miami should be an incredible atmosphere.