In a game that was overshadowed by a couple key injuries for UofL and an offense that still didn’t light the scoreboard up, there were a couple of positives that came from the performance from the Cards. One of those was James Quick, and the other was the defense.
Sophomore James Quick had himself a heck of a game with 7 catches for 174 yards (24.9 avg) and 2 touchdowns, his longest coming on a 74 yard reception. On that play, Quick went up and made a great catch and then had to do the rest by being just what his name says, quick. On the other touchdown, the defense just broke down and he was wide open. He still had to make a move once he caught the ball and he made a nice diving effort to get into the endzone.
Quick also added 61 yards on 7 punt returns for an average of 8.7 yards per return. So he ended up with 235 total yards. We all know what the potential is with Quick, as we saw him play here in town at Trinity High School. He is a flat out playmaker when he gets the ball out in space, and we saw flashes of that today. In an offense that is struggling and with DeVante Parker still out, having James Quick emerge could be a big boost to this team.
The other great thing that came out of this game was the play of the defense. Playing against a freshman quarterback and a less talented team, the defense stayed consistent and took care of business, holding FIU to just 3 points. They gave up just 205 total yards for the game with 117 of that being passing and 88 being rushing yards. They averaged only 2.2 yards per rush. On third down, FIU was just 3-16 for the game.
Gerod Holliman, a redshirt Sophomore, from Miami also had a solid game. He had 2 interceptions early in the game and now has 5 on the season. Charles Gaines led the Cards last season with 5 interceptions all year. Holliman continues to be a pleasant surprise in the secondary, which was a huge question mark coming into the season with the losses of Calvin Pryor and Hakeem Smith. Holliman is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his knack of getting turnovers as well as his big hits he delivers.
Speaking of the defense, I must say that the biggest issue coming into this season for me was the defense, and I was flat out wrong in worrying about that. I was curious with the new scheme and new secondary just how good they would be, or how long it would take to get into the flow. It took until kickoff of the Miami game. This defense has been what has carried the team so far this season, and I did not expect that, but I will certainly take it if it means wins!
So in a game that some will remember for the injuries and not looking like a pretty win, it was good to see James Quick have a breakout game and see the defense stay consistent.
No matter how it looked, the Cards are now 3-1 and have Wake Forest coming to town next week. Let’s get to 4-1!