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.
Syracuse had 3 turnovers total in the first four games of the season. Tonight, the Cards forced two, both interceptions. Gerod Holliman got his FBS-leading 7th interception and James Sample picked one off as well. Syracuse had the ball on the Louisville 1 yard line and 1st and goal in the 3rd quarter. The next play, Louisville stuffed the run for a 3 yard loss. After a couple of penalties, as well as a sure touchdown drop by Syracuse, the Louisville defense held them to a field goal.
And oh yeah, this defense also got two safeties!
*Brandon Radcliff had another huge game. The sophomore had 110 rushing yards on 23 attempts and 2 touchdowns. He also had 1 catch for 29 yards on a big screen play. Dominique Brown, L.J. Scott, and Michael Dyer combined for 59 yards on 16 carries. Radcliff obviously has the hot hand right now and Bobby Petrino is going to ride that hot hand as much as possible. I don’t believe Dominique Brown even got in the game until the 2nd quarter. He did, however, make a touchdown saving shoestring tackle on a punt, so that was big.
*Reggie Bonnafon really grew up in this game. His numbers weren’t staggering. He threw for 174 yards on 12/22 passing with 1 touchdown and 1 interception. But he made better reads when it came to handing the ball off or keeping it. He made some good passes that were flat out dropped. To me, if it wasn’t his already, he took the starting job tonight. His mobility gives the Cards another weapon in the offense.
*The offensive line wasn’t bad. They have always been solid on run blocking, but it has been pass protection that has been shaky. It seemed like Bonnafon had plenty of time for the most part. There were a couple plays where Syracuse blitzed and weren’t touched, so that has to be fixed, but that will happen throughout the course of a game. I really thought they stepped up and did a good job as far as blocking goes. However…
*PENALTIES! The penalties have to stop. The competition in the second half of the season is a major step up from the first 6 games. You can’t continue to have penalties like false starts and holds on every single possession. I don’t have the stats in front of me for penalties, but I just know it was somewhere around 10 for the game. There will be a game this season where penalties cost this team if they don’t clean them up.
*Finally, 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the ACC. Feels pretty good to me!
Go Cards! Go Krogering!