It’s only been a week since my last post, but for me it seemed like there were 15 things that happened that I want to touch on with fans but kept getting swallowed by something new. Seriously y’all, I don’t know how Justin does it. Most of the news posts out of CSZ are from him after his 9-5 job & after he teaches little kids how to ball (hmm, maybe I could use a lesson. Have you seen my shot, J? Never mind, it’s scary). So I’m going to once again list (lol) the new news that rounded out the year 2015 into 2016 for Louisville football.
-🔸Louisville invades Nashville for the Music City Bowl
If you play around with time hop on Facebook, you’d probably see a few disheveled posts from yourself & myself after Coach Strong jumped ship to Texas 2 years ago. (Freakin’ Texas). Mine in particular said ‘I always thought Charlie deserved to coach at premier football program…I just thought he’d make Louisville just that.’ Yeah yeah, I sound like the girl that got her heart broken.
So last year, Louisville faced Georgia in the Belk Bowl, Petrino’s first year back. I was again an disheveled fan. Not quite because our defense couldn’t stop Nick Chubb from running all over us, but our fans just didn’t know how to act. We weren’t acting out, we acted wrong. We sat on defense and cheered for the very little offensive production we got. No, no, no….
Quiet on offense, stand on defense AND YELL. A LOT!
And then this was a new year… and momentum shift for Louisville football. First up, Auburn. A very balanced crowd in terms of color, but Cardnation couldn’t out shout Auburn fans. Still, very respectful between both fan bases as Auburn escapes a comeback from true freshman Lamar Jackson.
By the time bowl season rolled around this year and it had been announced that Louisville would play in Nashville vs the SEC Texas A&M Aggies, we were anxious. Fans continued to celebrate the holiday season by flying flags high and sporting their gifted gear with a short trip down 65 for the night. At kickoff, my ticket read the 300 level of Texas A&M side, so I got to witness the glory from above and across. The energy was enough to forget about my numb fingertips briefly before I insisted on moving to the sea of Louisville. I found a spot right next to the band and from there it was all gravy. As I shook the supplied pom poms high above me, I had a smile from ear to ear. We belonged here, Cardnation.
I wasn’t the only one to notice the sea of red that swarmed Nissan Stadium. Petrino was blown away by the support, the team was blown away by the support. At the end of the matchup, it had been announced approximately 51,000 fans attended the game and I believe Louisville was easily 35,000 of it. Red outshined Texas A&M on and off the field that day. We were loud and we were proud.
-🔸Louisville wins the Music City Bowl
And there was a lot to be proud of as the boys practically put Texas A&M away in the first quarter. A wishy washy targeting call to end his career for senior linebacker James Burgess, injury to corner Shaq Wiggins and linebacker Trevon Young, The defense suddenly looked a lot less experienced. But do not fear!
Voted to the All-ACC Bowl Team by ESPN’s Andrea Adelson:
LB: Stacy Thomas, Louisville. Thomas filled in admirably after James Burgess was ejected from the game on the opening play for targeting, notching 11 tackles – the first double-digit tackle game of his career.
Don’t forget that emotions and resiliency were tested late in the game. The defense had to stop an A&M tying (perhaps winning) drive 8 times in a row very late, but held up and secured the victory.
-🔸Who’s coming and going?
Josh Harvey Clemons, Keith Kelsey, Shaq Wiggins, DeAngelo Brown, & Devonte Fields all coming back for a senior season.
Andrea Adelson cont:
S: Josh Harvey-Clemons, Louisville. Harvey-Clemons forced a fumble and also had an interception in the third quarter against Texas A&M, two big plays that helped stop momentum for the Aggies.
Andrea adelson cont:
LB: Devonte Fields, Louisville. Fields had a season-high three sacks and tied a season high in tackles with eight in a dominant performance against Texas A&M.
I don’t believe these guys had as much offered on the NFL table as they will on the Cards’ table for the upcoming year. The prize is too bright in Louisville to turn away from it now. Wins on and off the field and another year in the brotherhood books for this team. I believe each decision was made with one another in mind. And for that, guys, Cardnation thanks you. We are eager to witness you play with that name on your chest.
Players anticipate something more valuable in Louisville for the 2016 year, but a couple coaches path’s have lead elsewhere.
Corner coach Greg Brown heading to the Missouri Tigers.
Safeties coach Terrell Buckley heading to Mississippi State Bulldogs.
To each his own I say.
-🔸Lamar Jackson put his name on a Heisman watch list
But the name on the back of his jersey, Lamar Jackson did something very few before him have. Yards, yards, yards. If I write the word out 453 times, would it impress you more? Louisville’s defense got slapped with a few reality checks very early, but the Aggies’ defense didn’t stand a chance against Lamar.
Fox Sports columnist Bruce Feldman ranked Jackson’s game as his number 1 on his list of the “top 10 most eye-opening performances of bowl season.” This guy has a potential ceiling so high it makes me dizzy. So a week ago today we return to Louisville, a new trophy for the case and eyes set on the year ahead. I’m anticipating a trip to Death Valley for Louisville and our fans. Returning champ Tigers or not, they will return fellow Heisman hopeful QB Deshaun Watson. Barring injury, conference titles can and will be on the line.
🔴🏈 The hype around 2016 Louisville football is real, y’all.
Follow me through it all! @darylfoust4
As always, go Cards go! ♥️