After allowing what I saw at PJCS yesterday to digest, I feel stable enough to finally write about it. Louisville entered yesterday’s game against Boston College as a 19-point favorite at home, but walked away with a 45-42 loss.
The talk all week had been, “I don’t think we’ll lose, but I’ll need to see something that shows me corrections have been made and glaring problems have been fixed to have hope on the road at FSU next week.” I don’t think you could find a fan yesterday that honestly believed we’d lose, let alone, allow the 114th ranked offense in the nation to put up 555 total yards and 45 points. But obviously, all of that happened.
The tone for the rest of the season has changed. Louisville has had major issues all season, but they always seemed fixable. After yesterday’s loss, I’m not sure that some of those issues can be fixed. All season long, the issues on defense had stemmed from poor tackling and busted coverages. Yesterday, Louisville allowed a freshman (yes, a freshman) to run all over them en route to a career day of 272 yards on 39 carries and 4 touchdowns. The most embarrassing one came in the 4th quarter, as senior safety Chucky Williams had him wrapped up at the line scrimmage, Dillon (the freshman) shoved Chucky to the ground and sprinted up the sideline to a 75-yard touchdown.
The heart just wasn’t there. The defense had countless opportunities to make a stop and allow the offense to take control of the game. That didn’t happen.
Lamar Jackson dazzled again, but his Heisman chances are likely over after this loss. Jackson wasn’t as accurate in the air as he would have liked, dropped passes can blame for some of that. He finished 19/39 through the air for 332 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception. Lamar also showcased what makes him virtually unstoppable by rushing for 180 yards on 22 carries for 3 touchdowns. Sadly, the guy doesn’t play defense. Dez Fitzpatrick continued his stellar freshman season with 7 receptions for 127 yards and a touchdown. Jaylen Smith returned from injury and turned in a solid game with 6 receptions for 118 yards. Senior Running Back Reggie Bonnafon also had a solid game with 107 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
Some impressive stats for the players named above, however, they’re all on one side of the ball. The offensive side of the ball hasn’t nearly been as big of an issue as the defensive side. Allowing 555 total yards and 45 points at home to a team that has been so abysmal offensively is unacceptable. I’m not calling for anyone’s job on here, but Peter Sirmon better have some different schemes and show improvement or else he really doesn’t deserve to be the Defensive Coordinator of this team.
Things have to change. Those “fixable” mistakes need to actually be seen as somewhat fixable, because I haven’t seen anything that shows the defense can improve while Sirmon’s horrible schemes and the defense’s poor tackling continue to get worse. With all that being said, I’m still proud to be a Louisville fan, you won’t catch me booing our team, but at some point enough is enough and changes will have to be made if things don’t turn around.
The Cardinals travel to FSU next week. A game most people saw as a toss-up without Francois at QB for the Noles, is not looking even that optimistic to have a 50/50 chance. I hope I’m wrong.