Last night, the unranked Louisville Cardinals traveled to Orlando to take on the No. 1 defending champ, Alabama. The Cards weren’t expected to win or even get close (the spread was 24) and those expectations proved to be accurate. The Tide jumped ahead early and never looked back behind rising star, Tua Tagovailoa. The final score was 51-14.
Though the final score was lopsided, the Cards didn’t play bad at first. They missed opportunities which caused the score to snowball and then seemingly gave up once the score got out of hand. Puma Pass and the offensive line were bright spots, however. The offensive line didn’t give up their first sack until late in the 3rd quarter and only allowed 3 all game. Puma threw a couple questionable passes that were intercepted (one of them returned for a touchdown), but otherwise the first time starter looked poised and made some throws against the scariest defensive front the Cards will see all season.
Even new defensive coordinator, Brian VanGorder’s scheme looked good and applied pressure throughout the game, the defensive backs just couldn’t locate the ball when it was thrown which allowed for some chunk plays that were really just jumpballs.
Bama played both Tua and Jalen Hurts, but Hurts didn’t make the same impact Tua did and it was obvious who their guy is this year. As a team, Bama outgained Louisville 519 to 268. Bama’s attack was balanced with 297 passing yards and 222 rushing yards. Whereas Louisville’s running game contributed only 16 yards on 26 attempts. The O-Line did a great job in pass protection, but running between the tackles was nearly impossible. Puma Pass finished 20-39 for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns, the only complaint I’ll hear of him are the two passes he had intercepted.
All in all, Louisville faced the best team in college football last night and it showed on the field and the scoreboard. But, not every team on the schedule is Alabama, so this team will be fine going forward. There were some obvious things to correct (4 substitution penalties come to mind), but the sun still came out this morning.
Up next: Louisville faces Indiana State on Saturday at 7pm at Cardinal Stadium.