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Louisville vs Florida State: Postgame Recap

Florida State

The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals suffered their 4th loss of the season today to No. 10 Florida State on the road by a score of 73-68.

In a game in which the Cardinals never led, Louisville squandered virtually every opportunity it had to take control of the game. Tony Hicks scored 16 points and while his last shot wasn’t a good one, fans desperately need to relax with their criticism of the grad-student’s play today. Hicks was the only consistent offense the Cards had all game, aside from Mangok Mathiang who added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

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Louisville vs Florida State: Pregame Breakdown

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 29: The mascot for the Louisville Cardinals performs against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – MARCH 29: The mascot for the Louisville Cardinals performs against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at the Lucas Oil Stadium on March 29, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The No. 12 Louisville Cardinals travel to Tallahassee to face the No. 10 Florida State Seminoles today at 2pm on ESPN. Today’s game marks the end of a 6-game stretch against top-25 ranked opponents, a stretch that the Seminoles have taken advantage of with a record of 4-1 with the lone loss coming at UNC after FSU throttled Duke 88-72.

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Louisville vs Duke: Postgame Recap

CSZWhite

The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals defeated the No. 7 Duke Blue Devils today by a final score of 78-69. If you watched the entire game then you know the score doesn’t exactly reflect just how dominant the Cards were today. After a back and forth beginning to the game, the Cardinals appeared to settle in and capitalize on the stout defense they had been playing by connecting on a few shots, and more importantly, building confidence.

Louisville entered halftime with a 4-point lead, lead for nearly 75% of the game, and never allowed Duke to get into a rhythm from the 8 minute mark of the first half, on. It was a balanced effort from the Cardinals, Anas Mahmoud recorded a career high of 17 points to go along with 11 rebounds, Donovan Mitchell added 15 points, Quentin Snider chipped in 13 with 6 assists and 5 rebounds, and Ray Spalding scored 11 points, as well.

This win was huge for the Cardinals now, and going forward. Anas Mahmoud continues to look better each game and he dominated today. A 2-0 week to build on when the Cards play Clemson on Thursday at 9pm at the Yum! Center. The game can be watched on ESPN.

Go Cards! 

Louisville vs Pittsburgh: Pregame Breakdown

Pitt

The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals host one of their old Big East rivals in the Pittsburgh Panthers (12-4) tonight at the KFC Yum! Center at 7PM on the ACC Network. Despite the one win/loss differential in the teams’ records (Louisville 13-3, Pittsburgh 12-4), the Cardinals currently stand as 11-point favorites for tonight’s game.

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Louisville at Georgia Tech: Pregame Breakdown

Georgia Tech

After suffering their third loss of the season Wednesday, the 9th ranked Cardinals (12-3) travel to Georgia Tech (9-5). The game will tip off at 2pm and can be seen on the ACC Network. The Yellowjackets beat UNC by 12, then turned around and dropped their next game against Duke 110-57, which makes the UNC game appear to be more of an outlier than the 53-point thrashing Duke handed them. All that considered, the Cards stand as 13-point favorites right now, in a road ACC game that they desperately need to win in order to avoid going 0-3 to start conference play.

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Louisville vs Notre Dame: Postgame Breakdown

Notre Dame

The No. 9 Louisville Cardinals suffered their 3rd loss of the season on the road at No. 23 Notre Dame, by a score of 77-70. The Cardinals started slow, but appeared to shake off the rust at times; however, they never put together consistent stretches of play and in the end it doomed the Cardinals.

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Louisville vs Notre Dame: Pregame Breakdown

NCAA Football: Michigan State at Notre Dame

After last week’s 1-1 record with a home loss to then No. 12 Virginia and a neutral-site win over then No. 16 Indiana, the Louisville Cardinals dropped 3 spots to No. 9 in the country.

Now, Louisville looks to stay hot after it’s bounce-back victory over Indiana, in the Cards’ first road test in the ACC when they take on No. 23 Notre Dame. The Irish are currently 1-point favorites over the higher ranked Cardinals, the game can be watched on the ACC Network.

Bonzie Colson is the leading scorer and rebounder for the Fighting Irish. The “undersized” forward averages 16.6 PPG and 10.5 RPB. The Cards length in the frontcourt will be a large factor in slowing Colson down.

Louisville and Notre Dame have such a weird tradition of putting the fans through added stress by sending games into overtime. The Cards last loss in the 2013 Championship season came on the road in 5 overtimes (Big East Record for regular season games), the craziest part about it was the end to regulation. Jerian Grant led an improbable come back by scoring 13 points in 58 seconds to force OT. I digress, the point is, this game will go one of two ways: the Cards will handle business against an inferior team and develop that killer instinct only the 2013 team truly had, or this game will be weird, very weird. I’m hoping for option one, but my gut tells me option two is more likely. Louisville hasn’t won at Notre Dame since 1994 (that game also went to overtime, shocker) but it’s not known as a difficult place to play, these games are just..I’ll say it again, weird. Tonight the Cards win in South Bend for the first time in 23 years by a score of 88-83 in overtime.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Virginia: Postgame Recap

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The No. 6 Louisville Cardinals continued their struggles against Virginia with a 61-53 loss to the No. 12 ranked Cavaliers tonight inside the Yum! Center. Like all Louisville vs Virginia games, Louisville looked lost and then appeared to find their groove but not before it was too late.

The Cards entered halftime down 15 points, outscored Virginia 32-25 in the second half and looked better but it wasn’t enough to overcome the first half deficit. No Cardinals scored in double-figures tonight, Snider 8, Adel 8, Hicks 8, Mitchell 7, King 6.

Thankfully for Louisville, they won’t face Virginia again until February 6th, which will hopefully allow for Rick Pitino to find some answers against the patented pack-line Virginia defense. Up next, the Cards face Indiana (also lost their conference home opener tonight to Nebraska) in Indianapolis on Saturday the 31st. That game will not be anything like the one we saw tonight.

Minor setback, Virginia may have lost some scoring off last year’s team, but they clearly did not lose their defensive edge, which has been the staple of all great Virginia teams. Coming off a win like last Wednesday’s, a letdown is possible but hopefully avoided. It was not avoided tonight. Look for the Cards to bounce back on Saturday against the Hoosiers.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Virginia: Pregame Breakdown

Virginia Logo

A week after the Cardinals big win over in-state rival Kentucky, the now No. 6 Louisville basketball team will host Virginia tonight at 7pm on ESPN2. As of now, Louisville is a 3-point favorite over the Cavaliers.

Virginia is a team best-known for their smothering half-court defense and low scoring games. Virginia lost many key players off last year’s team, they looked to reload with transfer Austin Nichols but he was dismissed from the team early this season. London Perrantes will be the biggest threat to Louisville tonight, he’s a pass/defend-first point guard who has given Louisville fits in their last few meetings. Still, their offense leaves a lot to be desired (69.8PPG). Both teams are top 5 in defensive efficiency (UVA 2, UL 4) so this game will more than likely be low scoring which plays into Virginia’s favor more often than not. Louisville will have to find offense in a defense dominated game in order to win tonight.

While Virginia’s defense is staggering (47.2 points allowed per game), their offense is lacking. Louisville is riding high after the win a week ago, that confidence is key going into this game. The first few shots might not fall, but the Cards find a way to win tonight by a final score of 68-60 with big performances from Deng Adel and Jaylen Johnson.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Eastern Kentucky: Postgame Recap

(Photo Cred: Charlotte Observer)

(Photo Cred: Charlotte Observer)

After a slow start, the No. 11 Louisville Cardinals asserted their dominance in a 87-56 blowout of the visiting Colonels. The Cardinals were led in scoring by Donovan Mitchell (15 points), Quentin Snider (13 points), Tony Hicks added a nice spark off the bench with 10 points, the grad-transfer finally showcased the reason he was so highly regarded coming from Penn.

As said earlier, it was a slow start but it didn’t take much to shake off the week-long rust thanks to a 20-0 run led by Quentin Snider to close the first half. It was a solid team performance in the last of the “tune-up” games before the difficult slate ahead. Mangok Mathiang set a school-record for most rebounds without a point (13 rebounds, 0 points on 0-3 shooting). While this is a nice stat, Mangok’s offense has to improve for this team to reach its full potential. After the first half, the Cards coasted in the second by scoring 51 points but allowed 40 points compared to the 16 allowed at halftime.

All in all, Louisville escaped the first half the schedule with 1 loss to now No. 4 Baylor in the Battle for Atlantis Championship. The Cards next opponent is the No. 6 ranked Kentucky Wildcats. The in-state rivals come into town next Wednesday for a 7pm tip-off. While the Cards have certainly looked improved with each game, this will be the real test heading into conference play.

Go Cards!

Louisville vs Eastern Kentucky: Pregame Breakdown

Photo Credit to USA Today

Photo Credit to USA Today

The Louisville Cardinals host the Eastern Kentucky Colonels today at 12pm in the Billy Minardi Classic. The Colonels (6-5) enter this game after losing their last outing against Ball State in OT. Before that, they had won 4 games in a row, including a big win by 19 points over in-state rival Western Kentucky.

The Colonels are led by 6′-9″ sophomore forward Nick Mayo who averages 19.3 PPG on the season. If the Cards can slow him down, the No. 11 team shouldn’t have much trouble at home today. EKU impressively puts up 80.2 PPG but gives up 79.5 PPG, so while their offense may be clicking at times, their defense isn’t anything to write home about.

This is the last chance for Louisville to experiment with lineups, sets, and defenses before the thick of their schedule. After today’s game, the Cards host UK on Wednesday. It’s important Louisville handles business today and looks impressive doing it, opponent aside this team needs to come out confident and look like a top-10 team if they’re going to beat one in a few days. I think the Cards roll today behind big performances from Donovan Mitchell and VJ King which help Louisville to a win with the final score reading 87-59.

Go Cards!

Louisville at Grand Canyon: Postgame Recap

(Photo Cred: Charlotte Observer)

(Photo Cred: Charlotte Observer)

The atmosphere was electric, the players were hyped, and the Antelopes of Grand Canyon gave the No. 14 team all they could handle inside their home arena. Grand Canyon even had the lead at halftime by 1 point off a buzzer-beater NBA-range 3.

It wasn’t enough as the Cards eventually pulled away by the 12 minute TV Timeout and never trailed the rest of the way. Eventually the Cards would seal the deal by a score of 79-70. DeWayne Russell led the comeback attempt with 42 points, the Antelopes’ next highest scorer had 8. Deng Adel led the way for the Cards with 15 points, VJ King showcased his ability with 14 points, Ray Spalding chipping in 14, and Matz Stockman had a career-high 10 points but didn’t play in the second half.

In a game where the upset seemed not only plausible but probable for much of the game, the Cards found a way to win. Do not downplay anything about it, the crowd was nuts, their point guard was unconscious, and they played with a lot more energy in the first half than the Cards did. The important thing is, the Cards walked away with a win and improve to 7-1.

Next the Cards will be at home to take on Southern Illinois on December 7 at 7pm. I’m sure this game will serve as a wake up call that this team cannot start flat and must defend and attack for the entire 40 minutes if they’re going to achieve their potential. I’m happy with the win last night, resilience regardless of opponent in an environment like that cannot be emphasized enough.

GO CARDS!

Louisville vs Purdue: Pregame Breakdown

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com

The No. 14 Louisville Cardinals host the No. 15 Purdue Boilermakers tonight at 7pm in the Big 10/ACC challenge. The Cards are 6 point favorites as if now and the game can be seen on ESPN.

Purdue enters the game with a tall lineup. Caleb Swanigan is the Boilermakers’ leading scorer at 18 ppg and leading rebounder at 12 rpg. The Cardinals are going to have to shake off the awful 2nd half from the Battle for Atlantis Championship against Baylor and look for easy shots to boost their confidence.

Purdue is a very scary matchup and will likely give Louisville all it can handle for the majority of the game. I see the Cards pulling away with a late run and free throws to extend the lead to a final score of 76-64.

GO CARDS!

Louisville at Marshall: Postgame Recap

Photo Cred CharlotteObserver.com

For the first time all season, the Louisville offense appeared out of sorts in the first quarter. Lamar started the game missing receivers, forcing passes, and the running game was never really there for the speedy quarterback. Once the offense settled down, we saw the nation’s top ranked offense do what we’ve become accustomed to, put a lot of points on the scoreboard.

Louisville’s offense recorded a season low 7 points in the first quarter. Then the second quarter began. Lamar found his tight end, Cole Hikutini in the end zone twice, ran for a score, and then found Reggie Bonnafon in the end zone to close out a 28 point second quarter to go into halftime up 35-7. The announcers were not shy in their disappointment in the Louisville offense early on. It seemed as though no matter what the offense did right, there was always something they could’ve been doing better. As a fan, I’ve never experienced a team being so critiqued while building an insurmountable lead but that’s where we are now in the program which is a great thing.

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Louisville vs Florida State: Postgame Recap

photo cred Kentucky.com

First things first, wow. What happened inside Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium yesterday still hasn’t fully hit me yet. The No. 2 ranked Florida State Seminoles came to Louisville having beaten the Cardinals two times in a row since Louisville joined the ACC. For the first time ever, College Gameday was in town and the city, fans, and players in Louisville uniforms were electric.

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Louisville vs Syracuse: Postgame Recap

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One play, 16 seconds, and 72 yards is all it took for the Cardinals to get on the scoreboard on the road against the Orange. A perfectly sold fake (just ask the cameraman) to Brandon Radcliff led to Lamar Jackson finding James Quick in stride en route to the end zone. The Louisville offense looked absolutely unstoppable at times last night. On the contrary, the offense was wildly infuriating at time as well.

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Louisville Football Breakdown, Part 10: Quarterbacks

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Last season:

Last season we saw three different quarterbacks take the field. Reggie Bonafon started against Auburn but never played under center after that. Kyle Bolin played well and started a few games as well as coming to relieve an at times erratic Lamar Jackson.

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Louisville Football Breakdown, Part 8: Tight Ends


Last season:

If anyone knows Bobby Petrino as a coach, they know he absolutely loves to use his tight ends in the passing game. Last season was a perfect example of that. Four players saw a lot of time and produced when called upon. Cole Hikutini, Charles Standberry, Micky Crum and Keith Towbridge all made big plays both in the passing game and blocking for the run. Cole Hikutini was for 4th on the team in receptions with 19 and first on the team in yards per catch with 18.3. Micky Crum had a solid freshman season with 14 receptions for an average of 11.6 yards per catch, and we can’t forget about the monster block he laid on that poor Clemson player. Keith Towbridge reeled in 10 passes and Charles Stanberry finished the season with 6 receptions. Hikutini, Crum, and Towbridge were all tied for 2nd on the team in reception touchdowns with 3. So of the 21 touchdown passes we saw thrown last season, 9 of them were caught by the tight ends.


This season:

Cole Hikutini is a freak athlete and put that on display multiple times last season. He enters his senior year as the starting tight end according to the depth chart and rightfully so. His impressive yards per catch metric speaks for itself on what the guy can do with the ball in his hands and an open field.  He and Keith Towbridge enter their final season as Cardinals and the expectations couldn’t be higher. Micky Crum looks to build on a solid freshman season as he sits in the 3rd position on the depth chart. Charles Stanberry, the tight end who was utilized the least of anyone in the group had a successful spring and enters his junior season as the number 2 option at the position. Towbridge come in at 4, but don’t let the depth chart fool you, Bobby will be using all of these guys. Hikutini should and will get the most snaps but the coaching staff can put any of these guys in the game with the knowledge that they will perform and get the job done. Bobby Petrino loves to use the play action to free up the tight ends (both of Lamar’s touchdown passes in the Music City Bowl came from a play action pass to a tight end, Crum and Towbridge). Look for these guys to really anchor the passing game when things get hectic, personally I’ve never seen such a stacked group at this position but since when is that a problem? Lamar will always have safety valve with anyone of these guys on the field and look for some big plays to be made by the powerful and elusive Cole Hikutini at any point in time. The depth at tight end only adds to the arsenal of weapons Lamar Jackson will have at his disposal. We have less than a week until the wait is over.

Go Cards!

Louisville Double-Header


(Photo: gocards.com)

Cardinal fans have a full slate this Friday as both the men’s and women’s soccer Cards will be taking on the UAB Blazers and Butler Bulldogs, respectively, at beautiful Lynn stadium.
Following two wins, fans are encouraged to continue their celebrating at the official CSZ Kick-Off party, both football AND futbol! Info, below!

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Louisville Football Breakdown Part 6: Cornerbacks/Safeties


Last season:

Last year’s secondary had high expectations to live up to after Gerod Holliman tied the NCAA record for interceptions. Josh Harvey-Clemons was the guy to fill that void, but he had help. The secondary was young and experienced many growing pains, more often in missed tackles than blown coverages. The Louisville defense intercepted 17 passes last season which ranked them 14th in the nation. The safety duo of Chucky Williams and Josh Harvey-Clemons each had 3 interceptions, Trumaine Washington added 3 as well, while Shaq Wiggins had 2, and Jaire Alexander and Jermaine Reve each had 1. Of the 17 interceptions, 12 came from defensive backs, and the only defensive back with an interception not returning is Jermaine Reve (graduated).

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