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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.
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.
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!
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).
Sheldon Rankins anchored a dominant (at times) front line last season. The losses of Rankins and Pio Vatuvei left arguably the biggest question mark on the roster. Rankins was first on the defensive line in total tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks. Vatuvei played his role well at defensive end and recorded 14 more tackles than the two starting ends on this year’s depth chart, Juniors Drew Bailey and Johnny Richardson. Perhaps the most unheralded but most proven player returning from last year is Deangelo Brown at defensive tackle. Brown finished 2nd on the defensive line in tackles and 8th on the team, all while playing behind first round draft pick, Sheldon Rankins.
With inexperience at the defensive ends, Deangelo Brown is going to have to anchor the defensive line. He may have some big shoes to fill but his solid performance last season and his work in the offseason has led to Brown receiving a lot of praise. While Drew Bailey and Johnny Richardson will start at the defensive ends, look for redshirt freshman G.G. Robinson to potentially make some noise. These positions may contain the least amount of experience on the roster, but the talent is there and with Brown in the middle, opposing offenses should have a hard time between the tackles. It starts in the trenches, and though there may be questions up front, I think we’ll like the answers.
Last year’s football season left all Louisville fans with a smile on their face, anxiety over possible early departures, but most importantly, dreams about the future.
The emergence of Lamar Jackson, a proven dominant (yet young) defense, and an arsenal of weapons led the Cardinals to a successful 8-5 season with a Music City Bowl victory over Texas A&M. However, the season did not start as optimistically as it ended. An 0-3 start shocked everyone within the Louisville football program, fans included. In hindsight, those 3 games could have, and arguably should have been won. Ultimately, inexperienced but big mistakes led to the Cardinal’s first 0-3 start since 1984.
I never met him and he never met me, but he’s a huge part of who I am today and I feel peace knowing he doesn’t hurt anymore. It’s a day I’ve been dreading for years and I broke down to tears with the news of his passing. As local flags have been lowered to half mast, the world is a little more peaceful because of the fight of Ali. I often wrote poems as a kid (maybe one day ill dare to share those… Definitely not soon). But I felt it appropriate to rhyme what’s on my mind during this difficult time.
Jeff Fischel of the ACCDN dives into the rise of Louisville Football behind the leadership of Petrino & Jurich. It appears that the ACC has taken notice and we won’t be sneaking up on anybody. Football season can’t get here soon enough.
Basketball season is done. It’s over. The hypocrisy of the North Carolina Tar Heels playing in Monday’s championship game.. Ended in what will be the greatest championship finish for years to come. North Carolina on the salty end of it. Sure, we sighed with relief after Kentucky failed in the second round but the sting went away when the Villanova finished what they started and cut down the nets on Monday night.
In the meantime, April has revolved around America’s game in Louisville. Our university’s program has eyes on the prize and I think fans are itching; Omaha or bust.
Three reasons the Cards make their fourth College World Series appearance:
Coming off back-to-back CWS appearances, the highway robbery that kept Louisville from making a third straight in 2015, lets call it a chirp on the Card’s shoulders to get back with the 2016 roster.
🔴 Star Power
5% of the Golden Spikes watch list are on Louisville’s starting roster:
This award given the nations best amateur baseball player.
RF/LF Junior Corey Ray
Ray is hitting .333 with 11 home runs, 46 RBI, 31 stolen bases, 13 doubles and 40 runs scored.
2B Junior Nick Solak
Solak has a .455 batting average with one home run, 15 RBI, eight doubles and 28 runs scored.
P/DH Sophomore Brendan McKay
McKay has compiled a 7-1 record with a 2.15 ERA and 73 strikeouts in nine starts and 58.2 innings pitched this season.
At the plate, the lefty swinging McKay has a .316 batting average, three home runs, 11 doubles, two triples and 24 RBI while starting 36 games as a hitter.
From maneuvering the program through the toughest regular season schedule to aggressive base running night in and night out and comeback wins, head coach Dan McDonnell and the Cards are poised to score plenty and make a run into his 4th CWS in 9 seasons.
Follow the Cards and I to Omaha!
The Cards are wrapping up their spring friendly sessions and taking on the, if you’re a Cardinal fan (….Which I’m sure you are or you wouldn’t be here) unfavorite Michigan state Spartans. The Spartans aren’t highly touted but the Cards are always in the conversation and this match is high-profile, none the less.
After reading this title, I’m sure many of you will want to call me premature or say that I’m thinking way too far ahead. But am I really? With the Final Four and National Championship less than a week away, next season will soon be known as this season. That is great news for Cardinal fans. If you’re like me, you told yourself the pain of watching the tournament would be too much to stomach, then as soon as the first good game reached crunch time you couldn’t resist. This year’s tournament has been full of surprises and very exciting to watch. The ACC dominated, setting a record for most teams in the Sweet Sixteen with 6, then sending 4 teams to the same side of the Elite Eight guaranteeing the ACC a spot in the National Championship for the 2nd straight season.
March 10th match
It was rainy and scoreless for most of the match but the glory between the two local programs was a breath of fresh air as the Cards look to make a deep run in the post 2016 season.
LCFC signed the Cardinals all time assists leader, Paulo DelPiccolo, in February and in March, got to play at the house he helped build, Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn stadium.. This go around sporting the City’s purple hue.
Who needs march madness when we have March matches… Feel better yet?
Welcome to Soccerville USA #cardnation. The men’s soccer team will participate in several spring friendlies as they gear up for another season lead by head coach Ken Lolla. Cards fans looking for ways to show support and explore one of the finest facilities and some of the nations best talent, you’re gonna wanna check out these Cards.
****Editors note: Glad to see that they have fixed the issue with the ticket distribution
The University of Louisville’s Athletic department released the following information regarding NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament first and second rounds.
Potential Ticket Information Should Louisville Host NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds
The University of Louisville is eligible to serve as a host for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament first and second rounds from March 18-21 in the KFC Yum! Center
Premium seat holders, who have the first right of refusal for tickets to all events in the arena, including shows, concerts, and games, have been offered a small window of opportunity to purchase tickets. Beginning Monday, Feb. 29, at noon, all Louisville women’s basketball season ticket holders will be given a pre-sale offer to obtain tickets. Using Ticketmaster, fans can select their specific seats for the two days of games.
The Cardinals had a 62-58 lead with about 4 minutes left to go. All seemed well then they suffered a 4+ scoring drought and Miami took advantage and won 73-65. The Canes went on a 10-0 run to take a 68-62 lead and pulled away late. 1 field goal in the last 5 minutes of the game killed the Cards today, they beat themselves down the stretch by being loose with the ball and taking bad shots.
Trey Lewis had 13, Chinanu Onuaku had 10, and Quentin Snider finished with 14. Damion Lee had a rough day going 3-12 for 6 points. Sadly, unless a miracle happens and Miami and UNC drop 2 of their remaining games, the Cards lost their chance at an ACC regular season title. The Cards host Georgia Tech on Tuesday at 8pm and can be watched on Wave3. I’m always proud to be a Cardinal (especially when Miami fans are so jealous of our program that they act the way they did today). Two games left with this special team, cherish these moments. As always, Go Cards!
If you haven’t yet been to Jill’s Place located in the Glassworks Building at 8th and Market, you need to check it out. Jill’s Place is Louisville’s first self-serve internet Café with a “Pay it Forward” theme (meaning every day someone receives a free drink in exchange for a promise to perform any random act of kindness towards a stranger). Jill’s Place is also a great “hang out” place for Card fan mingling and game watching, AND if you’re looking for a place to host a small gathering at a reasonable cost, you can find that at Jill’s Place too! For more information on this great new addition to downtown Louisville, visit their Website at jillsplace2015.com!
Also here is a link to her monthly newsletter: February Newsletter
About 5 years ago I remember first hearing the term ‘Cardiac Cards’. Today, that nickname could not have been more accurate. The Cards faced a double digit deficit for a stretch in the second half where the game could have really slipped away. A contact technical foul on Jaylen Johnson sparked what Cards all know as the ‘boom’. Louisville closed the game on a 26-10 run to fight back from what was at the time a 54-45 Duke lead. The final score was 71-64.
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As you all know, we at CardinalSportsZone.com like to shine the light on local businesses. Since today is a slow news day, (Thank Goodness!) I decided to shine the light a little brighter. I will be posting some promos from a few of my favorite local businesses throughout the day. Batting lead off, my guy Stew at Cardinal Phone & Repair!
After dropping their two road games last week to Duke and Notre Dame, the Cards will look to bounce back tonight at home against a hot Syracuse team at 7 on ESPN. Syracuse (18-8), winners of eight of their last nine, is looking to build on their tournament rumé tonight with a road win against a ranked opponent. Louisville (19-6) dropped to 18 in this week’s AP Poll and looks to snap a two-game losing streak.
Despite losing big man Anas Mahmoud for the season, the Cards enter tonight favored by 7.5 points over the visiting Orange. The always fun part about this game is the competition between two of the greatest coaches in college basketball history. Jim Boeheim and Rick Pitino always seem to compete against each other in memorable games. My prediction is Louisville pulls away at home behind Damion Lee and a big night by Donovan Mitchell for a final score of 78-68.