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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.