Blog Archives

CFB Survival Guide: Louisville Still Needs Help

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Well, what a wild 120 hours we’ve untangled since Saturday’s plethora of upsets. #2 Michigan, #3 Clemson and #4 Washington all lost, but Louisville still lags behind with a #5 ranking

Opening Thoughts: Why #5?

Personally, I think Louisville should have been ranked fourth behind Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson in that order. But, being ranked fifth with Michigan in front of them basically means they are fourth. At the end of the regular season, someone between Michigan and Ohio State will lose, meaning they will likely eliminate someone from the CFP for good. That will open the door for Louisville, but there will be other teams gunning for that spot with conference championships and bigger games down the road.

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The Front Paige: Grading Clemson

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1…2…3…4…  1…2…3…4.

It was dubbed the best game of the college football season and it certainly did not disappoint. The (then) Number 3 Louisville Cardinals entered a Death Valley that takes no prisoners. While the game may not have ended in the Cardinals favor, the experience was one fans will never forget.

The Tailgate

From tailgates to a perfect southern college town feel, the second you roll into Clemson, South Carolina, it is clear these folks don’t play when it comes to Tiger football. Orange and purple tents line the campus and the surrounding streets for miles. Almost every tailgate has a sign attached to the tent, “The so-and-so Family Tailgate.” At first I thought the family tailgate signs were only for decoration. But after spending a good 45 minutes trying to find friends in lot six, I realized the signs are not only adorable, but completely necessary.

Clemson fans spare no expense when it comes to tailgating. Every tailgate had a spread of food that would rival a Golden Corral buffet. Each table was lined with a Clemson tablecloth and had fancy football themed centerpieces with gorgeous fall flowers. Many tailgaters not only have amazing spreads, but they have extravagant party busses decorated in Clemson colors from floor to ceiling. I’m talking purple leather seats and Tiger paws painted on the ceiling. And Clemson fans don’t just bring one television to tailgate. Oh no, they bring multiple TVs to watch multiple games at one time. Louisville tailgates are awesome, but this was unlike anything I have ever seen.

Clemson gets an A+ in tailgating.

The Fans

Anyone who went to Clemson two years ago for the first matchup between Louisville and Clemson at Death Valley came home raving about the southern hospitality provided by Clemson fans. Last year, Louisville fans were all but threatened to provide the same southern hospitality to Clemson fans as they experienced game day in Louisville.

Arriving in Clemson, I was a little skeptical. I couldn’t tell if the hospitality was genuine or fake. The past two years, Clemson fans did not see Louisville as a threat. But this year, the Louisville Cardinals stormed into Death Valley as the number three team in the nation, riding a huge wave of hype from national pundits and touting the Heisman frontrunner in quarterback Lamar Jackson. This year, Clemson fans were admittedly scared.

For the most part, Clemson fans were extremely courteous. The southern hospitality is real from the older fans. But as always, you have a few younger fans that are flat out rude. Special shout out to the college-aged guys who rolled through Red Rage Tailgate like they were celebrities and about knocked over the bar while talking major smack. Twice.

For the most part, the fans I experienced while tailgating were extremely hospitable. I was welcomed to Clemson at least 100 times. However, once inside the stadium, the bad fans came out. The nice southern gentleman sitting next to me was disgusted with the bad mouthing Clemson fans. He said he was a Clemson season ticket holder and the fans running their mouth were NEVER at the games. But they showed up in full force for Louisville. He apologized several times. From Bobby Petrino motorcycle jokes to booing Louisville’s hurt players, the group of fans sitting a few rows back from me was obnoxious. Special shout out to the college-aged guy in a purple sports coat that was ten sizes too big and an orange tie. Yes, Louisville fans know what’s about to, “hit us.” Louisville plays Clemson every year. Oh, and your motorcycle/neck brace jokes were not original or creative. We’ve heard them all before. We deal with UK fans on a daily basis.

While the majority of the Clemson fans were extremely respectful and nice, it was the few bad fans that put a bad taste in my mouth.

Unfortunately, I have to give the Clemson fans a C.

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BucketHatism: Clemson

LJ

“ALL RISE!!! Court is now in session. The honorable Bucket Hat King LJ tha Fiasco presiding. Please be seated and come to order”

Good day folks. The BHK is back in the throne of my old Louisville home after a great weekend in the valley of Death referred to as Clemson.  I became so annoyed with hearing other people recap their trip to  Clemson from 2014 that I had to book my stay for our return trip.  On Friday morning, myself and the Bucket Hat Queen loaded up the rental, attached the car flags, and headed South. Being from Wellford, South Carolina (moved to Louisville at 11 years of age) it was nice to go back home and visit family and old friends.  Here are a plethora of notes that I will now present to the court:

  • Driving through the North Carolina mountains and trying to throw up L’s at every passing car is both dangerous and acceptable at the same time. I strongly advise against it……(not really)
  • I booked my hotel months ago but then changed to a different hotel across the street for reasons I still don’t know.  Turns out the first hotel I booked was where the team was staying, and the majority of Card fans.  Nonetheless the staff at Courtyard Greenville-Spartanburg Airport was very nice. We even got a history lesson on Bojangles origins from the clerk.
  • Speaking of Bojangles, it was well worth the wait. I know some people don’t see what the fuss about but I was brought up on it and once the last franchise left Louisville there was a void in my stomach. Within an hour of checking in, void was filled.
  • Ran into a South Carolina Gamecock fan at Ingle’s who was trying his best to act like a UK fan meaning he was failing at every attempt to discredit Clemson. While checking out all we heard was ” They are not the good,  they barely beat Auburn, the barely won at Georgia Tech, their offense is….blah blah blah.  Finally after admitting to being a South Carolina fan I told him “I said the same about you guys when you played UK last week”.  He finished ringing me up in record time……

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The Clemson Experience

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After Louisville made its inaugural trip to Death Valley in 2014, all I heard about was what a great experience it was and how nice everyone was. The epic stories made it seem like it was some sort of college football heaven. I just had to see what it was all about. I planned on making the return trip long before we knew it was going to be a top 5 matchup.

As we pulled into Clemson the first thing we heard was someone yelling ” go back to Kentucky.” I was so pleased to hear that because I needed the Clemson fans to not be as hospitable as advertised. Well, that was the last negative remark I heard for 2 days.

After hours of tailgating, where every Clemson fan felt the need to welcome us and tell us good luck, we decided to hop on the shuttle to the stadium. Turns out the shuttle we boarded drops you off at the library. We must have looked lost after departing the shuttle because this beautiful young co-ed walked up to our group of six decked out in Cardinal gear and asked in the sweetest souther draw, ” Y’all need some help?” She pointed us in the right direction and wished us luck.

We stopped at the student union to get a bite to eat before entering the stadium. The counter worked greeted us with ” welcome to Clemson, what can I get for you today?” I was thinking you could get me a barf bag because I am getting sick of all this fake friendliness. Nobody can be this nice. Especially a whole community other than Chick-Fil-A workers.

Clemson fans, I hate you! I needed you to be hostile. I needed you to be offensive towards me and my Cardinal gear to prove that we were a threat. To prove that you took us seriously. I needed your southern hospitality and friendliness to be a facade. I needed it to be a front for the true evil and hatred for us. I so wanted you to be Darth Vader dressed in an Easter Bunny costume. I though bringing the third ranked team to your house would bring out your true colors. Apparently, those are your true colors and I respect you. Thank you for a great time. We look forward to hosting you in our house next year.

A Night in Death Valley: Louisville at Clemson Preview

Louisville Clemson

Photo: usatoday.com

Last Time: In a primetime Thursday night thriller, Louisville fell short against the Tigers 20-17. Louisville cut the lead in the fourth quarter on a 100-yard return from Traveon Samuel, and had one final possession to tie the game after missing a field goal. However, a botched snap in field goal range and an intercepted Hail Mary ended Louisville’s hope of an upset bid, sending them to 0-3 for the first time since 1984.

Clemson currently leads the series 2-0, with both games decided by three points.

About the Clemson Tigers

Clemson has, quite literally, everything you want in college football; top five head coach (Dabo Swinney), an elite quarterback (Deshaun Watson), incredible skill players (Wayne Gallman, Mike Williams, etc.) and a good defense. There’s a reason this team was a kickoff return touchdown away from their first national championship since 1981.

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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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Pools Announced For ACC Baseball Tournament

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The pools were just announced for the 2016 ACC Conference Tournament

Great draw for the Cards! Check in tomorrow morning for the pairings and times.

Around the Bases, April 22nd, 2016

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Welcome back to another edition of Around the Bases, where we look at what a spectacular week it was for the Cardinals.

It began on April 12th, when the Cardinals traveled to Lexington and beat rival Kentucky 9-6 for their fifth straight win in the rivalry.

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Around the Bases, April 13th, 2016

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Welcome back to another edition of Around the Bases, and this is possibly the biggest week for Louisville baseball all season.

Last weekend was very tumultuous for the Cardinals team. After having the game at Kentucky postponed due to rain, they immediately traveled to Tallahassee to face Florida State. The Cardinals lost the series (7-12 Fri., 7-1 Sat., 5-16 Sun.), making it their second series defeat in the ACC this season. The Cardinals did not lose any series against ACC opponents last season, and the Cardinals dropped to 3-6 against Top 25 opponents on the road in 2016. The Cardinals returned home yesterday and thumped Western Kentucky 14-2, improving to a 20-1 record at home.

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Around the Bases, April 6th 2016

20160402_143610Welcome back to Around the Bases, which has not been rained out today.

Last weekend was business as usual for Louisville, as the Cardinals swept the Hokies. With wins of 8-4 (Fri.), 13-0 (Sat.) and 9-3 (Sun.), the Cardinals have a six-game winning streak heading into another big weekend at Florida State. Florida State currently holds a two-game lead over Louisville in the ACC Atlantic Division, and a series win could be big in clinching back-to-back division titles for the Cardinals.

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Way-too-early 2016 ACC rankings have Cards 3rd

Lamar Jackson

Photo: Collegefootball.ap.org

Andrea Adelson published her way-too-early 2016 ACC football rankings on ESPN.com. To no surprise, Clemson and Florida State still top the list, with Louisville right behind them. The Cards return a lot of talent and should be good, but we can’t act like those two teams are suddenly going to fall off. 2016 should be a fun year for sure. Here is what she had to say about the top 3 teams.

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ACC Football: What to watch for on Saturday

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I am going to enjoy the heck out of typing this post about college football. By the way, is this the WORST time ever as a Louisville fan to have a bye week in football? Either way, there are some important games that Cards fans can keep up with tomorrow that could have a lot of say in the ACC race, which Louisville is still in by the way.

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Transcript: Bobby Petrino ACC teleconference 9/23/15

Photo: fansided.com

Photo: fansided.com

BOBBY PETRINO: Well, we’re coming off a tough loss at home against Clemson, a very good football team where our players competed extremely hard and got into position in the fourth quarter where we had an opportunity to win the game and just weren’t able to do it. We had a good practice yesterday, and our guys are working hard, and we’re anxious to get back on the field and play another game on Saturday.

Q. Kyle Bolin and Lamar Jackson you’ve used in the last couple of games on kind of that quarterback carousel, seeing which one is going to get things going. How do you look at it going forward with these two guys and what you’ve seen so far? Is it a two-quarterback system? Does one guy kind of show more than the other at this point?

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Didn’t we sign up for football schedules like this?

Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com

Photo: CardinalSportsZone.com

There are so many story lines from Thursday night’s Clemson game. There have been big moments in all three games for the Louisville Cardinals this season. This post is not about second guessing play calls, timeouts, or anything else. This isn’t a post to say how the Cards have lost all three games by a combined 13 points, so things could easily be much different. We all know that. There are other posts designed for that information. This post is to simply pose the question:

Didn’t we sign up for football schedules like this?

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Bobby Petrino and players talk about the Clemson loss

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Transcript of Bobby Petrino’s comments:

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CSZ/RRTG Tailgate of the Week: Clemson Game 2015

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A new tradition has started this season. The Red Rage Tailgate and Cardinal Sports Zone are awarding a trophy at each home game to what we see as the Tailgate of the Week. When this idea started, it was assumed that it would go to a UofL tailgate every single time, no questions asked.

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Louisville vs Clemson highlights

Photo: usatoday.com

Photo: usatoday.com

From the ACC Digital Network

Clemson game is a fork in the road for Louisville’s season

Photo: thecoinfront.com

Photo: thecoinfront.com

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. tonight between the Louisville Cardinals and the Clemson Tigers. The home fans are encouraged to wear black. The team will be wearing black uniforms. The atmosphere in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium should be electric. It’s Thursday night, and Louisville fans seem to get way more jacked up for these games than any other games.

By the time the game ends around 11:00 or so, this season will look completely different than it does when the game kicks off tonight. With a win, the Cards are 1-0 in the ACC and would have just beaten the preseason conference favorite. They would now be in the driver’s seat in the division, and an ACC Championship is absolutely within grasp. A loss drops this team to 0-3, with over a week until the next game for every player, coach, and decision to be second guessed by every “coach” in social media land. So what is on the line tonight? The driver’s seat in the ACC, or 0-3. This truly is a fork in the road for the season.

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Clemson players talk about Louisville

Deshaun Watson. Photo: Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sports

Deshaun Watson. Photo: Melina Vastola, USA TODAY Sports

I must admit that I do love Clemson’s youtube channel. So many videos of players and coaches during the week talking about the next game. A lot of great access. Maybe we will get there one day. Here are some videos to help you pass the time until 7:30 on Thursday night!

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Transcript: Dabo Swinney ACC Teleconference previewing Louisville

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE

DABO SWINNEY: We’re looking forward to traveling up to Louisville here in just a little while today, and excited about having the opportunity to play on Thursday night. Louisville has got an excellent football team loaded with good personnel, and for us, this is our first road trip with a bunch of young guys, so anxious to see how they play and how they respond to that challenge. As far as our health of our team, I think we’re in pretty good shape. We did lose Ryan Norton for this game, but hopefully Jay Guillermo will step in and do a great job for us. But we’ve got a lot of respect for Louisville. This is a game last year that went down to literally the last play, and don’t expect it to be any different this week. They present a lot of challenges on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game, and obviously they’re well-coached, and then this is the first ACC game division game for us. Both of us have the same goals and that’s to win this division so we have a chance to compete for this conference. So big game tomorrow night, and looking forward to seeing our team compete and play.

Q. The relationship between quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Charone Peake, just obviously what you can say last game, they showed that, but what you’ve seen from them as they’ve grown together on the team?

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