Football season is rapidly approaching and it’s time for everyone to set their expectations. When it comes to Louisville football, for most people, expectations have generally been very high with Louisville falling just short of those expectations. I would say that Louisville has pretty much finished the last 4 seasons right on the realistic expectations set by Las Vegas. Louisville has won either 8 or 9 games each of the last 4 seasons under Petrino (34 wins). In his previous tenure (2003- 2006), Louisville had 41 victories including an 11-1 season and a 12-1 season, but that wasn’t against ACC competition.
This season is shaping up to be a season with very low expectations. Louisville just lost both their Heisman winning quarterback and their defensive All-American as they were both selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft. They also lost 7 starters on defense, including their 2 leading tacklers. Louisville is entering the season with their 3rd defensive coordinator in 3 years. They also have a very daunting schedule where they will open the season against the 2017 national champions, Alabama, and will play the 2016 national champions, Clemson, in the middle of three road games in four, going to Boston College, Clemson and Syracuse, with only six days to get ready for the Orange after the battle in Death Valley.
Las Vegas has set the win total for Louisville at 7 while a few other national publications have predicted Louisville to finish the regular season with a 6-6 record. Needless to say, some of the “experts” are lazy and just look at what Louisville has returning and not looking at the potential of the talent on this team when making their predictions.
Locally, there have been some rumblings that Petrino’s seat may be getting a little warm. While I don’t totally agree, I can see where his 1-11 record versus ranked teams and his 1-3 bowl record could be reason for concern. He also just finished a season where he had the best college football player on his team and they could only win 8 games – and he sent said player out with his best career victory being a Music City Bowl game.
I understand, as a fan, that this can be frustrating.
But we all know that Petrino is widely regarded as an offensive genius and that he can coach. With expectations being what they are, I expect Petrino to make a statement this year that he is still a great coach and that his team is being slightly overlooked. I don’t expect Louisville to be in the college football playoffs but I do expect them to win 8 games.
While 8 wins isn’t a huge difference from the 7 Vegas predicted, it’s not about the number of wins but rather how Louisville gets those victories.
As we get closer and closer to the start of the college football season, every major publication will tell you how your team will perform this season. I just want to let you in on a little secret – They don’t really know. They just want to get clicks, sell subscriptions or magazines. They cover every college team and often times don’t do their due diligence but rather just give you the obvious, like ” Lamar Jackson’s production will be tough to replace.”
In about a month or so I will give you my annual game by game predictions. While I am not a college football coach, I’ll give you what I believe to be the truth no matter if it hurts or not. My predictions will be based what I have observed and from information I have obtained through conversations with both Louisville staff and student athletes and not an attempt to sell you on anything.
Until then, I want to give you a few things you can expect from the 2018-2019 version of the Louisville football team. Read the rest of this entry
The University of Louisville football team will conduct its annual Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Spring Game on Friday, April 13 at 7:30p.m. inside Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Admission to the game is FREE.
Parking lots will open at 2:30 p.m. and gates open at 6:30 p.m. Drink specials will be available on the Norton Healthcare Terrace for only $3. StreetFest will open at 5:30.
All of the events and fan-friendly entertainment is awesome but I’m just here for some football. This will be your first and last look at the 2018-2019 edition of the Louisville football team until probably August. Because the public has not been allowed to any of the spring practices, you will have to watch closely for the answers to all your questions and try to take in as much as you can. Here are the top 10 things that I will be looking for or paying attention to… Read the rest of this entry
Well, we made it through another calendar year – and what a year it’s been.
Lets’s look back at some of the Nunnsense posts over the year and I’ll point out where I was right, and where I was wrong. We can also look at some of the most viewed posts as well as my top 10 favorite pictures of the year.
We started off the year with interviewing 3 of the 2017 men’s basketball class…
- Nunnsense: Q&A With Louisville Basketball Signing Class of 2017, Part 1 – Lance Thomas
- Nunnsense: Q&A With Louisville Basketball Signing Class of 2017, Part 2 – Darius Perry
- Nunnsense: Q&A With Louisville Basketball Signing Class of 2017, Part 3 – Jordan Nwora
UofL football meandered through much of this season like a lost puppy trying to find its way home through lonely streets and alleys. They looked great at times and looked horrendous at others. Sometimes within a single game they could look like world beaters and then like broken men.
Inconsistent play was a problem for the offense. It was a combination of player focus and disjointed play calling. For the defense, horrid fundamentals and bland play calling consistently made the defense look like an electric fence with the power turned off. The problem for the team and coaching staff as a whole was there seemed to be a lack of fire. Players and coaches sometimes looked like they’d rather be anywhere, but on the field. It obviously showed in an undisciplined and unfocused approach to the game at hand.
Head Coach Bobby Petrino, sophomore linebacker Jon Greenard, senior linebacker James Hearn, senior running back Reggie Bonnafon, freshman running back Dae Williams, junior wide receiver Jaylen Smith, and junior quarterback Lamar Jackson all sat down with the media after the win against Virginia. Listen to what they had to say below.
Photo Courtesy of Eric Crawford/WDRB.com
UofL Football went on the road to Doak Campbell Stadium and earned a hard-fought victory over Florida State University.
The defense, after being gashed by Boston College, held FSU to 21 points. Despite missing LB Stacy Thomas and All American CB Jaire Alexander, UofL was stingy. Trumaine Washington came up with 2 huge interceptions and a funble late in the game by FSU QB James Blackmon was recovered by UofL DL Henry Famuwera and led to the game winning FG.
The offense found a running attack and gashed FSU on the ground. Lamar Jackson led the way with 178 yards on 23 carries. Reggie Bonnafon had 16 carries for 74 yards. Dae Williams, returning from an ACL injury during spring practice, impressed in his college debut. He carried the ball 8 times for 41 yards. Each player had 1 touchdown a piece.
UofL Athletics as a whole has been reeling after the firing of Tom Jurich. The football team, in particular, has not had the year the everyone envisioned so far with 3 losses including one to lowly Boston College.
However, the team dug down deep and played perhaps their best defensive game of the year. Effort and heart were on display and UofL Football appears to be reclaiming what seemed like a lost season.
Below, in tweets from both the Louisville Football account and Bobby Petrino’s account, you can see just how much this win meant to Petrino and the team. The celebration is reminiscent of the Charlie Strong celebration after beating WVU in 2011.
Hopefully, this signals brighter days ahead for UofL Football.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A steady rain didn’t damper the progress the University of Louisville football team was trying to make as it returned to full pads on Tuesday in preparation for Saturday’s Homecoming game versus Boston College at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
The Cardinals are coming off a 39-25 loss at NC State on Thursday and, at the direction of head coach Bobby Petrino, spent each day since then focusing on making adjustments.
“We’ve got to get better, and we’ve got to get better now so we can go win this game on Saturday,” Petrino said. “We’ve got to break them down, teach them and work them in individual drills, take them over to group drills, and then take them to the team periods. One of the things you have to do is keep going and keep working at it.” Read the rest of this entry
Full photo gallery will be posted within the next few days. Until then, enjoy these pics from the victory over Kent State.
Courtesy of Dae Williams’ twitter (@alldae_)
Great news coming from the University of Louisville Football team today. Redshirt Freshman running back, Dae Williams, has been cleared to start practicing. Williams tore his ACL in spring practice earlier this year. We at Cardinal Sports Zone look forward to seeing Williams in action soon.
First, let’s start by defining what a big or successful season is. To me I measure success by the win total set by Las Vegas. This year the total is 9 so if we win 9 regular season games then the season is successful. However, early season success often raises our expectations. It shouldn’t but it just does – it’s human nature. * See last season.* Maybe you have a different definition of a successful season and that’s perfectly okay. I love our fans having high expectations. Our goal every season should be nothing less than a national championship but there is absolutely nothing wrong with being happy after a 10 win season. Read the rest of this entry
Louisville Running Back Dae Williams tore his ACL in practice last week, the football program announced. Although there is a slight shot he will still see action this upcoming season, most indicators point to his 2017 season coming to a premature end. We wish him a speedy recovery.
I attended the third and final open football practice on Tuesday afternoon. My goal was to bring you pictures from what I saw accompanied with my thoughts on how the team looked and what you might be interested in. Moments into warm-ups, I was approached and told there was no photography allowed. I tried explaining that millions of Nunnsense and Cardinal fans would be disappointed but my plea fell upon deaf ears and the no photography order remained in place. So I will just tell you what I witnessed with the promise of bringing Spring Game photos in about 10 days or so. Thanks for understanding. That’s why I love you Card family.
The first thing that stood out to me is running back Dae Williams. His size is unbelievable. He has been compared to a young Michael Bush as far as physical structure. To me, the red-shirt freshman resembles a young Marshawn Lynch. Maybe it’s just the combination of the hair hanging out the back of the helmet and the power beastmode style of running. Whatever it is, it caught my eye and I liked what I saw. Although there was basically no contact, he still hit the holes with authority and never dodged a would be tackler. I think this guy would run through a wall for you. He is the perfect fit for the Petrino pro-style offense that loves the power back. He also caught a lot of balls in this practice. I never saw him drop, or ever bobble a pass no matter if it came from Lamar of Jawon. Jeremy Smith was not on the practice field and I couldn’t get an explanation as to why, so big #40 took most of the first-team reps.
The second thing that stood out to me was the defense. It’s so hard to tell what the play or drill was supposed to be in a practice but the whole day just had the vibe that the defense was getting the better of the offense. Not sure if they were practicing short passes or defensive coverage was that good but it seemed the quarterbacks had to check down and throw a lot of short passes. The usual suspects remained at their spots but I noticed the absence of Chucky Williams. Not sure why he was not out there but P.J. Blue filled in nicely at safety. I think P.J. is going to see a lot of playing time and I am happy about that.
Stacy Thomas had a nice interception of Jawon Pass and nearly held on to a second interception. He is poised for a big year.
The receivers on this team are a dream come true for Lamar. Jaylen Smith is still out recovering from a broken foot so other receivers are getting a chance to prove themselves. Javonte Bagley continues to look good this spring.I really enjoyed watching Dez Fitzpatrick go up against Jaire Alexander. You want to be a better receiver? Go practice against the best cover corner in college football. Dez did exactly that and did it well. This kid runs such clean and precise routes and has the ability and size to go get the ball at it’s highest point. He is definitely going to be a super star before he heads to the NFL. But the receiver who looked the best was Seth Dawkins. I can’t count how many passes he caught. I didn’t see him drop a pass all day. Having Jaylen on one side with Seth on the other and Reggie in the slot will make for many sleepless nights for ACC defensive coordinators.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, C.J. Avery is a beast. This kid is an early enrolee. He should still be in high school getting ready for prom. Instead he is out there looking like he has been here for 3 years. He is a physical specimen and he just looks like he wants to hit somebody. Keep an eye out for #9 on defense this year. I’d say he end up starting at the “star” position. I think that’s great news for the good guys and terrible news for the bad guys.
I think it shows just how far this program has come and how many great prospects are on this team when you don’t even hardly notice that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is just out there flinging balls around. Yes. Lamar looked great and you would think that most of the 200 people in attendance were there just to see him but most people came out to see the whole team. I know they lost a lot on defense and the offensive line was, well, offensive last year but I truly believe that this team has the potential to be right there on the verge of the playoffs again this year.
I hope to see all of you out at the Spring Game on Saturday, April 15th at 1:00.
As Always, GO CARDS!
The Louisville Twitter-verse exploded after the CFP Poll was released. We just want a rhyme or reason. We still don’t have it. The CFPP Chairman said Michigan having three top 10 wins was the reason they didn’t move after losing to 5-4 Iowa at the time. They have three top 10 wins because the committee put Penn State, Wisconsin & Colorado a lot higher than they deserve to be solely to validate this ranking. Michigan lost their starting QB, that should be a factor. It was not. There are other problems too. It’s not just Michigan. Penalizing us for close wins & vindicating other teams positions for the same reasons. Get out of here. That awful Duke loss looks better by the week too. Don’t get me started. Whew. These guys are warriors & deserve the committee’s respect. Joey Galloway gets paid to talk about college football also. Let that sink in. Nevertheless I wanted to put up a quick post showing you the teams reactions. Think the disrespect caught their eyes?
I think they noticed. Houston….YOU have a problem….
The Louisville Cardinals picked up another addition to the 2016 recruiting class on Thursday. Dae Williams, a running back out of Oklahoma, decided to commit to the Cards. Williams was committed to SMU until just a couple of days ago, following his official visit to the University of Louisville.