Prior to the Cards taking the field against North Carolina, I gave you five things I thought Louisville needed to do to pull out a win. The Cards won the game 39-34, as well as give half the people in attendance a coronary as they nearly gagged away the game. Let’s take a look back at how UofL did on the five keys to victory against the Tar Heels.
Get off to a fast start
I’m not sure you could get off to a faster start than what the Cards did. After forcing UNC to punt on the opening possession, Louisville marched right down the field and scored a touchdown after five plays. Then, Louisville’s Marcus Smith intercepted a Carolina screen pass and on the first play from scrimmage, Teddy Bridgewater found Charles Gaines off a play-action pass for a 32 yard touchdown. Before the first quarter was hallway over, the Cards were up 12-0.
Get off to a fast start? Uh, yeah. Well done there.
Attack the North Carolina secondary
Teddy Bridgewater dissected the UNC defense. Louisville did not take as many shots down the field as I was hoping (which, to be fair, may not be possible outside of a Bobby Petrino coached team), but UofL did throw the ball a lot at a weak secondary. Teddy finished with 279 yards passing and 3 touchdowns, so I’d say they did pretty good here.
Pressure the quarterback
Epic fail. The Louisville defense finished the game with 0 sacks. Let me repeat, 0, as in none. A Charlie Strong/Vance Bedford defense, in a forty minute game, produced 0 sacks. I watched the game multiple times and looked at the box score multiple times as well, and I still do not believe they went the whole game without sacking UNC’s Bryn Renner. Not so coincidentally, Renner threw for 363 yards and 5 touchdowns.
The UofL secondary has taken some heat early this season and a good amount of it is justified, but until the defensive line starts getting pressure on the quarterback, it will be a long year for the defensive backs.
Lower penalty total
Louisville did lower their penalty numbers from week 2 to week 3. After committing nine penalties against Missouri State, the Cards were flagged six times on Saturday. You still want that number down to 1-3, if not 0, but they did improve there. Let’s hope that number keeps dropping as the season progresses.
Make plays in special teams
Not a great job here by the Cards. Even though UofL kicker John Wallace was 2-2 with his field goals and perfect on the extra point attempts, the Cards special teams also gave up a blocked punt and fumbled the ball on a kickoff return, as well as a near fumble by Corvin Lambo on a kickoff return. Both of those plays greatly aided UNC in their comeback effort.
Outside of field goal kicking, Louisville special teams have not been terribly impressive this season. They must get better or else eventually, they will cost the Cards a game.
Filed Under: Football
About the Author: