This past Saturday, the Louisville Cardinals took the field in Hattiesburg against a dreadful Southern Miss Golden Eagles squad in what appeared to be rainy, but tolerable conditions. Then the rain really hit. After the Cards scored their first touchdown on a beautiful throw and catch from Teddy Bridgewater to DeVante Parker, the skies opened up and the conditions went from tolerable to miserable.
From that point on, it wasn’t so much football as it was survival.
By the third quarter, M.M. Roberts Stadium was a complete mess. There were puddles of rain covering pretty much every inch of the field. In some cases, the puddles were 2-3 inches deep. Apparently, installing a drainage system on this field was not thought of until—well, ever. Throwing the football became basically impossible and each snap from both teams was an adventure in of itself.
I could go on, but all of you out there watched it and saw the same things I did. With that said, I ask the following two questions: what do we make of Louisville’s performance on Saturday? And what do we take away from that game?
In my opinion, the answer to both questions is the same: not much.
Going into the game, we knew the one huge advantage Louisville had, and most likely would exploit, was in the passing game. The Cards have Teddy Bridgewater and a host of talented receivers, while Southern Miss boasts a horrible passing defense. However, that advantage was negated as passing the football was essentially impossible in those conditions.
On the flip side, you also cannot take too seriously the way UofL’s defense all of a sudden woke up and started getting after the Golden Eagles in the second half. Again, the weather conditions shrunk the playbooks so much there were no legitimate options outside of running the football. Yes, it was good to see the Cards play with fire, energy, and aggressiveness on the defensive side, but let’s be honest, everyone knew what USM was going to do offensively.
Did the Cards show they can come back on the road despite horrid conditions and momentum going away from them? Yes, absolutely.
Is this another example of Louisville winning a game they would have lost last year or two years ago? Without question.
But as far as any long term conclusions being reached or us getting any closer to getting a firm grip on what this Louisville team really is, no answer was given on Saturday night. The only thing we can solidly take away from Louisville’s 21-17 win over USM is that the Cards are 5-0 heading into their bye week. They get a week off before beginning Big East play on October 13 at Pittsburgh. The real season begins now.
**Nick’s editor’s note**
Oh, and simple answer to your title. You learned that your team can come from two scores down in elements that completely neutralize the field. That shows grit. Now get the hell out of Hattiesburgh and get back to the Ville at 5-0. That is all. Probably didn’t spell Hattiesburgh right. I don’t care.
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