LOUISVILLE – November 22, 2019 – Fletcher Long – BSN
One thing we find fun at Bluegrass Sports Nation is looking back on what the experts said about one of our coverage teams preseason, particularly approaching the last home game upcoming this weekend. Sometimes these guys can be scarily accurate. Other times, they completely miss the mark.
What several coaches had to say about the Louisville Cardinals’ football prospects, preseason, was so bad, they wouldn’t agree to comment unless their identities remained protected. You know you have some bad things to say if you won’t go on the record in a sports section.
In an article published August 7, 2019, entitled Anonymous coaches dish on their outlook for Louisville football in the 2019 season (certainly descriptive), and authored by Gentry Estes, here were some of the comments…
“This is a total rebuild.”
“I don’t think the previous staff did any recruiting the last year or so.”
“The worst of it might not even be done yet. Bobby Petrino leaving a program hits you in waves; first they quit on him, then you have to run off a bunch of them.”
“Kentucky has been beating them (in recruiting) for some guys they never would have when Charlie Strong was there.”
Entering the game with Syracuse, one has to look at the job Satterfield and staff have done with both wonder and a great deal of admiration. Coming off a 34-20 road win over NC State behind four touchdowns from Micale Cunningham and two from Marshon Ford, the now 6-4, bowl-eligible, Cardinals find themselves entering the game with Syracuse in a position to which it hasn’t been too accustomed recently. Our Cardinals are a two-score, and therefore prohibitive, favorite.
The Orange opened 8.5 point underdogs according to Vegas Insider with an over/under of 63.5 points. The line changed to Louisville by seven and then jumped back up to Louisville by nine before Sunday would see afternoon.
Regardless, the Cardinals will host a Syracuse team whose play is ever-improving, particularly on the defensive side of the football, post in-season, defensive coordinator, change of direction. Offensively against Duke, the Orange turned in a dominating performance. The Orange, who won 49-6, witnessed both Moe Neal and Jarveon Howard rush for over 100-yards against the Duke defense.
On the flip-side of the football, Steve Stanard’s debut as the new defensive coordinator went very well. His Orangemen held a usually potent Duke offensive attack to only a pair of field goals.
The key to Stanard’s success on Saturday? According to him, it was the fact …we eliminated some complexities and let the guys really play, instead of trying to be perfect.
Feeling entitled to speak for the Cardinals, and seeing how abandoning the search for perfection resulted in improved play, we would prefer the Orange defense not abandon its search for perfection, at least not this week. The Orange defense can reinstall some complexities for this Saturday’s game. Strive for perfection, Orange defense, don’t let anyone tell you any differently!
Still the Cardinals will enter Saturday’s game with an excellent chance to push its record to 7-4 before finishing out the regular season on the road in Lexington, Kentucky against the team the experts claimed, preseason, had been out recruiting our Redbirds. We will have to see whether they can outplay us.
Join Bluegrass Sports Nation, this Saturday, as we will cover all the action when Syracuse visits Cardinals Stadium to play our Louisville team. You know the one, the one which has vastly exceeded, to date, any reasonable projection for its seasonal forecast.
Reporting for Bluegrass Sports Nation, this is your Cardinals’ correspondent, Fletcher Long, reminding Cardinal Nation to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!