Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dribs and Drabs from Card Country

Having finally wrung out my poncho and gloves from Saturday night’s rain-soaked Louisville win over Cincinnati, I thought I’d open the tap and drip out a few last thoughts on the thrilling overtime victory.

No more fair weather fans. Cardinal fans tend to be self-loathing. We complain about the lack of support. We say fans come too late, wander from their seats too much and leave too early. All are legitimate complaints. But here’s one thing you can’t say about U of L fans: They aren’t the fair-weather sort. Saturday’s crowd was 50,000 strong (coaching pun intended) from beginning to end on a rainy, cold October evening.

The good hands people. Louisville’s wide receivers are among the finest ensemble cast since Seinfeld. Eli Rogers, DeVante Parker and Damian Copeland have all made fantastic catches. By comparison, the Washington Redskins’ receivers dropped more passes on Sunday than the Cardinals have all season.

A Strong decision. In overtime, with the Cards needing only a score to win, U of L head coach Charlie Strong put quarterback Teddy Bridgewater’s golden arm on ice to set up a game-winning 30-yard field goal That proved to be the right call, but it sure worried me, particularly in adverse conditions. I would have had Teddy take at least one shot at the end zone, which the Bearcats wouldn’t have expected. Congrats to kicker John Wallace for hitting the field goal and silencing any second guesses by hacks like me.
The defense is getting better, by George. With three interceptions, U of L’s defense seems to be finding some playmakers. Among them is George Durant who deflected a pass and rushed from the edge like a heat-seeking missile.

A kick in the keister. U of L’s kick coverage continues to be a pain in the behind. The kick is typically low and short. As a result, returners get a good head of steam going and are rarely stopped before reaching midfield. Cincinnati’s game-tying drive late in regulation benefitted from yet another poor effort on kick coverage. At this point, it might be better to just routinely kick the ball out of bounds.

A fragrant flag. Strong drew a flag for arguing an official’s call about whether a muffed punt should’ve been or touchback or a safety. Despite being the dumbest rule I’ve never heard of, the official was apparently correct on the touchback call. I’m more suspect on the flag. South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops both pitched similar fits over the weekend with nary a yellow a hanky in sight.

Plus, that ref’s yellow towel could’ve been used for something far more practical, such as wiping the water off my seat.