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The Name Of The Game

Mitchell Leff

By Andrew Phelps

A philosophy embraced by many, the cornerstone of John Madden's entire existence, ladies and gentlemen, the team that scores the most points will win.

The Louisville football team suffered a crushing defeat Friday evening against Central Florida, and the pain intensified exponentially on Saturday as every high ranking team took it on the chin as well. Papa John's Cardinal Stadium was as impressive as it has ever been against Central Florida, and I have never felt such depression and dejection walking out of a Louisville football game.

Misery was everywhere, every fan, every player, every coach, every employee, and they were all thinking the same thing... what in the hell just happened and how did it happen?

Charlie Strong has been great for the University of Louisville and hopefully he continues to be great. However, his achievements do not excuse him and his tenure from criticism. My biggest complaint with Charlie Strong is his inability to defend the home field. Bobby Petrino lost one game at PJCS in four seasons while playing much tougher opponents. Charlie has lost 9 home games through the halfway point of his fourth season.

Charlie has made a point to call out the home crowd and continuously encourages us to perform. The Louisville fans have done their job and then some, the players and coaches have to hold up their end of the bargain. Friday night was the best crowd I have ever witnessed at a Louisville football game and it wasn't enough to prevent our Cards from blowing a 21 point second half lead.

The 21 point collapse brings me to the real point of this article and what all of else have known for quite some time, watching our offense can be infuriating. When the Cards need a score, they give the ball to Teddy, we march straight down the field every time, and one of our gifted playmakers finds the end zone. When our team needs seven, they achieve it, usually without even breaking a sweat. So I ask, why do we lose that attitude? Why do we not stay aggressive and allow Teddy to showcase is unbelievable ability? The answer is coaching. Louisville has to stop sitting on the ball when they build a two touchdown lead or more. It cost us the championship Friday night, might have cost us a BCS game, and possibly stole a New York invite away from Teddy Bridgewater.

The Louisville defense has been phenomenal all season, but Friday night was not their night, it happens, and it will happen again. The offense cannot keep taking their foot off the gas pedal. Score 50 points, trust me, it won't kill you and we won't lose. Teddy should be throwing the ball 40 times plus a game, with our receivers, tight ends and solid receiving running backs, only good things can happen when Teddy is in charge of making plays.

Friday night hurt, and will sting much like the 2006 Rutgers loss for many years to come. 2013 could go down as another "what if" season, but we still have a chance to make it a great year. This team has leadership and a good coach, but to finish the season 12-1, Louisville football needs to reevaluate and adapt the offensive first mentality that built this program into what it is today.

The Birds are 0-0 again. Go back to work Cards, finish the season 5-0, allow Teddy to post video game numbers and send him to New York, root your hearts out against Central Florida and win whatever bowl game we end up in. The year of the Cardinal took a strong right hook this week, shake it off Louisville and remind us all why we love OUR University.

All Hail UofL!