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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

The children at the Munich, Germany Oktoberfest clearly were not prepared for the CCBM. That's a them problem. Kudos to Matt Lyons for spreading the good word.

I_medium Spread check: Florida State by 7.

I_medium This is late notice, and I apologize, but there will be a where we're watching post tomorrow for Saturday's game (that's an awful sentence but I have zero motivation to fix it). If you have a game watch location that you'd like to see featured in the post, either post it in the comments or email it to me at

Follow-up story: I had to give my AOL email address to multiple people at the Apple Store yesterday and you would have thought I just ordered chicken fingers at Jeff Ruby's. The looks of disdain that I received were of the type typically reserved for serial killers and Imagine Dragons fans.

I didn't cry though. I want you to know that. I didn't cry.

I_medium Andrea Adelson takes a look at the recruiting process and the early evolution of Lamar Jackson.

"Lamar," offensive coordinator Garrick McGee said, "is one of the best athletes anyone has ever had. Natural talent is what he brings to the table that's different from most people in the country."

Jackson had a bushel of offers out of Boynton Beach (Fla.) High, but he committed to Louisville in August his senior year. That did not stop him from listening to new Florida coach Jim McElwain, who put the hard sell on as soon as he arrived in December. Jackson took visits to Florida and Mississippi State late in the process, leading to some nerve-wracking moments for Petrino.

Ultimately, Jackson stuck to his commitment for one key reason: He knew he would have a chance to compete for the starting job, even though the Cards returned three quarterbacks with starting experience.

"When I went to Florida and Mississippi State, I knew I'd have to sit out and I knew they weren't going to give me the opportunity to start but when I came here, the coaches were being real about the situation and being honest with me, so I felt the connection," Jackson said.

When he arrived, Jackson was not intimidated. The other quarterbacks embraced him, saying, "Just learn the offense and get better each week, and coach will give you the opportunity to play."

I_medium The U of L women's basketball team has added transfer Briahana Jackson, who averaged 17.8 ppg last season for Central Florida.

I_medium previews the football weekend that will be in the conference.

I_medium Campus Insiders says the 'Noles will prevail on Saturday in a tight game.

Player Who Matters

Jackson will need to do more than run with the ball, at which he excels. The Seminoles will stack the box to neutralize his speed and force him to challenge quality DBs Jalen Ramsey, Marquez White, Lamarcus Brutus, Trey Marshall and Tyler Hunter. Not easy. Nor will it be simple keeping DE DeMarcus Walker and DT Nile Lawrence-Stample from flushing the pocket.

What's Going To Happen?

Nothing is ever boring at Florida State, nor will this week's game with Louisville. The Cardinals can be nasty on D, and the Seminoles are fresh off an emotional win over rival Miami. So, the Cards are liable to stick around deep into the second half. However, that inability to sustain drives and reach the end zone consistently will prevent Louisville from actually closing the deal. FSU survives on the strength of its D and its dominant running back.

FSU vs. Louisville Prediction

Prediction: Florida State 23, Louisville 17, Line: Florida State -7, o/u: 46

I_medium U of L baseball's current recruiting class is ranked No. 10 in the country by Baseball America.

I_medium John Calipari joins the chorus of folks who don't believe Rick Pitino knew anything about the allegations in Breaking Cardinal Rules, if there's anything to them.

I_medium Here's a good look at what made recent college hoops national champs great based on advanced metrics.

I_medium The best headline of the 2015-16 college basketball season has already been penned.

I_medium The Houston Texans have signed Brandon Dunn to their practice squad. Dunn had previously been on the Bears' practice squad this season.

I_medium According to Patrick O'Brien, no Cardinals are in the running for ACC Player of the Year.

I_medium Sports Illustrated previews the ACC and foresees Louisville finishing with a 10-8 record (good for a tie for 4th place) in the conference.

LOUISVILLE'S Projected 2015-16 stats

Damion Lee SF 12.6 5.9 1.9 112.6 24% 64%
Trey Lewis PG 11.9 3.1 2.6 105.0 22% 69%
Donovan Mitchell SG 9.1 3.3 1.7 101.9 21% 60%
Deng Adel SF 8.3 4.4 1.1 101.9 21% 54%
Quentin Snider PG 7.1 2.2 1.9 101.1 20% 54%
Raymond Spalding PF 6.1 4.3 0.5 101.9 21% 40%
Chinanu Onuaku C 5.8 6.3 0.8 104.5 16% 60%

This season relies on the premise that the skills of graduate transfers Damion Lee(21.4 ppg at Drexel) and Trey Lewis (16.3 ppg at Cleveland State) will translate to the ACC. That's a gamble, but it's not like Rick Pitino had much choice. In terms of on-court performance—and only in that context, it must be emphasized—the difficulty of a roster turnover looms larger than the specter of an NCAA inquiry.

I_medium The fact that Bobby Petrino is appearing anywhere in a hot seat ranking seems pretty absurd.

I_medium Love this guy.

I_medium The U of L men's soccer team notched a thrilling 2-1 win over UConn on Tuesday night. Here are the highlights:

Suck it, Larry Taylor.

I_medium Louisville goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin has been named the college soccer National Primetime Player of the Week.

I_medium Apparently one "well-respected coach of a top 10 program" believes Rick Pitino should lose his job, at least according to this less-than-stellar piece from Fox Sports' Reid Forgrave. Forgrave also asserts that Louisville "became a blueblood under Pitino" and legitimately ends the column by saying that U of L and North Carolina will both escape harsh punishment when all is said and done because "it's just the American way."

It's like one of the old satirical "Troll Tuesday" Andrew Sharp pieces.

I_medium Brandon Radcliff goes through a Q&A session with ESPN's David Hale

Hale: How do you explain the struggles the running backs have had so far this season? Can you get things fixed going forward?

Radcliff: It's just being coachable. There's obstacles we have to get over, and we need to take those coaching tips and follow our assignments, and then success will come. If it's not there at the beginning, keep pushing. Of course it's been frustrating for all of us backs because we haven't had the success we thought we would have, but it's just getting back into the film room, studying our opponents and seeing how we can succeed as a group. We started slow, but I feel like we just have to bond and get some familiarity with our offensive line, know the personnel we're going against and understand the way we need to run the plays Coach Petrino calls. And this bye week, he focused on the running backs and showed us the things he's seen on film that we didn't do as well. It's given us a little bit of confidence to go out and perform well.

Hale: Last year, you had a big lead over Florida State early, but you let it slip away. Are you out for some revenge this time around?

Radcliff: I feel like last year, we didn't come out in the second half with the same effort we had in the first half. That hurt all our hearts knowing we were up so much and they somehow came back to defeat us. That hurt a lot, but it's a reminder we need to play all four quarters. Even if you're leading, you need to come out like it's 0-0. It's absolute effort every quarter, going out there full throttle every time. Finishing. That's our key word.

I_medium Rick Pitino has had some good shot-blocking teams in the past, but there's a reason he believes this year's group has the potential to be the best.

I_medium In the wake of Steve Spurrier's abrupt departure, Louisville is making a push for South Carolina running back commit C.J. Freeman.

I_medium If you don't have plans on Saturday but want to watch the big game with fellow Cards fans, here's an option:

I_medium Late-blossoming Gary Barnidge just might be the most interesting man in the NFL right now.

I_medium Gary's also going to the Hall of Fame.

I_medium Via Jody Demling, Rick Pitino spent his Wednesday morning in Texas watching top recruit De'Aaron Fox workout.

I_medium Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi says he hasn't ruled out the possibility of star running back James Conner returning at some point this season. That's something to watch considering that Louisville faces the Panthers in the next-to-last week of the regular season.

I_medium The last time Louisville went down to Tallahassee and knocked off Florida State, Johnny Unitas tossed three touchdown passes. The Life and Times of Johnny Unitas discusses that performance briefly.

I_medium Mark Ennis answers some questions for the fine folks at Tomahawk Nation.

I_medium Jimbo Fisher held his weekly call-in show Wednesday night and revealed, among other things, that Dalvin Cook did practice on Wednesday and appears to be good to go for Saturday's game.

I_medium The struggles of Louisville's running backs might be the biggest surprise so far this season. ESPN attempts to figure out why Brandon Radcliff, Jeremy Smith and company haven't been more productive.

Take Jackson and the other quarterbacks out of the picture, and the numbers are bad. Louisville's running backs are averaging 3.31 yards per rush, the third-worst rate in FBS.

Nearly a quarter of the Cardinals' carries by running backs end with a loss or no gain.

After recording four runs of 10 yards or more in the opener against Auburn, tailback Brandon Radcliff has just four more since.


Indeed, the line has failed to do its job well, particularly up the middle. When running between the tackles, Louisville is averaging just 0.4 yards per rush before first contact on non-sack plays. Runners are getting hit at the line of scrimmage on virtually every carry. That's the worst rate among Power 5 programs.

On outside runs, the line has been a bit more successful (3.25 yards before contact, 29th in Power 5), but here the rushers have largely failed. Their 1.53 yards after contact rate ranks 63rd among Power 5 schools.

Overall, Louisville's running backs are mustering just 1.48 yards after first contact per rush, the worst rate in the Power 5.

Essentially Louisville has a backfield of downhill style runners and an offensive line that can't block the vertical running game. It's a serious concern.

"We've had issues with the exchange point, with the quarterback not being exactly where he needs to be, and then our running backs hitting their landmarks and getting yards after contact," Petrino said. "It's something we worked extremely hard on in the bye week."

I_medium The ninth-ranked Louisville field hockey team has a big tilt with No. 13 Boston College on Friday afternoon.

I_medium If you have the time and the stomach, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has an oral history of the 2005 Louisville-West Virginia quadruple overtime thriller.

I_medium It wouldn't happen anytime soon, but the NCAA is at least thinking about having a discussion over moving the start of the college basketball season back a month to give it more time away from both college and pro football.

I_medium And finally, beat Florida State.