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The Cardinal Countdown: 14 Days Until Kickoff

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Almost 1200 words about Drew Bailey and Kyle Bolin. Look me in the eye and tell me you have something better to read this morning...

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#14 Drew Bailey

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-5/285

Position: Defensive Line

Hometown: Jacksonville, FL

Twitter: @Drew_Foreal

Thoughts: Drew was a nice pickup for the Cards back in December coming over from Pearl River Community College (Mississippi) where he was one bad ass sack machine (10 last yr). Bailey was recruited by Maryland, NC State, Fresno State and Purdue but actually committed to the Cards while on his visit, “making Petrino’s Christmas” according to Bailey himself. As pointed out by others, the bonus in grabbing Bailey is that he has three years of eligibility left, which is huge for a guy coming into a new system as a JUCO, especially in our situation where we are veteran heavy along the D-line in 2015. As Rankins and Pio finish up their career players like Bailey, Shortridge, (now injured) Johnny Richardson and others will need to learn the ropes and prepare to be major contributors and leaders in 2016. In my head I always saw Rankins and even Pio to some extent as a “big” front line but Bailey, Richadson and newcomer GG Robinson are all taller than both of them. I talked about it earlier in the countdown but I love the fact that the talent we are bring in is not only better in terms of “stars” but we’re also getting bigger and Bailey at 6-5/285 is, well…not small.

Bailey described himself as a “finesse, power pass-rusher”, a guy who can really get after the quarterback. Bailey said he had some long talks with Lozo while on his visit and came away impressed with the defensive schemes, as well as the approach the defensive staff took with each player, etc. I’m looking forward to see what Bailey can do Year 1 in the program even if it’s just spelling Rankins or Pio on the edge. Fall camp has shown he can compete with the big boys even as he catches up with the speed of the Division 1 game, hopefully that success translates into real game scenarios.

Sweet Tweet:

Just as Mike refernced in the N&N the other day, the players seem to like them so….I’m 100% on board.

Look Good, play good.

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#14 Kyle Bolin

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-2/208

Position: Quarterback

Hometown: Lexington, KY

Twitter: N/A

Thoughts: [piano music plays in the background as highlight footage from Kyle’s High School begins to role] “What if I told you that a local hero turned down his hometown team to go play for their cross state rival. Threats…hate mail…pressure, his commitment never wavered. Then, one chilly November afternoon, he got a chance to play that very team, fighting for their postseason life. With the odds stacked against him and the scoreboard out of his favor, he showed them just how special he could be and ended their season one pass at a time.

30 for 30 presents: You’re Not Bolin

Okay,okay, maybe I’m being a tad overly dramatic but can we just take a couple seconds and give Kyle a quick round of applause for his play against the Cats last year? [seriously, I can see you’re not clapping yet, do it now, please]. The kid who had 7 passing attempts through 12 games came in against a rival, down 13 points and single-handedly wrote a new chapter in the Louisville versus Kentucky football rivalry. There are some games we tend to look back upon fondly but as the years pass the statistics don’t quite align with the hype we had for an individual’s performance…this will not be one of those games. Let me rattle off a few quick stats for you. Kyle finished that game 21/31 (67%, tied for most completions by any Louisville QB in a game all year), passed for 381yds (most passing yds by any Louisville QB in a game all year) had 3 passing TD’s (most passing TD’s by any Louisville QB in a game all year) and finished with a 196.5 efficiency rating (best of any Louisville QB all year, with more than 5 attempts). The dude balled out.

Now, here is where I shift gears slightly on the story of Kyle Bolin, so bear with me. If there is one thing about the whole situation last season that irks me to this day it’s that Bolin was painted to be some type of third string after thought that had the game of his life and then drifted off into the darkness. We can go ahead and shut that storyline down right now. The kid is a damn good quarterback, and has been for quite sometime. In fact, when he committed, and even up until spring ball last year, many thought he could push Will for the starting job, myself included. Another injury set him back at the start of the year but he proved over the course of the season that he belonged. Even against Georgia in the bowl game Bolin wasn’t bad. He attempted 40 passes with a 50% completion percentage and had a passing touchdown. Yes, his two picks weren’t ideal, but neither was 62 total rushing yards from Radcliff and Company and the defense giving up 12 of 18 3rd down conversions while watching Chubb real off 266 yards. If we’re pointing fingers for the loss I’ve got a handful to give out and Kyle is pretty far down the list. So where is the love?

I’m not sure if the perception of Kyle’s performance in the Bowl game turned fans off or the emergence of Reggie in the Spring just shifted the focus but if we’ve learned anything in the last year it’s don’t sleep on Kyle Bolin. I think most outlets have pinned the QB battle as a two man race at this point, but Bolin is still getting first team reps as of the last open practice. If Reggie is the QB, great. If Gardner is ready to roll, super. But don’t think for one second I don’t have faith in Bolin trotting out there on September 5th if we need him.

Our House indeed Kyle, our house indeed.  

Sweet Tweet: Today marks 14 days until the Cards kickoff the season, which means it’s officially time to put in your two weeks notice to those around you...It’s been a solid summer, but all things come to an end and after September 5th I will no longer be available to help you move on Saturdays, participate in or attend your wedding on Saturdays, help you stain your deck or perform any other home maintenance projects on Saturdays, run errands on Saturdays, cut the grass on Saturdays, feed the children on Saturdays, bathe the children on Saturdays, prevent the dogs from urinating on the carpet on Saturdays, commit to sufficient hygiene practices on Saturdays, etc, etc, so on and so forth.

Lay it all out there now people so you don’t waste the first 30 minutes of the noon game arguing about dog pee. Not worth it.