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Thursday evening Cardinal news and notes

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"The Junkman" says he'll never forget the highest scoring Liberty Bowl ever and won't let Boise State fans forget it either.

I_medium Spread check: still no Vegas line stop asking.

I_medium If you missed it, and the podcast is coming later, Tom Jurich doubled down on his comments about U of L on today's radio show.

"I don't like to go public like that, and I don't like to get into a situation where my name is out there - I don't look for other jobs," Jurich told Mike Rutherford and John Ramsey on 93.9 The Ville Thursday. "I don't want to be a candidate. I don't know how my name got in there."

Jurich said he is staying in Louisville in the clearest terms possible. 

Jurich: "I'm not interested in moving, and I don't want to move. ... I feel comfortable saying this is the best job in college athletics."

Jurich acknowledged the reports of him being a candidate to replace former Texas AD Steve Patterson, but said he is happy in Louisville. At Louisville, Jurich has built the Cardinals from a Conference USA power to a member of the Big East, then the American Athletic Conference and now the ACC. 

"What is there not to like about my job?" Jurich said. "... I wouldn't trade our coaches for anybody. I like our coaches from A to Z."

I_medium The Louisville prep continues down at Samford.

I_medium So we've discussed on here recently about how none of my football teams are winning, I dreamed that U of L would start 0-3, and basically my September has been awful on every level. Well, here's the deal: yesterday was the first day of Autumn. Right away, my wife left for a work trip, which, while I'm contractually obligated to say is awful, also allowed me to eat a gigantic meal of Chinese (she doesn't enjoy) which was fantastic, and watch a new show that I'm really into (Black Mirror...check it out) with the volume insanely high into the wee hours of the morning. Then, hours later, a stat correction in fantasy football miraculously changed a heartbreaking .14 point loss (or two Aaron Rodgers yards) into a .59 point victory.

I hereby declare this: The Autumn of Mike.

But seriously, my wife is cool and I can't wait for her to get home.

Autumn of Mike.

Cards by 270.

I_medium MICKY.

Feeling more able than ever to go hard on every practice rep, Crum won a starting position out of training camp and through three games, he's tied for the team lead with 12 receptions and is second in receiving yards with 158.

"I was surprised (to be the starter to begin the season)," Crum said. "But then I also really wasn't, because I busted my tail."

Crum had a breakout game in Week 2 against Houston, catching six balls for 103 yards and a touchdown and was honored as the John Mackey Award national tight end of the week.

Last Thursday, his violent block of a Clemson defender during L.J Scott's catch-and-run play was one of the Cards' most memorable highlights of a 20-17 loss.

Coach Bobby Petrino during the preseason repeatedly praised Crum's improved conditioning, and the coach said Wednesday that he's been impressed by Crum's speed and hands.

"The thing that has impressed me more than I thought it would is his ability to run after the catch," Petrino said. "I think he's a guy that we're going to see continue to make plays and run after he catches the football."

Crum's performance has been one of the clear bright spots during U of L's slow start, but he's not giving himself too much credit. He said he'd grade his season so far as a "C-plus" with plenty of room for improvement.

I_medium U of L women's basketball commit Kyle Shook has been upgraded from a 4-star prospect to a 5-star .... because Jeff Walz doesn't participate in anything these days that isn't 5-star.

I_medium Campus Insiders does what few national outlets are willing to do and gives Louisville-Samford a full preview.

Why Louisville Will Win

The Cardinals may be 0-3, but the defense is still among the most talented in the ACC. Louisville just held Clemson to only 20 points, and DE Sheldon Rankins, linebackers Keith Kelsey, James Burgess and Devonte Fields, and S Josh Harvey-Clemons are next-level types. This is the nastiest D Samford will see all year.

Player Who Matters

Okay, so who gets the ball to start this game, coach Petrino? Bobby Petrino has started a different quarterback in each game, and the shell game has backfired. Kyle Bolin, Lamar Jackson and Reggie Bonnafon have combined to throw just two touchdowns and five picks. It's entirely possible that Bolin is the primary passer, while Jackson's athleticism is employed in sub packages.

What's Going To Happen?

It's now or never for Louisville, which has the defensive muscle to overcome whatever issues continue plaguing its offense. The Cards will silence Eubank and the Bulldogs, while top rusher Brandon Radcliff enjoys bigger holes than he's seen so far this month.

Louisville vs. Samford Prediction

Final Score: Louisville 45, Samford 10, Line: No Line, o/u: No Line

I_medium Rick Bozich says Lamar Jackson is the quarterback who gives Louisville the best chance to win.

I_medium Speaking of which, does this tweet from jackson mean that's exactly what's about to happen?

Attempting to decipher those emojis on the radio was probably my low point as a "professional" ... but there's a solid chance Lamar Jackson starts at quarterback on Saturday.

I_medium Trager Stadium will be the site of a top 10 field hockey battle between No. 7 Wake Forest and No. 8 Louisville Friday at 6 p.m.his is what starting 0-3 does to families.

I_medium This is what happens to families when teams start 0-3.

We all do things we regret when we're mad, Louisville Metro. You forgave me when I said I didn't like the Derby because I was bored at a family friend's party when I was 7, I can forgive you for this.

Greater Clark County school system knows what's up.

That was a Twitter joke. I didn't actually sleep with the Greater Clark County school system. That's not even a real thing that a person can do.

I_medium Charles Gaines with some high praise for Keith Kelsey.

I_medium Speaking of No. 55, Louisville's 0-3 start is overshadowing the fact that he's having a pretty fantastic season.

There is a reason junior Keith Kelsey is a team captain. The junior from Gainesville, Fla., has let his play on the field justify the fact that he deserves to be one of the five team captains. Kelsey leads the ACC and ranks 12th in the nation in tackles with 33 after three games. Besides his high tackle numbers, Kelsey also leads the squad with four tackles for loss and a pair of sacks.

"Keith is a grinder," Grantham said. "He is one of our top guys. He understands what to do and how to do it. The reason he is where he is as a player is because of his work ethic. He allows us to do what we do. He i a guy who takes charge and makes sure that guys are accountable for what they have to do."

I_medium The current Louisville baseball recruiting class is ranked 21st in the country by Collegiate Baseball News.

I_medium So, Teddy was pretty good against the Lions last Sunday.

Bridgewater's passer rating was 120.6 (on a scale that maxes out at 158.3 in the NFL), the second-highest mark of his two-year career. His QBR was 98.5 on a scale that ends at 99.9.

Michael Rand of the Star Tribune writes that Bridgewater was "historically great" under that metric that was launched by ESPN in 2006.

Any time you're "historically great" at anything, it's typically a good sign.

What would I be "historically great" at? Waffle consumption? Swearing during sporting events? Nothing? Probably nothing.

I_medium There's finally a plan for Old Cardinal Stadium.

A 200,000-square-foot "Agri-plex" has been proposed in a master plan for the Kentucky Exposition Center on the site of decrepit old Cardinal Stadium, long overdue for demolition.

The project would be a new venue that would offer extensive storage space — badly needed since the crumbling stadium was declared off limits two years ago — as well as space for agricultural events at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The Agri-plex — its cost not yet estimated — was a central recommendation of a "preliminary draft master plan" for the aging fairgrounds unveiled Thursday at Freedom Hall by a team of consultants hired by the Kentucky State Fair Board.

In opting for the agricultural-themed event venue, the consultants rejected adding a multipurpose amphitheater accommodating around 10,000 people, intended primarily to draw outdoor summer concerts.   The fair board had discussed the amphitheater for several years as a likely replacement for the stadium, but the consultants said Thursday that the amphitheater would probably be a low revenue generator and probably would not be worth whatever it might cost.

The fair board over a year ago hired the consulting firms CSL of Minneapolis and Godsey Associate Architects of Louisville to develop the master plan for the fairgrounds, where many of the facilities, including Freedom Hall, date to the site's opening in 1956.

I would have preferred a 200,000-square-foot Aggro Crag, but that's just me being greedy.

I_medium St. X lefty Adam Elliott (2016) is the latest local star to commit to Dan McDonnell and Cardinal baseball.

I_medium It's the first of two consecutive monster recruiting weekends for Louisville basketball, with De'Aaron Fox making his official visit to U of L.

For the Cardinals, it's another critical opportunity to connect with Fox, who had what his high school coach called a "great" in-home visit with coach Rick Pitino back on Sept. 11 after establishing a relationship with Pitino and assistant Kenny Johnson over the phone. They are on the hunt for a ball-handling and scoring guard for the 2016-17 roster, a combination-type player who would help Quentin Snider and Donovan Mitchell in the backcourt.

Fox, who is at the top of Louisville's recruiting wish list, is widely considered a potential first-round NBA draft pick in 2017, a game-changing guard who will make whichever college he signs with an instant contender.

"(Pitino) wants (Fox) to score the basketball and be the lead guard. It'd be a great fit for what he does, offensively and defensively," Cypress Lakes High coach Emmanuel Olatunbosun said earlier this month.

Many recruiting experts believe Fox, who is 6-4 and a consensus top-10 prospect across all four major recruiting sites, is leaning toward Kansas or Kentucky, with Arizona and Louisville needing to gain some ground, though Olatunbosun rejected the idea that any school is a favorite.

In reviewing Louisville's recruiting efforts in early September, Scout.com's director of basketball recruiting, Evan Daniels, said securing an official visit is an important part of that process.

"I'm of the belief that, if you get an official visit, you have a chance. What you do with that official visit is on you," he said

I_medium U of L hoops recruit Brandon Robinson will announce his college decision on Monday. The 4-star guard/forward is down to Louisville, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Maryland.

I_medium Louisville football's search for answers continues on Saturday.

I_medium And finally, beat Samford.