The University of Louisville Cardinals did not lose to Boston College yesterday because Jaylen Smith fumbled the ball after a 20 yard reception with less that 2:00 to play and the game knotted.
Anybody who blames the still not 100% healthy Cardinal wideout as the goat is an idiot.
The Cardinals did not lose the game because, up 21-7 in the 2d, their porous defense surrendered 4 consecutive TDS.
U of L did not lose the game because BC's marvelous real frosh RB AJ Dillon rushed like a man among boys Pop Warner fashion for 272 yards and four scores. Or, that his final TD scamper saw him surrounded and in the clutches of the entire Cardinal D Line at his own 25, escape that peril, then literally throwdown a final would be tackler with his off arm like some comic book superhuman, then locomotive 3/4s of the gridiron to give the Eagles a second 14 point advantage in the 4th.
This game was not lost because the increasingly hapless U of L defense couldn't cover, couldn't wrap on tackles, couldn't contain on special teams and couldn't recognize the same Eagle swing pass, which the visitors successfully ran for significant yardage, what, five, six, seven times.
The Cardinals didn't lose because they made 2d Team QB Darius Wade look like an efficient five star field general, in the chase for all conference honors.
The Cards didn't lose because, failing to score at the end of the first half, the offense was moribund in the 3d.
No, it says here this game was lost, that U of L football lost its way, in the middle of last November.
The week in 2016 after bashing the same BC squad 52-7 that took them down yesterday, the Cardinals had a cheat sheet before Wake Forest came to town, and the coaches and athletics department hierarchy blew it off like it was no big deal. And U of L still didn't play that well against the Demon Deacons.
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Then, in advance of the pivotal battle against Houston's Cougars, instead of tightening up, locking down and focusing on what needed to be done for a most promising post season, the Cardinals chose to carp about being disrespected by the Final Four Committee.
That's when yesterday's game was lost. That's when Louisville under Bobby Petrino Part Deux lost its mojo. That's when the fissures during BP Era II began to show.
U of L was throttled in Houston, 10-36. Then the Wildcats came back on them in the same way the Eagles did yesterday. Then they were manhandled by LSU in the Citrus Bowl.
Since that shaky WakeyLeaks W, U of L has lost six of ten. The only W of any arguable consequence of the four is the season opener against Purdue. That came against a first year coach of a rebuilding program with the whole off season to prepare. North Carolina is horrid. And wins over Murray State and Kent State mean zip.
U of L, a national afterthought, now sits at the bottom of the ACC Atlantic Division.
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The woes that have befallen the University of Louisville in general, Cardinal hoops in particular and the fate of Tom Jurich specifically dominated tailgate chit chat yesterday on the blacktop surrounding Papa J's. At least in the several conversations I had.
Regarding the future if any of Jurich at the helm of Cardinal athletics, the faithful remain eerily, evenly split. As many fans wish him to stay as those who shall bid him good riddance.
Yet, even with that division of thought, there's one generally accepted belief. The guy knew how to hire excellence to coach the various sports.
The mythos is that he only made mistake, egregious though it was. Steve Kragthorpe.
It is now time to reconsider.
For any number of reasons, rehiring Bobby Petrino wasn't the right thing to do.
He isn't the same offensive savant he used to be. Overall, his recruiting hasn't risen to the level necessary to compete for the Final Four.
And his hire of Peter Sirmon, after the DC's horrid season at Mississippi State, seems a dumbfounding miscalculation.
* * * * *
All that venting aside, Lamar Jackson almost saved the day.
After the Cards went from 14 up to 14 down on an untouched TD run on the first play of the final quarter, the reigning Heisman holder showed his grit, guile and fortitude.
Lamarvelous Unleashed. Unchained. Unstoppable.
If my calculus is correct, he ran the ball 8 times in the 4th for 116 yards and two TDs. It was like deja vu all over again.
And he completed ten of 15 passes for 150 yards.
That's 266 yards of Total O in the fourth quarter.
Louisville still lost on a last second FG, 42-45.
It's impossible to conceive a scenario where Lamar Jackson shall be competing for U of L next season. Which leaves only two more opportunities to behold Louisville's greatest pigskinner ever live and in person at home. Against UVa on 11/11, and Syracuse on 11/18.
-- Seedy K