Some things do not change, no matter who's in charge.
Within seconds, okay minutes actually, after U of L's solid, generally impressive, extra game insuring W over already bowl eligible UVa, the school's athletics marketing department sent out email notices heralding that the Cards are "BOWⱢ BOUND."
Geez, guys, what took you so long?
So, if you're a diehard Louisville Cardinal fan and decembering with the spouse and in-laws and kiddos in Motown or Shreveport or Annapolis or The House That Ruth Built or some other balmy clime is your wassail, your stocking's been stuffed and it ain't even Turkey Day yet.
Place your orders now. Plenty o' good seats to be had. Travel packages available.
Yes, I know that's a bit of a snarky opening. But, feeling good about the noticeable improvement the Cards showed, and flush with the season's most satisfying victory, I couldn't help but be bemused that the school didn't even allow the fans time to savor a victory pizza and some brews before rifling through the faithful's wallets.
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So, what do we call U of L's ascendent running back duo?
The Williams Brothers? Even though one's from Oklahoma, the other from North Carolina, and have no blood connection.
Williams & Williams? You know, like a law firm or something.
Williams Bros. Destruction Company?
Whatever, Dae and Malik came with the thunder. The former jammed for 88 yards and a score on 15 carries. The latter punched for 55 yards on ten totes.
When you combine those numbers with the 147 yards and an endzone visit on 15 carries by Whatsisname, the guy calling signals, you've as lethal a running attack as displayed by a Cardinal team in memory. Saquon that.
298 yards total on 43 rushing attempts. Which was 103 yards more by land than by air on 17 more attempts.
Old school. If Bo and Woody happened to click over to the Cardinals game in their man cave in the sky, they were certainly smiling.
So, credit to LJ and those Williams guys.
And capitalized Kudos to the offensive line, which played its best game of the year. There were holes. There was protection. (To be fair, each of those Williams dudes made a significant block on separate Lamar scampers.)
* * * * *
The nation's pundits are finally coming back to Lamar Jackson. Who, despite the exceptional year that Baker Mayfield is fashioning, remains far and away the most exciting, most athletic football player in the land.
First guy ever to go 3000/1000 in consecutive seasons.
Plus he made a couple truly impressive throws on two of his TD passes, one to Seth Dawkins, one to Jaylen Smith. Pinpoint. And on the scoring toss he overthrew, Smith made a glue-gloved, one-handed snare that was the best grab of the day anywhere, and one of the season's best.
Jackson, understand, will be at the Heisman ceremony. After all, he's the current holder of the trophy. But he'd have to go 400/200 in his final three games to have a chance at a repeat.
He's just such a pleasure to watch.
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That's been a common battle cry among the fan base, so underwhelming had Louisville's D been until Saturday.
So, let's give credit. His unit looked tougher and better prepared and more relentless against the Wahoos.
Especially James Hearns who had three strip sacks. Trumaine Washington had a trio of pass break ups. Dee Smith had a pick and 45 yard run with it.
The whole squadron swarmed to the ball, giving up only 5 rushing yards in each of the first two quarters, and 63 for the whole affair. The visitors only tally after intermission was a garbage time TD, when the relatively empty stadium was totally so due to the chill and beatdown.
* * * * *
What was as impressive as any of that already mentioned was how the Cards stayed resolute. There were a bunch of fumbles. A TD called back because of offensive pass interference. Awful clock management at the end of the first half.
But U of L stayed steady.
Of course, Virginia isn't Miami, but Bronco Mendenhall's squad is much better than anybody expected.
It would be really sweet if the Cardinals win out. Syracuse. UK. Whomever the Cards are matched up with wherever in a bowl game. All winnable.
A salute to the Cardinals and their effort Saturday.
-- Seedy K