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Extra Points: Louisville-Florida State

It’s time to talk about it.

Florida State v Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

This is my third week in a row of this post. So that means I have written one following a narrow win over WKU, a blowout loss at Virginia, and now the crushing loss to Florida State on Saturday. I long for the day that I can write one of these and be full of positivity and talk about how good the team looked after a solid win. Will that happen at all this season? Or am I doomed to have seven more of these that are not so fun to write? If I am correct in my predictions about what these last couple of losses would mean for our season, then it could be quite a while before “Extra Points” is fun to read as well as write.

The play-call of the game

It’s what everyone is talking about. How could we pass the ball instead of run in that situation? Even if we don’t get a touchdown, you force FSU to use their final timeouts, kick the field goal, and give them about 30 seconds to have to drive downfield and score a touchdown. Could they have done that? Obviously, they could have with the big plays they did have to score in the second half. And that would have been crushing. But in that instance, we are talking about the defense and how they allowed that to happen, rather than the mysterious call to throw it and not run it in that situation.

I am not 100% sure how that play call went down. When watching the game again today, Petrino clearly said something to Puma about the play when he came off the field. It looked like he was asking “Why would you do that?” or something along those lines. If that is the case, then I wonder what he is asking about. Did Puma change the play because he saw something and thought he could hit Crum there? Is he asking why he would throw it to Crum when the play was supposed to go somewhere else? Or why he snapped the ball with still about 10 seconds left on the playclock? What is the question that Bobby was asking Pass? And if Pass did change the call, which I am not sure if he did or not, that is still on the coaches for not having their QB prepared enough to know that in that situation, running for no gain is more beneficial than that pass being completed.

Whether Petrino called the play or not, it’s coaching. I am not defending him here, trust me. I am just curious as to what he was questioning Puma about as he walked off the field. And I know we will not get that answer.

The stars were aligned

On Friday night after watching the Louisville Live basketball event, I got the sudden urge to write a post on here that basically said that the football team needed to win on Saturday to keep some fans from turning the page to basketball season. It felt like the football team’s last chance to salvage a portion of the fan base. And man, Saturday was setting up to be perfect.

The fanbase that was so upset after the 27-3 loss at Virginia had just gotten their fix of Chris Mack and the basketball team the night before. The vibes on Saturday afternoon were positive. Regardless of their struggles, the name on the opponents’ jerseys still said “Florida State” and that is always a big deal. The weather was gorgeous. The 3:30 kickoff gave fans ample time to tailgate, but not so much that some people are unbearable at the game (we’ll see how Friday night is). And then what happens? Louisville comes out and the offense looks great. The ball is being moved. Pass looks comfortable. The defense is getting stops on 3rd down. It felt like Louisville was dominating Florida State.

Then some passes were missed, to say the least, that would have put this game away for sure. Wide open misses over the middle. Blame who you want, there is plenty to go around. Blame Puma, or the guys that are supposed to have him developed and ready to go by his third year in the program. Then some big plays are given up on defense and suddenly, we have a game. We know how it finished so I won’t go back into it. But the football team had everything in the palm of their hand to salvage the season and keep the fan base at least content for another week, enjoying the momentum of basketball excitement and beating the Seminoles for a third straight year. Instead, the way the game ended made us rehash old memories of the basketball game against Virginia when we led by four with 0.9 seconds left…and LOST. I still can’t believe it as I type it. So yes, we not only lost this football game, but it made us think of that dreaded bank shot at the KFC Yum! Center as well. Ugh.

Where do we go from here?

If you have read this post for the last two weeks, first of all, thank you. But also, you already know how I think the first half of the season shakes out. I first said that the outcome of the Virginia game could easily dictate if we start 5-1 or 2-4 in the first six games. I didn’t go into the Florida State game with any expectations, good or bad. I just wanted to see how it played out. But as the game approached, I started to view it as a possible season-changer for both programs. Both were struggling and needed a win in the worst way. For one team, it could be the springboard they needed. For the other, it could send them in a downward spiral towards a very bad season. Well, here we are.

Georgia Tech now comes to down and they opened as 4-point favorites over the Cards. They run the triple option, which is really difficult to defend, and we are on a short week. This is a team with losses to Pittsburgh and South Florida already this season. Yes, USF is decent, but you get the point. A team with losses like that should not be favored on the road against Louisville, but that’s where we are. ESPN’s Football Power Index has Georgia Tech with a 68.3% chance to win. In the latest ACC power rankings released by ESPN today, Georgia Tech is 11th. The problem is, Louisville is…last. Yes, 14th out of 14 teams.

I can’t just suddenly change my tune. We were not impressive in the two wins we did have. We looked horrible against Virginia and blew it against Florida State. Until I see a reason to think otherwise, I can’t be super confident in this team or staff. I will be at Cardinal Stadium on Friday like usual. I will cheer like usual. I just won’t be surprised at any outcome. I think Louisville is talented, but that triple option worries me, as well as the psyche of this team after that devastating loss this past Saturday.

Quick hitters

-It was a weird feeling leaving Cardinal Stadium. LJ from said that there were “Fire Bobby” chants in the tunnel on his walk back to the car. On my walk through the tunnel, people were doing the C-A-R-D-S cheer. I thought it was a little odd, but I guess I was glad that some people were still happy. After the loss to UK in 2016, there was silence and shock. On Saturday, people were talking and laughing. It felt like people were just ready to get their Saturday night started and that was the final straw for them for football and there was no reason to be that upset about it. I don’t know. Just weird.

-Hassan Hall is a stud. Get that dude the ball some more.

-I still want to see Tutu Atwell get the ball on some swing passes or crossing routes in space.

-Great to see Dorian Etheridge back out there. He made a big stop late. But ahhh, that interception went through his hands at the end. FSU scored on that long touchdown on the very next play.

-We have seen guys like LeFors, Brohm, and Teddy come through here playing quarterback. So, when we have someone that isn’t very accurate, it is hard to stomach, unless they can run all over the place and win the Heisman. Then we will take some missed throws.

-I’d like to come up with more right here, but all I’ve got is I just can’t believe that we lost that game. We’ll see how Friday goes.

-Go Cards. Go Krogering.