Welcome back to Part 3 of the Cards ‘Race Toward a Championship’ where we follow along with the seasons progress as it unfolds on the magnificent dirt track in front of us. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 feel free to go back and check it out now. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it but to each their own.
As the Cards head down the backstretch things are certainly not looking good for them to get into the money with the contest about half way over. Boston College has shown they can pound the dirt with the best of them and the Louisville horse has pretty much given up any type of effort regarding defensive positioning. The two battle back and forth a little bit and then, as expected, BC starts to pull away. Louisville puts up little fight to go after them…
The Louisville horse appears somewhat distracted and/or disinterested as they enter the third turn and I’m not sure they even realize the foal out of North Carolina is coming up on them. In a matter of seconds Wake Forest has walked past Louisville and I’m not even sure if they noticed. Lead by a jockey who felt shunned by the Louisville barn Wake has run, run, run right by the thoroughbred and Louisville, once again, showed little awareness as to what was occurring around them.
As they continue through the turn Louisville can look ahead and see Clemson already out of the turn and heading for home, a full 20 lengths ahead of where they currently are. A bit surprising considering how close they’ve run to each other the last couple years but not shocking as most knew Clemson was a top tier talent this year and Louisville...well, was not. They’re not even close in this race. They never where.
Areas of Concern
Everything. Everything is a concern. Maybe I’ll exclude Blanton and Mason but everything else. It’s dumb.
I’m not going to waste my time or yours and churn out two paragraphs about why things are going wrong. You’re smart, you can see. Instead, let’s look at some charts, peep some stats, and let me point out some absurd numbers so far this season.
(All ranking are of 130 total FBS schools)
- Cards are 113th nationally in ‘Total Offense’
- Cards are 118th nationally in ‘Scoring Offense’
- Cards are 120th nationally in ‘Rushing Offense’
- Cards are 92nd nationally in ‘First Downs’
- Cards are 124th nationally in ‘Sacks Allowed’
- Cards are 115th nationally in ‘Tackles For Loss Allowed’
- Cards are 129th nationally in ‘Turnover Margin’
- Cards are 115th nationally in ‘Total Defense’
- Cards are 125th nationally in ‘Scoring Defense’
- Cards are 128th nationally in ‘Rushing Defense’
- Cards are 130th nationally in ‘Opponents 3rd Down Conversion’
- Cards are 129th nationally in ‘Sacks
- Cards are 127th nationally in ‘Tackles For Loss
- Cards are 122nd nationally in ‘Interceptions
- Cards are 119th nationally in ‘Forced Fumbles’
- Every team UofL has played has had more success on 3rd down against them than what they have averaged the rest of the year with the exception of FSU
- Two teams have converted on 3rd down greater than 40% more than their season average.
- Every team UofL has played has had more success in the redzone against them than what they have averaged the rest of the year with the exception of Alabama and BC
- Cards are -11 in turnover margin, putting them at next to last in the country only behind East Carolina.
- Cards have not generated more than 9 disruptive plays in the backfield in any game all season.
- In three games the Cards have had less than 5 disruptive plays in the backfield.
- Only three times have non-quarterbacks received more than 20 rushing attempts in a game, 2 of those 3 games UofL got over 120 yards of production.
Other painful statistics from Bill Connelly:
- The Cards offense is in 3rd and long situations 61.1% of the time (126th nationally)
- The Cards offense is in 3rd and short situations only 6.9% of the time (110th nationally)
- The Cards defense only puts opponents in 3rd and long 39.5% of the time (129th nationally)
- The Cards defense allows teams to convert 3rd and long or medium 41.5% of the time
- The Cards defense allows teams to convert 3rd and short 95% of the time (129th nationally)
- The Cards overall ‘Havoc Rate’ (% of disruptive plays) is 8.3% (130th nationally...last place)
- The Cards ‘Passes Defended to Incompletion’ ratio is only 23.6% (126th nationally)
Areas of Promise
Young Talent- Cards do have some young guys who can make plays when they are put in a position to succeed, and that’s on both sides of the ball. I really like Tutu Atwell, I like Hassan Hall, I like Colin Wilson, I like Yasir Abdullah, I like Robert Hicks, I think Malik Cunningham can be good, I like Nick Okeke, and I think CJ Avery is solid. These guys all have two or three season of football left to play as long as they stick around and I’d love to see that happen.
That’s it. Nothing else I can point to as areas of promise.
- Cards have major issue on both sides of the ball.
- Cards are statistically one of the 3 or 4 worst Power 5 teams in the country.
- Cards allow opponents to convert 3rd downs easier than any team in the country. 3rd and Grantham is dead.
- Cards are next to last nationally in turnover margin.
- Cards defense creates zero pressure and is next to last nationally in sacks, 127th nationally in tackles for loss, 122nd in interceptions and 119th in forced fumbles. The BVG “aggressiveness” creates nothing productive.