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Extra Points: Louisville-Virginia

There’s still a lot of bad to unwrap from Saturday.

Louisville v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Let’s just jump right in. Louisville lost to Virginia on Saturday 27-3. It was ugly. It was embarrassing. It was a dumpster fire. It was just bad. I tweeted before the game that I really thought it was a game that would set the tone for the next few weeks and a win could springboard us to a 5-1 start, but a loss could lead to a downward spiral of a 2-4 start. And if that is the case, then that 2-4 could just continue to get worse. The loss does not guarantee that record will now happen, but we are heading in that direction.

The QB situation

What do you even do here? If you read this “Extra Points” post last week, you know that I wanted Jawon Pass to get the start and to actually have a leash to play through mistakes. That didn’t happen. We got Malik Cunningham, who looked good running the ball against Indiana State and Western Kentucky. This wasn’t either of those teams, and there isn’t a team like that left on the schedule. So, what can he do now? Not knocking him. I just don’t think he is ready to be the starter, as he shouldn’t be yet. He should be a couple years away from that position. But he was thrown in the fire because he was a faster runner than guys from Indiana State and WKU. Right?

But Jawon Pass didn’t look great either, I am aware. There is no defending the decision to throw the ball into triple coverage. After my initial reaction of “uh, what was that?”, I then thought to myself “Well, if you are constantly looking over your shoulder and know you could be replaced soon, you are probably going to force some things just to try and make a play.” If you know you can just relax and play football, you may not do those things. My fear is that we have lost Puma, and it happened in the WKU game. He was 0/3, with all three passes able to be caught. He took a bad sack instead of throwing the ball away, which he also did against Virginia. I get it. So rather than correct him and let him play through it, he gets pulled. Not to be a prisoner of the moment or overreact, but I don’t know if his confidence will be there all season now. We may see a lot of forced plays just because he wants to prove that he is still good.

Do we play Jordan Travis now? At this point, if we aren’t going to stick to one guy anyway, why not? Let’s see what he can do. Maybe just play him in 3 more games so he can keep this year of eligibility and not lose that. This situation is a mess, and I believe it started last week against WKU.

Bobby’s decisions and demeanor

I am usually not one to question play calls or personnel groupings, especially in football because it is not my area of expertise. But two things here stick out to me…

We have all of this speed, right? Apparently, anyway. And on 3rd and 4, we run a swing pass to Jeremy Smith, who catches the ball 9 yards behind the line of scrimmage. NINE. So, he has 13 yards to run to even get a first down. Needless to say, it did not happen. What about Hassan Hall? Tutu Atwell? Literally anyone else? Hell, swing it out to Mekhi Becton! Let him rumble and stumble to the sticks. Not a fan of that play call.

As far as personnel, we get the ball to the 3-yard line after the Rodjay Burns interception. Probably a good time to keep in Malik Cunningham to at least have the threat of a runner that the defense has to account for. But THIS is the time that Pass gets into the game? For three straight runs? I figured maybe a play action and pass to a tight end could work. I just thought it was a really weird time to finally make that switch. It clearly did not pay off. It’s crazy to me that if Burns does not get that interception, we leave Charlottesville with 0 points. Nearly shut out. That is not supposed to happen.

Does Bobby Petrino seem way too tame for anyone else, or is it just me? Bobby 1.0 would be on the sidelines yelling at guys with such intensity that it almost made you uncomfortable to watch. But you know what? Those guys then went out and performed and got the job done. Now when mistakes are made, he seems to just talk to them about it in a calm manner. It wouldn’t seem odd if he wasn’t the polar opposite in the past. Not saying he doesn’t care anymore, but it’s just such a drastic difference. Maybe being a grandpa calmed him down? I don’t know. Maybe guys get the earful in the locker room? I don’t know. But it’s different. I do know that.

Where do we go from here?

I don’t care how bad Florida State is. A win over them for the third year in a row would be pretty nice.

However, I have seen nothing to make me very confident in that happening. It could. They aren’t very good, and we aren’t very good. So, you never know who will make the one extra play to get the win. But this first half of the schedule was set up perfectly to get out to a 5-1 start with your only loss coming to Alabama. And now you are on the brink of 2-3 if you drop this one, which wouldn’t be an upset since Florida State is the 5.5-point favorite. Then Georgia Tech and the triple option come to town.

I don’t know. I don’t know where we go from here. I can’t be the optimistic one that I usually am and spin this into something great. Something is wrong with this football team and I don’t know when they are supposed to get it figured out, but the rest of the ACC is not going to wait on that to happen.

Quick Hitters

-I guess that Tom Jurich just assumed that nothing bad would ever happen to him, so he didn’t mind to put in Petrino’s contract that his buyout would be three year’s of salary if Jurich were gone. Lordy. Where can I find a contract like that?

-We got hurdled. Twice. By Virginia.

-We took a knee at the one-yard line.

-The team does not look fired up to play football. Not ideal when you are playing in a football game.

-Lamar Jackson was really, really good.

-You can still be a fan and critique what you see on the field. That is allowed. If we weren’t allowed to do that, we would have nothing to talk about this season.

-But don’t tweet at players. Just don’t do it. You wouldn’t say it to their face, so don’t say it behind your keyboard.

-Saturday was great. We lost big. Kentucky won big. And I wore my Atlanta Braves shirt and a guy could only see the “A” logo, which looks similar to another team, and said “Roll Tide” to me. Perfect Saturday.

-Go Cards. Go Krogering.