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Thursday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Clay Kendrick Thompson is dreaming of his first glimpse of the expanded Cardinal Stadium on Saturday.

—ESPN will be in the house when the U of L women host Connecticut on Jan. 31.

—Brian VanGorder says Louisville’s defense has to be better than “almost.”

VanGorder said one of the biggest keys heading into the game against the defending national champions was to “win third down.” The Crimson Tide converted on 10 of 15 third downs, including several third-and-long scenarios.

“Part of winning third down, we had to be aggressive but it didn’t work out,” he said. “We had opportunities and that’s what was disappointing.

“We can’t have ‘almost.’ We have to be able to deliver.”

VanGorder said leveraging the ball a little better, covering a little better and finishing are the things the defense has to improve.

“The most positive thing is that we have a lot of guys ascending relative to play speed,” he said. “I did like how we competed.

“I was pleased how when things third quarter were not going our way the guys kept a good focus. They were consistent through four quarters.”

—Roll Bama Roll steps into the film room and breaks down just how good Tua Tagovailoa was against Louisville.

—Off to its best start since 2012, the 24th-ranked Louisville women’s soccer team (5-0-0) looks to stay unbeaten tonight as it heads North for a tilt against Purdue. Here’s a preview.

—The Cardinal volleyball team (4-2) is also headed to West Lafayette for the Stacey Clark Classic hosted by Purdue.

—The first DJ K-Dogg tailgate mix of the 2018 season has arrived.

—It’s a safe bet that obtaining injury information within the ACC is going to be harder to do this season.

—It’s unsettling (for me at least) to think about it being 20 years since the summer of McGwire/Sosa, two guys who started eating right and training extremely hard to chase Hank Aaron’s home run record. Here’s an extremely fun trip down memory lane.

—A law professor recently suggested Kansas should at least consider dropping FBS football. That’s actually a really good idea.

—Angel is still the coolest.

—Louisville City FC is hosting a “Pink Out” on Oct. 9.

—DeVante Parker is not expected to play for the Dolphins in week one.

—David Hale writes that no one on Clemson’s roster works harder or is having more fun than the four defensive linemen who might just be the best unit in college football.

—Jim Boeheim speaks pretty openly here about Darius Bazley, the highly-touted recruit who at the last second opted not to attend Syracuse in favor of (originally) spending his year after high school in the G-League.

Much has been written and said about Bazley, the McDonald’s All-American who committed to Syracuse, then stunningly elected to skip college and play instead in the G League.

The G League is no longer in Bazley’s plans. He will spend the year working out and getting his body and his game ready for the NBA Draft next June. His slender body needs augmenting and would have been tested against more mature, brawnier G Leaguers. And others had privately wondered whether the G League team that owned his rights for a few months before the NBA Draft would have truly invested in his development.

Reporters have asked Boeheim about Bazley. The SU coach maintains Bazley should have gone to college.

”I mean, he made a mistake. It doesn’t do any good to talk about it,” he said. “Everybody thinks I’m criticizing him. I’m not. I’m just telling it like it is. He made a mistake. He should own it. He’s just not ready. He’s just not physical. They’re not letting him play in the G League because he’d get killed.”

—Three members of the U of L swim and dive team and four coaches have been named to Team USA.

—Restaurant.com has a special Louisville football ticket deal.

—Willie Taggart says Virginia Tech faked injuries in Monday night’s game in order to slow down the tempo of his offense. Give the man credit for wasting no time in making ACC enemies.

—The summer fall/tour cannot be contained.

—Baseball is back at Jim Patterson Stadium this weekend, as the Cards will host open scrimmages on both Friday and Saturday afternoon.

—Kentucky had to self-report an NCAA violation because its men’s soccer team played a pickup game with the Foo Fighters. Can’t do anything about rape culture or systematic academic fraud though.

—Just when you’re thinking, “all this news and notes is missing is a David Akers video” ...

—NewsOK.com likes Louisville over Indiana State, 49-7.

—From the Rumble Seat (Georgia Tech) has U of L at No. 8 in its ACC power rankings.

8 - Louisville Cardinals (0-1, 0-0, S&P+ #78) - Last Week: 6

Louisville was the second biggest faller in the updated S&P+ rankings, which implies that they faired even worse than expected against Alabama. I thought the Cardinals would be able to keep it slightly closer than 51-14, but I’m not shocked Bama blew them out. If there’s one good thing Louiville fans to take away from the game, Jawon Pass’s 252 yards through the air were the most against Alabama since some guy named Deshaun Watson in the 2016 National Championship game. The Cardinals badly need a running back to emerge - Pass isn’t Lamar Jackson; he’s most comfortable in the pocket - and the defense is not great but Pass is going to be good and will torch some secondaries.

Last Week: lost to #1 Alabama 14-51

This Week: Saturday at 7:00 pm vs Indiana State (ACC Network/WatchESPN)

—Streaking the Lawn (Virginia) has the Cards tied for seventh.

—Wilbur’s record is now officially in jeopardy.

—Kemari Averett makes the 247 Sports All-ACC week one team.

—The Indiana Statesman talks Indiana State-Louisville.

—U of L ranks among the nation’s most LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the country.

—Vince Tyra and Eric Wood show off their acting chops.

—The Cardinal Connect says that FCS opponent week is the worst.

—Larry Fedora says he “doesn’t remember a thing” about North Carolina’s blowout loss to East Carolina in 2014, which is a smart strategy.

—And finally, we’re doing radio from the Sports & Social Club on Fourth Street from 3-6 today. Once we’re done, we’ll hand the mics over to The Bobby Petrino Coaches Show. You can listen to both right here.