There’s a word to describe my state of being during Saturday’s nerve-rattling ACC W over Boston College.
It’s the Yiddish descriptor my mother would use when describing how she’d get so nervous during tight U of L battles, she’d leave her seat at Freedom Hall and walk the corridors when games were close down the stretch.
Anxious. On pins and needles. Ants in your pants.
It permeated more or less from the get go.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and easily drove down field. A wide open pass over the middle for 17 yards. A swing pass that went for 36 yards. BC’s momentum was only thwarted when Cardinal Monty Montgomery stripped AJ Dillon of the pigskin before he could bull into the endzone for a TD.
Some calm descended -- momentarily -- when U of L crisply drove for a score on its opening possession. Followed by Trenell Troutman’s marvelous tackle on the ensuing kickoff, forcing the visitors to start their second drive from their 11.
My stomach really started gurgling and skin crawling, when Anthony Brown hit Hunter Long, who was so WIDE OPEN in the middle that the not exactly speedy TE was able to not only bumble and stumble but trundle the last 50 yards or so of the 72 yard scoring play to knot the battle.
It was obvious at that point -- to me anyway -- that this was to be the proverbial long day.
A 77 yard Michle/Malik Cunningham to Seth Dawkins bomb was the key play allowing Louisville to forge ahead 28-14 with 1:45 left before halftime. Yet there was no real reason to calm down. Tutu Atwell had dropped a sure TD pass earlier, when he was yards beyond his defender. Rodjay Burns’ delectable 68 yard punt return to the BC 2 was nullified by a holding call.
This one always seemed like it was going down the final tick of the clock.
Especially when BC scored again on backup QB Dennis Grosel’s second career TD connection just a minute and sixteen seconds after the two TD Cardinal advantage was in place. After a botched snap on the extra point, that touchdown was followed by his two point conversion toss to that Long guy again.
That Grosel had completed only 3 career passes for 21 yards before Saturday and was looking steady as she goes only added to my sour tummy.
Then there was Blanton Creque’s doink following that. Geesh.
Ahead only six at the break, 28-22, I was convinced, glass half empty guy that I’ve become, that the added point on the conversion was going to be the difference after sixty.
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I spent the 3dQ wondering if anybody along press row had a roll of Tums or Prilosec I could borrow?
After a U of L 3 & Out, BC took the lead on Grosel’s third TD toss.
Louisville was able to regain the advantage on Creque’s 34 yard FG, but only after the drive was almost cut short by a holding and personal foul on the same play. (Turns out the PF was Tyler Haycraft carrying a block through the endzone.)
Though U of L’s lead was cut in the 3d Q, the most important aspect might have been possession time. The Cards held onto the ball for 10:35 of the quarter. The D could rest.
Thanks to the maturation and steadiness of Evan Conley, the Cards fashioned a time consuming 96 yard drive to push ahead 38-29.
Of course, Boston College came back to regain the advantage with 3:32 to play.
Louisville under the freshman’s steady hand countered with a FG of its own with 1:02 still on the clock.
After, of course, Conley’s fumble — More Zantac please, I don’t care about the cancer scare — and Haycraft’s heady recovery.
Then survived a final foray by the visitors to prevail, 41-39.
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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or so I say.
Louisville’s first conference W in eons is a truly important step in the Cards’ rejuvenation.
Thus it stands with Bo Derek running on the beach in “10.”
Not that there aren’t issues.
Cunningham was hurt again. Pass remains out.
U of L gave up 563 yards in total offense. U of L’s secondary was, to be gentle, porous. Though the Cards did grab their first pick of the year by Anthony Johnson. As heady as the victory is, Boston College it must be remembered is not exactly upper echelon.
On the plus side, welcome back Seth Dawkins. Six catches. 170 yards and a TD. Dez Fitzpatrick and Atwell both had triple digit receiving yardage. Javian Hawkins ran for 172.
Cunningham was 13/18 and a TD pass. Conley was 10/16 with a score. Neither was sacked.
Bottom line: Less than halfway through the season, Louisville already has more wins than last season.
Next: Wake Forest.
-- Seedy K