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The Wynnedbag: Week Ten

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Virginia at Louisville Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s a bye week so we’ve got a bit of a MegaBag this week. This season has gone better than most expected and it’s pretty surreal to see so many people looking at the last four games as possible wins. Before the season, this stretch looked like a rough part of the season. Now it seems like Louisville could go in as favorites in a couple of the games.

So I may have called some people dumb on Twitter during the second quarter of the Virginia game when people were losing their shit about Conley being in the game. So I am much worse on Twitter than I am on the site. I also just expected someone to call me a dick when I asked for mailbag questions.

To answer LJ’s question, I think that if Louisville beats Miami they will win out. The bye week plays a big factor to me as I think they will be fully healthy for the final stretch. Miami is better than their record shows but I still think they’re very beatable. NC State and Syracuse are flat out wins to me. Syracuse is very bad this year and I’m not sure there’s anything Dino Babers can do to turn things around. His issues are on the offensive line and at quarterback. You’re not going to win many games if you have issues there.

NC State is starting their third quarterback of the season this weekend and it’s not due to injury. They’ve been playing musical chairs all year and no one has taken hold of the spot. Pair that with all of their injuries and inexperience and you have a bad situation that I think UofL can take advantage of. Kentucky is the wildcard as their defense is still playing solid while their offense is controlling the clock and limiting possessions. But when it comes down to it, I’m fully confident saying that if they beat Miami, they’ll win out.

I’ll get deeper into Miami next week with the breakdowns but they’re nearly impossible to figure out at this point. I hate saying that you can blame all of their issues on their offensive line but I’m pretty sure you can blame all of their issues on their offensive line. It’s a super young group that is playing two guys that probably need a year or two in college before they play. They both started the first game of the year.

The offense can’t generate any big plays because their line is so bad, so they’re essentially wasting their best asset which is speed at wide receiver. They have hit some big plays in the running game but it’s been inconsistent. Then you have their defense that is playing extremely well but because their offense is so bad, it hasn’t mattered much. But, in a way, they’re similar to Virginia in that they have still been able to put up enough points to win some games. The advanced stats love them because the way they’ve lost games are almost comical. I think the game comes down to Louisville getting after it on defense and making sure their offense doesn’t get things going. Do what they did against Virginia and they should be fine.

It’s genuinely hard to pick one specific player on defense as the entire group has played much better at all three levels. It’s still not perfect but overall, they’ve played well. Gun to my head I’d have to go with Russ Yeast. Yeast changed positions and he may have salvaged his career. Yeast has done a little bit of everything this year and I think he’ll close out the year with some impressive performances against some lesser offenses. I think the staff has done an outstanding job of putting a handful of players in a better position to succeed. It should help a lot going forward.

It feels unfair to not include Marshon Ford as a newcomer as the previous staff just used him as a scout team guy. I’m not going to argue with them not playing a true freshman walk-on but in a lost season, they could have used him with all the issues they had at the tight end spot.

But since he’s not new, I’d have to go with Monty Montgomery. He’s been everything his teammates hyped him up to be. He also was underrated coming out of JUCO as he put up ridiculous numbers and had plenty of accolades. But he doesn’t have prototype size and that’s likely what hurt his rankings and offers. The staff not only deserves credit for landing him but they also have done a great job using him in ways that fit his skill set. He’s blitzing off the edge a ton and using his speed to beat bigger guys. They’re also running him up the middle as a blitzer. He has room to grow to be a complete middle linebacker but he’s killing it right now in his designated role.

I think it’s all coming together, for sure. Bryan Brown is mixing up his coverages and calling plays that might be a little risky but his guys are executing better. They held Clemson to 11.5 yards per catch and Virginia to 9.7. They should hang those numbers up on the wall in the defensive meeting rooms. The pass rush has also helped some. They got a solid amount of pressure on Trevor Lawrence before the game got out of hand and they had Bryce Perkins running all over the place.

Brown wants to put his guys out there on a bit of an island but the busted coverages have really made the pass coverage look much worse than it is. The Wake game also didn’t help with Sage Surratt being one of the most productive receivers in the country. To me, it’s just now all working as designed. I’ve been saying that the defense will look better now that they aren’t playing the best offenses in the conference anymore. I still think that’s the case and we’ll get to see what Brown’s scheme is all about.

This is a good question. The last four games are all winnable in my opinion as long as Louisville doesn’t allow any of them to be good at what they’re bad at. They handled that assignment against UVA and they need to make it a trend. I’d rank them like this:

Offense

  1. Miami
  2. NC State
  3. UK
  4. Syracuse

Defense

  1. Miami
  2. UK
  3. NC State
  4. Syracuse

Statistically, NC State has a better defense than UK but they haven’t stopped anyone that is actually any good on offense this year. I also refuse to take UK’s offense seriously while they’re playing a wide receiver at quarterback.

From Stephen Via Email

Which is the more impressive 1-year turnaround, Charlie Strong in 2010 or Scott Satterfield in 2019?

I’ll admit to being a bit of a Charlie homer but I think Satterfield has the potential to win this argument if the season finishes with eight or more wins. I think that Strong had a very impressive first year when you take into account the lack of talent he was left with but that one season didn’t have a marquee win. I think Satterfield already has that with a ranked win on the road. To me, that sets these seasons apart from each other. Strong didn’t have an opportunity to get a win like that but they did play two power five teams which would have been marquee wins in my opinion.

So as of now, I think Satterfield would have to bomb for this season to not be more impressive. Long term, it would be nice to get to a spot in four years where we’re looking at three losses over a two year span but I think that’s a little far fetched with the schedule they have coming up over the next few years. I do think that the similarities in these two first seasons have been a lot of fun. Unexpected wins and a chance at a bowl game after an embarrassing season is just cool to me. Then you have a recruiting class led by a highly rated quarterback, a local receiver that seems criminally underrated, and a bunch of guys that should be able to contribute early. It all just makes this whole thing more fun, to me.

From Logan Via Email

Hi Keith,

Thanks for doing your weekly post on CC. I’m wondering what the team needs to work on during the off week to sure up their onside kick recovery.

To be blunt, there’s not a lot you can do to prepare for onside kicks. You practice what you’re going to do from an alignment and assignment standpoint but the ball bounces how it bounces. It’s an effective play because the ball will go any which way if you hit it right. That leaves a lot to luck at that point.

One thing I would like to see is the staff look at adjusting who they have on the field. Everyone has a “hands team” that goes out there because you trust everyone to be able to catch the ball. I would maybe like to see them spit that team between blockers and hands guys. The kick team has guys that are just in there to run and blow up the front line in hopes that they can clear the way for the second group to have a clear shot at the ball. Maybe putting a few bigger guys out there could help stop that first group.

From Clint Via Email

Hello again!

Between doing game-film reviews, #W2W4, posts on commits/recruits, and the mailbag, how much time during the week do you spend “working” for the site? Tell Mike to give you a raise!

So, I started doing this whole writing thing to pass the time when I worked third shift managing a warehouse. I always had a ton of down time at the end of the night so I wrote a bunch of fanposts that Mike put on the front page. That turned into Mike being nice enough to ask me if I wanted to be an author on the site. That Twitter DM has turned into me talking about Louisville Football on radio stations that my entire family could listen to around the country. I’ve written on one of the most popular sites SB Nation has and I’ve also been able to write a feature that was a part of the college football preview this year. I’ve also made some good friends a long the way including Mike and his wife. You won’t ever hear me complain and Mike genuinely wouldn’t care if I just took a week for a break. That’s what makes this whole thing super cool. Mike lets me do what I want and doesn’t push me to do all this dumb writing I’ve put on myself.

To give a look at how the sausage is made, here’s my process. On Sunday morning I rewatch the game while I look through stats and do a tweet thread of stats that stand out to me. Then I do the offensive and defensive breakdowns. They’re a lot easier when you know the opponents and watch an unhealthy amount of college football like me. I start a game from the opponent when I’m done rewatching the Louisville game. That’s when I start the #W2W4 because I see things that I think will factor into the game. So I’m essentially writing three posts at once. I ask for mailbag questions at some point so in an ideal world, I’m finishing those four posts on Sunday. I’m writing this on Friday night so you can take a guess how “ideal” this week was.

The film reviews start on Mondays and depending on how the week goes I can be done on Tuesday. It all depends on how my real life goes. Again, I did this to myself because I apparently hate myself. But I do the film reviews because it’s kind of fun. I just started them last year and I post way too many plays. If I weren’t my own worst enemy I’d just do five plays from each quarter or something. This is fun though and my wife hasn’t murdered me yet.