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Friday afternoon Cardinal news and notes

Jason Riley’s dog is ready for football and ready for fall weather.

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—Spread check: Notre Dame by 18.

—We will be tossing up a “Where We’re Watching” post on Monday morning, so if you’re an out-of-town Cardinal fan who’s going to be watching the game at a public place with other Cardinal fans, shoot me the location ( if you want it added to the list.

—The U of L women’s soccer team improved to 3-0 on the young season with a 1-0 win over Saint Louis Thursday night.

—Louisville’s defense is poised for the challenge that Ian Book and the Notre Dame offense present.

”We are getting there,” defensive coordinator Bryan Brown said. “We have to work out some kinks. Every time you start zeroing on an opponent you have to work on their base stuff, and some of the things they want to try to get you into.”

”Today was the first real work day and the guys flew around a bunch today. We just have to clean up something tomorrow.”

Facing a top-10 team in the nation, there are plenty of challenges facing the UofL defense that hopes to erase a tough 2018 season. One of those obstacles will be quarterback Ian Book, who took over the offense and led the Irish to a College Football Playoff appearance.

”Ian is a great passer and runner,” Brown said. “He’s a playoff quarterback. He’s good with his feet and he’s good with his arm. He does a great job keeping the chains moving. He’s a leader on that team especially being able to lead that team to the playoffs. I can tell right now he’s going to be a tremendous challenge for the defense.”

—Clemson stomped Georgia Tech and then its fans shamelessly stormed the field last night. It was super weird.

—In other Thursday football news, the first game of the Tyson Helton era at Western Kentucky was a total embarrassment.

—A closer look at the Blackout unis for Monday night:

—The 14th-ranked U of L men’s soccer team kicks off its 2019 season tonight at 7:30 with a home match against Cleveland State. Here’s a preview.

—Louisville basketball recruit Jaemyn Brakefield is writing a blog about his recruitment for USA Today.

Next up for me is just gathering more information about the schools and just talking to my family and my coaches about what’s best.

When I cut my list, I had schools that reached out asking me about still recruiting me, but most of those schools hadn’t offered like Memphis, North Carolina and Duke.

It was basically a situation where they aren’t sure they need to recruit at my position, but if that changes then I would be open to them too. I still keep in touch with them.

So far, the only visit I have setup is Louisville on Sept. 26. I’ve been in contact with all of the other schools just trying to see which ones I’m going to visit.

I’ve had a lot of different talks with guys in my class about teaming up in college. I talk to Sharife Cooper a lot about it and other guys too. We all want to have the best chance to win and so we’re just seeing what’s possible.

—Louisville has submitted the paperwork to the NCAA for waivers on Georgia Tech women’s basketball transfers Elizabeth Balogun and Liz Dixon. Jeff Walz says he expects to hear back from the NCAA in 10-15 years. I’m joking. Sort of.

—Evvvverybody’s comin’ around.

—Good story here from Danielle Lerner on Samuell Williamson being there for his mom as she battled cancer and her returning the favor when Williamson was making the most important decision of his life so far.

—The 12th-ranked Louisville field hockey team begins its 2019 season today against Indiana, and will then host UMass tomorrow. Here’s a preview of both games.

—This kids get it.

—Good interview here with Reggie Bonnafon on what the NFL preseason is like for a guy trying to make a roster.

—At least one Panthers beat writer really likes Bonnafon and compares him to Christian McCaffrey.

Introducing Reggie Bonnafon!


Go ahead.


Let’s segue into him. Because he’s a really interesting player.

First of all, really, really great kid. And second of all, my fun backstory on him. He was signed as an undrafted free agent a little over a year ago and everyone was like, “okay, why?” Because nobody knew what the Panthers’ plan was going to be for him.

And then because he was an undrafted free agent, we knew he was going to be stashed on the practice squad. And then he started getting running back caries and was being utilized a little bit in the passing game. But mostly he was working scout team almost all last year. And sometimes you lose track of those guys.

Well, my first morning coming out of training camp, one of the Panthers staffers… on the coaching staff… came up to me and asked me kind of what I was looking at and what I was studying for that week.

And I said, “back up running backs” and he got so fired up talking about Reggie Bonnafon and what a great, great offseason he had and how much he’s developed and how much growth he showed. And I thought to myself for a minute, I thought, “okay, so he’s buddies with Reggie. Cool.” But then, I started opening my eyes and I started studying Reggie. And when Christian is spelled, Reggie is taking the exact same snaps that Christian is taking. And that’s very interesting to me because earlier this year the Panthers went out and said, hey, we’re going to draft a running back. Most likely. And we’d like them to have a similar skill set to Christian McCaffrey. Well, when they said they were bringing in a running back to help share Christian’s workload last year via CJ Anderson, uh, the opposite in fact turned out to be true and they barely used C.J., as we all know.

And then C.J. went and lit it up for the Rams. And so when we heard that were like, “oh, okay, okay, yeah, you’re going to draft a running back and all that, you know. Right.” But we also knew that that Christian was not going to have less touches. He’s just going to be utilized more efficiently in terms of his decoy snaps as we call them — those are maybe going to be less because teams are starting to get wise to him being a decoy at times on the field. So enter Reggie. And if you watch this last preseason game, the types of things that they have in their playbook designed for Christian, Reggie is working those plays.

And so the fact that it was Reggie who kind of drew that straw being that dynamic and versatile back in literally some of the same designs that Christian is used for in this playbook….to me, that’s kind of opening my eyes a little bit. And so he does have practice squad eligibility left. He could get stashed. But Reggie I think, if not this year, but in, in a year, I think he’s gonna be a really pleasant surprise for people, and a really great kid for it to happen to as well.

—Anonymous college hoops coaches say Tom Izzo is the toughest coach to prepare for in the sport.

—Tyler Haycraft superfan right here.

—Louisville baseball’s fall schedule is here.

—The staff over at One Foot Down make their Louisville-Notre Dame predictions. Not shockingly, they all expect the Irish to take care of business.

—Very cool:

—And now a disappointing follow-up: The Ravens announced Friday that they have cut Jaylen Smith.

—Keith Towbridge has also been cut despite a strong summer with the Buffalo Bills.

—Sorry to drag you into this, Paul, but it’s game week(end).

—The CJ’s Cameron Teague has a good look at Louisville defensive coordinator Bryan Brown.

—The 25th-ranked U of L volleyball team is hosting the Cardinal Classic this weekend. Nationally-ranked Florida, Dayton and Texas A&M are also partaking in the event.

—I’ve never felt closer to former U of L golfer Adam Hadwin.

—Rivals’ Corey Evans looks at the trend of kids re-classifying, and also why more Top 150 kids in the 2020 recruiting class have committed at this time of the year than a year ago.

—False starts have been an issue for Louisville in recent years. Scott Satterfield HATES false starts and is putting his faith in Dwayne Ledford to nip the issue in the bud.

The good news is that even if you combine Ledford’s last three seasons at NCST and his two FBS seasons with Satterfield at App, his o-lines only had 66 false starts over those FIVE seasons.

It gets better. While Ledford and Satterfield didn’t have the greatest false start totals at App together, the numbers did improve from 24 false starts in 2013 to 16 in 2014. Once Ledford left for NCST in 2016 his o-lines never had more than 15 false starts in a season. During the same timeframe Louisville didn’t have a season with fewer than 24 false start penalties, with 2017 being by far the worst with 33 false start penalties.

That’s especially impressive when you consider that NCST’s offense ranked in the Top 25 in plays-per-game the last two seasons. But if that doesn’t turn you on, this will: In the 39 games Ledford coached at NCST, 27 of them had one or fewer false start penalties committed by the Wolfpack.

If Satterfield, Ledford, and the rest of the staff can instill this high level of discipline early, then more and more little things will start to fall in Louisville’s favor which could snowball into big plays and big wins. I have little doubt that they’ll be able to do so as NCST’s and App State’s o-lines committed a total of 10 false starts across their last 6 season openers, to Louisville’s 13 in their last three.

—Louisville is a 2-seed in Joe Lunardi’s updated Bracketology.

—Just when you think the turnover props thing has run its course, Morehead State hits it with the Pulp Fiction shot by busting out the turnover pimp cane.

—Louisville is No. 9 in Andy Katz’s Power 36 rankings.

—DeVante Parker provided a pep talk to the 2019 Ballard Bruins ahead of their game against defending state champion Male tonight.

—7-foot center Zach Loveday is taking his official visit to U of L this weekend.

—Top 50 prospect Josh Hall is also set for a Louisville visit.

—Friday Irrelevance:

—The Louisville Cardinal previews the 2019 men’s soccer season.

—Monday will be Cardinal fans’ first look at Bryan Brown’s “unique” 3-4 defense.

—Love the dunkin’ Donovan shirt here.

—Eastern Kentucky, Louisville’s week two opponent, hammered Valparaiso last in their season-opener, 53-7.

—The early weather report for Monday night is looking solid.

—And finally, beat Notre Dame.