This time of year we currently find ourselves in where spring football has just ended, the dust from the first round of the NFL draft is beginning to settle, but we’re not getting teased with media days or recruiting flurries just yet, is a wonderful period of purgatory that allows college football junkies like myself and the many poor souls who are reading these words to have some free time to attempt to be normal people.
For many it’s a chance to spend time with our families for once, pretend to care about horse racing, and to do yard work and cook out in the beautiful weather. You know, normal folks things. It’s also a wonderful time to do some leisurely reading that you otherwise wouldn’t have time for in your busy life as a football fan.
So, in the spirit of being “normal” I tried my best to read something for pleasure and wound up reading through the entire 256 page Louisville Football Media Guide. How it’s not on Reese’s Book Club List is beyond me.
The most fascinating part of my perusal was when I came across the obscure records and facts about UofL football that I never knew before. So I thought I’d gather the weirdest and funniest ones I could find for your viewing pleasure.
Here’s what every UofL football fan needs to know in case they’re ever on Jeopardy (give the job to Ken Jennings, dammit):
Largest Margin of Defeat
Murray State, 1932, 105-0
Louisville beat the Murray State Racers 14-0 at Parkway Field in the first ever meeting between the two schools in 1927. The Racers were apparently so pissed about the loss that they spent the next five years scheming a game plan to exact revenge on the Cardinals. By the time Louisville travelled down to Murray in 1932 the Racers had built a death machine ready to pulverize the Louisville Eleven (I’m assuming football was played with eleven players back then). And pulverize they did. To the embarrassing and everlasting tune of 105-0.
Please note that none of what I just wrote has been verified as factual except for the date, location, and score of the game. But a real and fun fact is that the same Murray State team only scored 27 totals points across the eight other teams they played in 1932. Not sure how that’s possible. Another real and fun fact is that this is only Murray’s second largest margin of victory in football. The top honor belongs to the 1928 Racers who defeated Will Mayfield College 119-6. Thank you, Will Mayfield College.
Largest Margin of Victory
Washington (Tenn.), 1913, 100-0
In just the second year of having a football team at UofL the Cardinals decided they really hated Washington (Tenn.) and I think there’s something beautiful about that.
Most Individual Points in a Game
Roger Black, Louisville vs. Washington (Tenn.), 1913, 40 points
Most UofL fans would probably guess someone like Michael Bush, who holds the record for most points in a season (144, 2005), or Lamar Jackson would hold the record for most points scored by a Louisville player in single game.
That record belongs to Mr. Roger Black who really, really hated Washington (Tenn.).
Fewest Rushing Yards
Louisville @ Arizona State, 1992, -78 yards
Yes. That’s a negative sign.
Fortunately this was a year before I was born (hope you feel old), so I didn’t have what I can only imagine was a horrifying experience watching the Cardinals rush for NEGATIVE SEVENTY EIGHT YARDS on a 98 degree day in Tempe, Arizona.
The biggest culprit for the NEGATIVE SEVENTY EIGHT YARDS was probably the nine sacks that Jeff Brohm suffered that day. 3.5 of those sacks came from redshirt freshmen Harlen Rashada. Keep in mind this was the same Louisville team that almost beat Ohio State in Columbus two weeks before.
Cookie Brinkman, UofL vs. Tulsa, 1968, 89 yards
The longest punt in school history was an 89-yard bomb by the team’s tight end whose name was Cookie.
That is all.
Most Interceptions Thrown in a Game
Erik Watts, Louisville vs. FSU, 1991, 6 Interceptions
With Jeff Brohm out (broken ankle), Erik Watts stepped in as the starting quarterback in 1991 and the Cardinals had an abysmal season, finishing 2-9. And those nine losses weren’t entirely his fault. Okay, except for the Florida State game that year. That one was probably entirely his fault.
Watts threw a school record of six interceptions which the Seminoles returned for a grand total of 95 yards. But my favorite stat from this game is that Watts only completed 16 passes, and even with the six interceptions he still out-threw FSU’s Brad Johnson 224 yards to 209.
Even better than all of that is Watts eventually went on to wrestle in the WCW for the better part of the 90s.
This is also a great time to add as an aside that UofL had some serious interceptions problems in this era of UofL football. Nearly all the interceptions records are from this era with Ed Rupert holding the record for most in a season in 1984 with 28 interceptions (I would die) and Jay Gruden holding the career record with 54 from 1985-1988. Just tremendous ball security.
Lowest Scoring Game
@ Saint Josephs (IN), 1938, 2-0
Can only imagine how beautiful this was.
Longest Losing Streak
24 Losses, 1931 to 1933
The good news is that when Murray State decided to beat our ass into oblivion it was during the worst stretch in the history of Louisville football. The bad news is that stretch lasted nearly three full seasons and took 24 consecutive losses until it finally came to a stop.
Probably the most beautiful thing about this losing streak is that UofL almost went winless for three full seasons, but even after losing 24 times in a row, for Cardinals decided they were tired of the losing streak on last game of the 1933 season when the Eastern Kentucky Colonels rolled into Parkway Field on November 18th. The Cards would leave victorious with a 13-7 barn burner to end the streak.
Yards Per Carry in a Single Game (Min. 5 Attempts)
Bill Layne, Louisville vs. Evansville. 1954, 23.5 yards per attempt
Lenny Lyles holds the record for most yards per carry with a minimum of 100 attempts (9.7 ypc) and Lamar Jackson holds the most yards per carry over an entire career (min. 400 attempts, 6.3 ypc), neither of which are surprising. But what is surprising is the man who holds the record for most yards per carry in a single game (min. 5 attempts). That record belongs to Bill Layne who blasted Evansville at Parkway Field with 141 yards on just 6 rushes, and 2 touchdowns to cap off the historic day.
So, there you have it. When you win final jeopardy with “Who is Erik ‘Amarillo Slim AKA Travis’ Watts?” as “The most generous UofL quarterback in history,” you can thank me.