OK, let’s just talk about THAT PLAY here at the top, and get it out of the way.
You know the one, the beauteous 95 yard catch and scamper for a U of L TD. That wasn’t. The one where the rookie took it to the house — way faster than your favorite speedy home pizza delivery service — then dropped the payload on the porch without ringing the bell.
First some context.
Earlier in the day, during the noon window, in the day’s biggest upset, the Quack had just sealed its W against the Buckeyes with a late pick. The kid who made the play dashed to the sideline, ripped off his helmet, and with several of his similarly ebullient mates, rushed down toward the Oregon rooting section for a pose.
A zebra was trailing them, a hand in his pocket, ready to whistle a transgression. The celebrating Ducks were saved by several assistant coaches, screaming and spewing Steadman, and were herded back to the bench before the penalty flag was pulled.
It’s the nature of the game today. Players want to celebrate, and the NFL, stuffy as the oligarchs tend to be, finally gave its imprimatur a few seasons back. Now big scores and big stops mean mini memes in the endzone.
College kids watch that foolishness.
Which brings me back to Ahmari Huggins-Bruce, a true frosh from South Carolina. The wideout caught a Cunningham toss, at the 15 or so, made a cut and a feint, then blasted toward the goal line, accelerating like a Baffert dosed t-bred in the Derby.
It was his first big moment as a collegian.
So, dropping the ball dismissively, is, all things considered, a rather understated way of showing off.
Except that, ya know, ya gotta wait til you cross into paydirt.
The kid messed up. He’s 18 years old. Who among us didn’t do something similar in our youth?
He gets a pass here.
And, Coach Satt handled the situation adroitly, I think.
He put him in for the next offensive series. Called his number. I’m sure a sit down followed at some point in the locker room.
Satterfield: Ahmari, that play was unfortunate. He did the hard part, the heavy lifting was outrunning the entire defense and the easy part, anybody in this room could just carry the ball across the line, but that’s unfortunate for him. But, he still had a great night. He’s a very good playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’s got exceptional speed and quickness. It’s just a shame he didn’t get a touchdown on that particular play.
Huggins-Bruce led the receiving corps with for 150 yards, after one subtracted.
* * * * *
The Cards D was led by Kei’Trel Clark.
He had six tackles, five by himself. Which really doesn’t tell the story, does it?
Mark him with two picks. Only four Cardinals ever had more in a game.
The last time a Card had a couple was Trumaine Washington in ‘17 at Florida State.
Satterfield: Defensively, we really had a good night. Kei’Trel Clark, in particular, I thought he played awesome out there on the edge. He had some deflections and some interceptions and some great tackles coming off those little bubble spot screens they were trying to run.
Qwynnterrio Cole also had six stops. (Trust me, upon further mentions, he shall be simply Q.)
* * * * *
LB/ Special Teams ace Marvin Dallas must be mentioned.
For some odd reason — let’s chalk it up to human error — the official stats don’t reflect his hit and fumble recovery at the end of a Cardinal punt play in the 1st.
It energized Louisville, which tallied its first score, on a Cunningham keep, three plays and 1:12 later.
When U of L had to punt on its next series, Dallas went all Jadeveon Clowney on the returner, whom he launched halfway back to Richmond as soon as he caught the ball.
* * * * *
Braden Smith’s punt return was way nifty.
* * * * *
In my weekly predictions, I said the game wouldn’t be more than a workout for the Cards.
That it was. At best.
More like an early August scrimmage than a second battle of the campaign performance.
But, as much as I truly loathe these money tussles against directionals, it was what Louisville needed.
The O Line and running game still need work.
Cunningham still hasn’t shown he’s taken the next step up.
We should learn more Friday night, when Gus Malzahn and Central “Not a Directional Anymore” Florida from the Big 12 come callin’.
— c d kaplan