The mailbag is always more fun after a win. We received some good questions this week that allowed me to nerd out a bit. We also get to throw a little water on the fire after such a fun win.
As always, send your questions via Twitter (@keith_wynne), email (email@example.com), or via the Card Chronicle Facebook DMs.
After Saturdays lopsided game should we be confident at FSU or nervous at Wake? Both? Neither?— Jeremy (@Jeremy0333) September 19, 2021
Week 3 overreaction. UK struggles against Chattanooga. Clemson struggles against Ga Tech. NC State loses 24-10 to Miss St. Calling FSU a dumpster fire is an insult to dumpster fires. UVA loses by 20 to UNC. Louisville runs the table and our toughest game is NC State on the road?— Aaron (Caleb Chandler Fan Account) (@SpiralPilot) September 19, 2021
“Overreaction” is correct. It’s too early to know how good or bad anyone is yet. I have watched everyone on UofL’s schedule other than Kentucky and I just don’t know how each game would go. Clemson is still the toughest game on the schedule. They’ve only allowed one touchdown this season and they’ve improved on the Defensive Line and in the Secondary. They haven’t figured out their issues on offense yet but I’d bet they do by the time Louisville sees them.
Outside of that game, I think that every other game is a tossup at best. FSU is in bad shape right now but it’s on the road and Louisville still has issues to fix running the ball, creating big plays, and they have concerns on defense that we can’t really answer until they don’t have to play a very good offense. That should be this week against FSU so we will no more then.
Personally, I think they can still get to 8 wins if they beat FSU and Wake Forest. I could also see them struggling to stop Wake, Virginia, UK, and NC State on offense and dropping the game. Virginia’s offense is absurd right now and I don’t think a person on earth would have said that before the season. Louisville needs to show me that they can be consistent on offense when teams throw different things at them. I feel good about the defense but when teams spread them out, can they stop the run while also not giving up chunk passing plays?
Where was Alderman supposed to be on the pick - and what may have tipped him off to move into that spot?— Howie Lindsey (@howielindsey) September 19, 2021
It took me a good while to figure out what Scott Satterfield meant when he said that Jaylin Alderman was out of position on his big interception but I went back and clipped the play so I could try to figure it out. Satterfield is right but I think the point has been exaggerated a bit by some.
The call is pretty simple but it worked absolutely perfectly. UofL is in their base defense with a zone blitz called. On the wide side of the field, Jack Fagot and CJ Avery both blitz. Q Cole picks up Fagot’s man and on the short side, Tre Clark drops back into zone coverage with Yasir Abdullah dropping into the flat. This is where you can see where Alderman isn’t “in the right spot”.
Alderman should be getting depth in his drop in order to be in the passing window of the “number two” as Satterfield put it. In UCF’s formation, the receiver on the line is number two and he runs a deep curl. Alderman’s responsibility is to be in that window so that he can take away the option. However, as you can see, Jaques Turner is also dropping into coverage as a “robber”. The goal here is to blitz Milton from one side and force him to get rid of the ball quickly. Turner is there in hopes that he will panic and just throw it to him. (Some may remember Malik throwing a pick-6 against UVA last year where they ran this type of defense. Justin Fields threw a pick against the Bengals on Sunday against this call as well.)
What I think happened with Alderman is he saw the shallow cross and made the decision to not get depth. You can see him peek outside at the snap so he sees the route is coming. I tend to think this was a mix of him reacting to what he saw as well as the play moving a bit too fast for him. The last little hop to his left is away from where he should be but that is where Milton is looking when he moves. So to answer the question, Alderman should be a few yards deeper and further outside than where he was. He may have still been able to make the pick but it’s hard to say.
I rewatched the game after writing everything above and my alternate theory is that he just thought the shallow crosser was the number two. That would explain why he starts across the field. He was going to run with him. And here is Bryan Brown explaining the play.
Chubba Purdy has been injured since about the time he got to FSU. He broke his collarbone in the first fall scrimmage they had last season so his first game action didn’t come until the UofL game. He looked pretty bad in that performance but his coach putting him into that situation was pretty dumb especially when you think about the fact that they had Pitt the next week and there was no way he would start that game.
I felt that Purdy looked good in his lone start against NC State. He threw the ball well and he runs well enough to avoid all of the free rushers FSU’s line lets through all game. He had to have surgery again right after that good performance and then Mike Norvell went out and signed McKenzie Milton. Who knows if he would have killed it against a bad Duke team and enter the off-season with the starting job within reach. Instead, he missed more time and fell behind the two veterans.
I don’t think there’s enough film to know if Purdy can live up to expectations but I do know that Norvell hasn’t helped him by keeping him on the bench this season. Milton turned the ball over at least four times last week and they still left Purdy on the bench with the game in hand. He’s mobile enough
Three weeks into the season…what are the team strengths and what are its weaknesses?— raylanmanny (@raylanmanny) September 19, 2021
I was really impressed with the defense against UCF and EKU. They were far from perfect last week but they kept Dillon Gabriel under 200 yards passing which hasn’t happened since his very first game. Bryan Brown forced him to take the underneath stuff and then his group tackled well. Of course, UCF adjusted late in the game and they started gashing them for big run gains. I still want to see them stop the run for a full game and I want to see them get more turnovers. Overall, I think this defense can be a strength against most of the teams on the schedule.
From a weakness standpoint, I still think there’s a lot more to learn about the offense. They’re still not blocking the zone run well enough. They really improved against UCF but I would like to see it for another game to see if the line can continue to get the push they got on Friday. I would also like to see any of these backs break a big run down the middle of the field. Once they get to the second level of the defense, it’s on them to make guys miss or run away from the pursuit. I feel much better about the running game but at this point, it’s still not what it needs to be.
With the newly announced alliance set to take place in a few years, give me one dream home game and one dream road trip that you always wanted and now could be on the verge of seeing come true (e.g. Louisville/OSU at home, Louisville playing at Rose bowl, etc.)— King Fiasco (@LJthaFiasc0) September 20, 2021
I’m probably not the best person to answer this seeing as going to games isn’t really my thing. However, I do think there are some matchups that the alliance brings to the table that will be great. Louisville has the potential to play some big programs with this agreement. There are some solid regional games as well as some pretty cool games that would match them up with some teams from around the country.
My personal favorite would be a road game against Oregon. I think their stadium and atmosphere are really underrated. I also think it would be a little Nike vs. Addidas stuff with the buildup. Louisville going out to the northwest also feels a bit uncharted. One positive with this agreement is that it will get a little weird and different and this would be a prime example.
For a home game, there are a couple of revenge scenarios that I think fans would like. Rutgers and Ohio State stand out. I actually think getting Purdue, Indiana, and Illinois on the schedule with some frequency would be great. Those aren’t the sexy names but they would provide a great atmosphere with visiting fans filling the stadium and regional recruits taking the game in. Plus there’s the potential of a rivalry-type setup.