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Seedy K’s GameCap: Southern Cal

The point spread — U of L minus 7 1/2 more or less with some movement — never made sense to me.

Most of the national pundits fell in line. A headscratcher.

As unexpectedly successful as Jeff Brohm’s first season had been leading up to the Holiday Bowl, it just seemed weird.

That instinct, unfortunately, was well placed.

Louisville 28, USC 42.

* * * * *

The Trojans’ talent level, even at 2d and 3d tier, is better than Louisville’s.

Especially at the skill positions. So even missing 24 fellows who chose for one reason or another not to play, there was plenty enough left and hungry enough to outplay the Cards.

Louisville missed Jawhar Jordan and Jamari Thrash. A lot. Way more than the much greater numbers of Southern Cal “stars” who opted out.

Yes, Isaac Guerendo was a hoss. 23 carries for 161. Three TDs.

But there was a big dropoff when he rested. And zero downfield passing attack. At all.

The game turned in the 2d, when IG was out for a couple futile offensive series. Not that the Trojans would not have prevailed anyway.

Trojan wideouts blew by the Cardinal D all night.

Meanwhile U of L hardly got a yard after a catch the whole game.

* * * * *

Miller Moss could have started for a lot of teams this season. Good teams. Including the University of Louisville where there would have been no “could have started” only “would have started.”

He shredded Louisville’s secondary.

Six TDs through the air. Including a couple dimes into fairly good double coverage. But for Quincy Riley’s pick at the goal line, it would have been seven.

* * * * *

After starting 10-1, Louisville returned to its norm.

The good that was accomplished cannot be overstated, given the overall talent level.

A favorable schedule helped. A defense that improved through the year until it hit its ceiling was also a factor.

That said, a three game losing skein to end the campaign reads disheartening. Disconcerting.

The QB Room was Standing Room Only. Why did JB stick with Jack Plummer exclusively? Even after the signal caller’s mediocrity became more and more prevalent?

Favorite son Jeff Brohm has suffered minimal criticism even when things have gone bad.

Seems here he’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.

10-4. Double digit Ws. That’s way good.

But this is the way the season ends: Not with a bang, but a whimper.

— c d kaplan