I know it's hard to find too many positives from a fan's perspective when the players and coaches on the team had little (if anything) good to say about their own performance. If that isn't as bad as we can get, then I hope I'm not around for anything worse. The way the rest of the teams on our schedule and the Big East as a whole played, we need to stay positive because there is still a possibility that we can return to a bowl game this year. However, you will not find Coach Kragthorpe anywhere close my positives to take away from the game:
1. Douglas Beaumont
The sophomore from Louisville Male had to get treatment on his shoulders and back after the game from carrying the offense the majority of the game. His 9 catches for 77 yards and 88 total yards were more than any 3 Cards combined. Plus, the catches he made weren't that easy due to the fact Cantwell couldn't control his throws worth a crap. Beaumont needs to be even more involved in the offense and given the ball in space so he can showcase his playmaking skills. The way things are going, Beaumont might be the last Louisville high school stud to stay at home with the Cards. 1000 yards for Douglas this year.
2. Johnny Patrick
The converted WR has found his niche at the corner position. He showed signs of greatness last year late in the season and has continued to improve over the offseason. He does not miss open field tackles and is rarely beaten in coverage. UK's bread and butter was said to have been sending their backs to the outside, taking advantage of their speed. However, Patrick put a damper on that plan by containing the UK backs when they attempted to get to the outside. He also did a great job of wrapping up the receiver immediately when he was playing softer coverage. He finished the game with 7 tackles, 1 for a loss.
3. Earl Heyman/ Adrian Grady
Both interior linemen had been criticized for lack of effort last year. It was not apparent in Sunday's game as both did an outstanding job plugging holes and sometimes even making tackles 5-10 yards downfield. Although outplayed by their counterparts on UK, both played with more passion than I have seen from them in a while. That bodes well for a line that had many question marks going into the season. New line coach Ken Delgado's teaching was evident in the way Grady and Heyman performed. We can only hope that the duo remains competitive after such a nasty loss. Both have super potential and it looks like Delgado is grabbing it out of them.
4. English's Blitz Package
WE ARE FINALLY BLITZING AGAIN!! A fundamental part of defense for the lat 50 years returns to the Louisville football program after taking a one-year hiatus under Mike Cassity. English is making up for lost time sending blitzers from anywher and everywhere. The re were a few times where DE's Maurice Mitchell and Rodney Gnat were dropped back covering a RB or TE to account for 2 or sometimes 3 blitzing defensemen. When we face a team that puts more of the load on their QB's shoulders (face it - UK had a dumbed-down playbook for Hartline) these schemes will help create sacks and turnovers. Not only the blitzing, but the defense as a a whole should make anyone that doubted English before become a believer.
5. Josh Chichester
Anyone who watched the basketball team knows that this guy is an athlete. He is slowly overcoming his overall awkwardness at the WR position and is becoming more fluid and crisp in his routes. After seeing how our QBs throw the ball, I can't see how his catching ability can be blasted by coaches and the media. His biggest gain of the day was on a stellar grab that he and only he could have caught. The Giraffe is going to become a huge big play threat as the season winds along, He has deceptive speed and his hands are good enough to corral fade routes thrown to him accurately.