The Cards blew it. Plain and simple. Whether the blame is placed on Josh Chichester for his crucial drops or Hunter Cantwell for his poor decision making, Louisville had the game by the short and curlies and gave it away. The Cards amassed over 500 yards of total offense and saw just 21 points on the scoreboard. That is ridiculous. Former coach Bobby Petrino's Arkansas team gave up 420 yards to Texas this past weekend, allowing 52 points in the process. The Cards scored less than half the points with over 80 yards more offense. UCONN 26 Louisville 21. Winning the conference just became a lot more difficult.
The defense played well with a bend-but-don't-break approach. UCONN's QB Tyler Lorenzen was knocked out of the game early with a fractured foot and the Ron English defense was getting good pressure throughout the first half. The one thing I am concerned with is the lack of turnovers created. Woodny Turrene was given 2 gift-wrapped interceptions against Kansas State. Other than that, turnovers have been hard to come by. The defense should not get any blame for this loss. Turnovers are extremely helpful, however the team shouldn't rely upon them. UCONN was patient and Cantwell served theirs up on a platter.
In the second half, UCONN started throwing quicker passes to counter the pressure the Cards were giving. It should have been the defensive back's responsibility to play tighter, intelligent coverage, yet they didn't get the job done. Turrenne went for a pick and got burnt for a TD and Daniel Covington had a huge penalty called on him on a 3rd and long which kept UCONN's 4th quarter FG drive alive. The Huskies did a great job taking care of the ball aside from a botched QB/RB exchange to Donald Brown, a turnover in which the Cards responded with zero points.
The way the two RBs, Victor Anderson and Brown, went at it for both teams was great to watch. I thought it would take Anderson at least a year to get acclimated with the game of college football, but the St. X alum has stormed in and made it very difficult for Brohm and Kragthorpe to continue using 3 RBs. Of course Powell and Bolen will still get the ball on 1st and 2nd downs for reasons I will never understand, but Vic has cemented himself into the starting position. The only times Powell and Bolen should get the ball is in short yardage or if Vic is injured. The cream rises to the top. In this case, Anderson should rise to the top of the depth chart. Powell's yardage (112 on 11 carries) was helped by a career long 52 yarder (a TD for Vic) and he did run harder than he has all year. Anderson just has that extra something that makes him deserve the brunt of the carries.
Louisville must put together consecutive good games in order to get back into the national picture which left for ATL with Petrino. Kragthorpe needs to develop that killer instinct that makes the players scared to commit penalties (7 for 60) and make stupid mistakes such as dropping passes in your chest and throwing INTs for TDs with a lead. It is disheartening to see a defense improve so drastically but not be rewarded with a win. English's boys have given up about 60 points in 4 games, which is a hell of an improvement. The offense was riddled with mistakes (running on 4th and 6??) and the special teams are some of the worst in D-1. The Cards need to make a bowl this year to get the fans behind Kragthorpe and regain some respect nationally. The way things went last Friday, that might be wishful thinking.