A Not-So-Great Louisville KY Football Weekend
In college sports, this really is a basketball town. Make that state. OK, region. It becomes evident every October, and is usually drilled home in November.
Exhibit A – Yesterday’s results.
The brightest moment for an area school was Louisville’s ugly 17-14 win over Boston College at home. And by bright, I mean a game that included 21 punts, and 4 fumbles, played under gray skies, and occasional rain, in a half-empty stadium.
Bobby Petrino’s offensive genius label is peeling off as quickly as the school’s reputation for high morals, as the Card QB tandem of Lamar Jackson and Reggie Bonnafon accounted for exactly one touchdown and two interceptions Saturday. It’s time for Petrino to borrow some plays from his former assistant, Jeff Brohm, in Bowling Green.
Now 3.4, it’s hard to imagine this team blowing by Wake Forest, Syracuse, Virginia and Pittsburgh in advance of what could be a meaningful matchup in Lexington to end the year.
And then there’s Kentucky, where the front-loaded soft schedule almost always has fans talking championships and bowl games. With the coming of the first basketball practice, the Wildcats annually begin their downward trajectory. This year, the Cats turned in their first truly dismal performance in Starkville on Saturday, losing 42-16 to a middle-of-the-pack SEC team in a game that was never in doubt.
Now 4-3, the Cats must win two of these five (Georgia, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Charlotte, Louisville) to become bowl eligible, and win a trip to the kind of bowl that gets 6-6 teams. The people who put the Louisville game on the back end of the schedule at least gave some meaning to late November football, as the Cats and Cards may both need the win to advance to a bowl game.
Down in Death Valley, Hurricane Patricia and 5th-ranked LSU tamed the potent Western Kentucky offense. But despite a final 48-20 count, WKU showed it belongs in the big leagues. Coach Jeff Brohm’s team was down just 17-13 in the 3rd quarter before the Tigers began overpowering them. By far the most fun area team to watch, the ‘Tops completed a complex flea flicker early, tried a surprise onside kick, and went for it on 4th down 4 times.
Plus, the defense includes guys named Wonderful and Prince Charles.
Western’s Brandon Doughty passéd for a respectable, but well below average, 325 yards in horrid conditions. WKU is 6-2 and still averages more than 40 points a game. One of those losses was to . . . Indiana, which gave 7th-ranked Michigan State a great battle for three quarters. The score went from 26-24 to 52-26 in the final 15 minutes. IU, which was also competitive against top-ranked Ohio State, has lost 4 straight to even its record at 4-4.
At least sports fans have a sex scandal to discuss on talk radio until the start of basketball season.