Suffice it to say, this is a far bigger game than anyone imagined when N.C. State was put on the University of Louisville football schedule.
It’s the type of game U of L has generally dominated in recent years. Among the Cardinals’ ACC carnage: Duke, North Carolina, Miami. (Didn’t fare so well against Virginia Tech, though.)
Still, this is as close to a must-win as a coach can get in his fifth game at a school.
For all the problems facing U of L, the only solution is victory. Win, and the magnifying glass comes off a bit. Win and time is bought to deal with issues that aren’t going to go away overnight.
Lose, and U of L coach Steve Kragthorpe might as well take one of these wolf sculptures home with him to Louisville. Because they will be at the door.
It should be a huge offensive day for the Cardinals, but without Harry Douglas, someone else is going to have to give them the kind of consistency that no one outside of Brohm, Anthony Allen and Douglas have provided this season.
Defensively, the Cardinals have made everyone they’ve played this season look good. N.C. State’s offensive struggles so far this season don’t matter.
It hasn’t been a good week for the Cards, with the dismissal of Willie Williams. Peanut Whitehead has not made the trip.
Mario Urrutia, the team’s best deep-threat at wideout, will not start because of a string of dropped passes and personal fouls. Scott Long starts in his place, with JuJuan Spillman starting in place of the injured Harry Douglas.
There are multiple changes on defense. Earl Heyman has moved to defensive end and Willie Williams into the starting lineup at Heyman’s tackle spot. Brandon Cox is out of the starting lineup. Deon Palmer is the new starter at strong safety, and Bobby Buchanan moves from backup cornerback to starting free safety. Johnny Patrick moves up the depth chart into Buchanan’s backup CB spot.
Lots of changes. We’ll see if they help. Heyman at DE is interesting. One thing is certain: Kragthorpe needs to shake things up today.