11:37 — Cards win. Not the prettiest one in the world, but a big one. Still a lot of things to work on, but the emergence of Guy was a big development. And U of L simply could not come home with a loss. It wasn’t a great team they beat, but it wasn’t an easy situation either. At this point, every win is a good one.
— Note: Yep, it was a bad call on the first-down spot that clinched it for U of L. But Memphis had its chance when it got the ball on its previous possession and couldn’t get the job done. No reason to think they’d have done it with 1:30 or so left, either.
11:19 — Great defensive call and execution by the Cards on 4th and 4. And worst play call of the night by either team.
11:14 — If Rodney Gnat did take a dive to stop momentum, I’m even more impressed with him.
11:01 — Woah! Rodney Gnat, again, forces a fumble. And then, magically, the ball pops into Johnny Patrick’s hands and TD. Second great return TD tonight. Don’t need great offense if you’re going to do stuff like that. Makes up for what should have been a TD on the last drive for the offense anyway.
10:58 — Sometimes I don’t understand coaches. They won’t give you a straight answer about personnel stuff, but they’ll tell an ESPN announcer that “we’re reluctant to even try a field goal.” I know, Payne hit the upright, but it was a decent looking kick. I wouldn’t hesitate to use him again.
10:49 — What else do you need to know about Hunter Cantwell, getting out throwing these blocks?
10:40 — Memphis scores a touchdown, awaiting PAT to tie it up, and now a video review of the TD itself. But what the Tigers are doing, among other things, is picking on U of L’s linebacking corps. They’re getting good looks over the middle almost every time. I don’t think they’ll be able to overturn this. That’s the problem with not being in the Top 25 — fewer cameras covering your games, fewer chances to overturn.
10:38 — Tough call on Wiley on pass interference in the end zone. I guess you have to call it. He was just a head turn away from it being perfect coverage, though. Oh, and another throw back, this time a deep one. They’re not just running trick plays, but keep running the same ones.
Okay, I’m back: 10:35 — Yeah, there was holding on the play, but how does Covington miss that backfield tackle on Earnest Williams? Or, for that matter, the defense in general? Memphis should not gain another yard on one of those throws back to the other side of the field tonight.
9:45 — If I were Doug Beaumont, I’d ask Kragthorpe to never again call me “Douggie” in an ESPN interview. Ever.
9:43 — Special teams, welcome to the party. Brandon Heath shows athleticism in scooping up a blocked put and returning it 60 yards for a TD, and the Cards lead 28-14 at the half, which makes a big, big difference. After a horrendous season so far, U of L special teams showing up big tonight — two TD returns. Also kudos to Johnny Patrick on the FG block.
9:31 — Pete Nochta! As in, Pete Not-a covered. At all. Maybe the most open tight end I’ve ever seen.
9:30 — Only took 90 minutes for the obligatory “fans gotta be patient.” Meanwhile, Cards are tied with a bad Memphis team. I think the fans have been patient.
9:20 — And just like that, Trent Guy brings it back 95 yards. And Trent still doesn’t look as fast as he used to, but he’s still faster than a lot of people. And how about this for a total whiff — nobody from ESPN has mentioned, have they?, that the guy who has scored both long U of L touchdowns WAS SHOT in July.
9:18 — Memphis throwing the kitchen sink at the Cards. Another little trick play results in a TD and they go up 14-7.
9:14 — Tie possession goes to the offense, but really great play by both Turenne and Memphis’ Singleton. A little bad luck for the Cards, but Memphis now knocking on the door again.
9:05 — Woodney Turenne just shed a block that he would never have shed last year to string out a swing pass. Good no call on the facemask.
9:03 — Usually, gnats get swatted AT, instead of doing the swatting. Not so with Rodney Gnat tonight. Two passes batted down already. (I would never have used that line in a column, don’t worry.)
8:59 — Cards strike back on a 43-yard TD pass from Cantwell to Trent Guy, and who doesn’t feel good for Guy on that one? That is, by the way, Cantwell’s favorite pass to throw, the post. In particular, he loved throwing that one to Urrutia. A great job by Guy who had three steps on the corner on that play. No contest. Maybe that’ll wake the Cards up. Defense should feed off this.
8:41 p.m. — Add to the list of bizzare time outs — Kragthorpe burns one to argue a spot on third and inches that they get easily anyway.
8:36 p.m. — Here’s the problem. All summer, word from campus was that coach Steve Kragthorpe had been forced to spend so much time on defense that it compromised the offense as last season went on, that Kragthorpe would be able to devote total focus to offense this year. That doesn’t look so good when the defense has played well enough for U of L to win all four of its games this season. The offense? Not quite. Time to pick it up after the D gets off on third down.
8:25 p.m. — Sorry for the late start, folks. I tuned in on the Cards’ first series, but have been booting up and, frankly, scratching my head for about 20 minutes. Just watched Memphis score off an interception and a trick play on 4th and 1. All of my advance intelligence was to watch for some offensive trickeration from Louisville, not Memphis. So what do we get? Memphis 7, U of L 0. If I didn’t make the case strongly enough in my column this morning, a loss in this game is big trouble for the Cards. Chris Spielman noted that the Cards look asleep. I concur.