Cardinal Football

Petrino Not Panicking After Disappointing Loss To Virginia

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

The Louisville football program suffered a humbling 23-21 loss on Saturday to the Virginia Cavaliers. This loss doesn’t ruin the season by any means, but it’s certainly a wake-up call.

Most Louisville fans predicted that the Cardinals would win eight, nine or possibly even ten games in 2014. I can only speak for myself, but I doubt Virginia was one of the few games that fans circled as a potential loss.

To their credit, UVA is much improved from a season ago and could be playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2011. That said, Louisville has no business losing to a team that went winless in league play and won just two games in 2013. If Virginia goes on to be one of the top teams in the ACC, I’ll admit that I was wrong, but as mentioned, that is a game that Louisville has to win.

Despite the 1-1 start, Bobby Petrino says the team won’t hit the panic button.

“We’re not going to panic,” Petrino told the media on Monday afternoon. “We’re going to stick with the things that we know will work, we just have to do them better.”

Petrino also noted that he and his staff are looking for more leadership.

“The first thing we look for is leadership,” Petrino said. “The kind of leadership that is going to show up and get it turned around. We look for effort and good focus in the film room.”

There were plenty of weaknesses on Saturday, but Petrino says the biggest flaw was the execution.

“Ultimately the execution just wasn’t there. When you’re not executing the way you should, you see things play after play.”

The execution certainly could have been much better on Saturday and despite the multiple mistakes, Louisville still should have won the game. That said, regardless of the poor execution, I think we also saw some weaknesses that this team currently has.

Reggie Bonnfaon’s Father Has Passed Away

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

At Monday afternoon’s press conference, Bobby Petrino shared some very unfortunate news.

“We had a tragedy in the Cardinal family today. Reggie Bonnafon’s father Wallace passed away earlier,” Petrino told the media.

“Reggie is a real family guy. He had a close relationship with Wallace as our staff did. I ask that everyone’s prayers and thoughts go to Reggie and his family as he works through this. I got to talk to Reggie a little bit ago. It’s certainly going to be a very trying time for him.”

Bonnafon, a Louisville native, committed to the Cardinal program during Charlie Strong’s tenure.

Shortly after being hired, Bobby Petrino made Bonnafon a top priority and was able to convince the hometown star to sign with Louisville.

He’s played in two of Louisville’s first three games this season.

Weekly ACC Stat Recap: Where Does Louisville Rank Among The ACC?

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Each week throughout the college football season we will update you on how Louisville stacks up in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Here is where the Cardinals lie following the loss to Virginia on Saturday.

Pass Yards/Game – 8th (6th)

1 Clemson 335.0
2 Florida State 327.0
3 North Carolina State 272.7
4 Virginia Tech 254.3
5 North Carolina 249.0
6 Duke 247.3
7 Miami (Florida) 244.7
8 Louisville 229.0
9 Wake Forest 215.0
10 Virginia 203.3
11 Syracuse 179.5
12 Georgia Tech 161.7
13 Boston College 120.3
14 Pittsburgh 101.3

Pass Touchdowns – T-2nd (T-2nd)

Rank Team TD Int
1 Duke 8 0
2 North Carolina State 7 2
2 Virginia Tech 7 5
2 Miami (Florida) 7 5
2 Louisville 7 2
6 Georgia Tech 6 1
7 Clemson 5 1
7 North Carolina 5 4
7 Virginia 5 5
7 Pittsburgh 5 2
11 Wake Forest 4 6
12 Florida State 3 2
13 Syracuse 2 0
13 Boston College 2 4

Rush Yards/Game – 7th (5th)

Rank Team Yards/G
1 Pittsburgh 344.00
2 Boston College 310.67
3 Georgia Tech 306.00
4 Duke 262.67
5 North Carolina State 243.33
6 Syracuse 212.50
7 Louisville 178.00
7 Clemson 178.00
9 North Carolina 169.50
10 Florida State 158.00
11 Virginia Tech 144.67
12 Miami (Florida) 138.00
13 Virginia 130.33
14 Wake Forest 22.67

Rush Touchdowns – T-3rd (T-2nd)

Ranks Team      RTD
1 Pittsburgh 12
2 Boston College 9
2 Georgia Tech 9
2 North Carolina State 9
5 Duke 8
5 Louisville 8
7 Clemson 6
8 Syracuse 5
8 North Carolina 5
8 Miami (Florida) 5
11 Florida State 4
11 Virginia Tech 4
11 Virginia 4
14 Wake Forest 0

Total Tackles – 7th (12th)

1 Duke 245
2 Wake Forest 235
3 Virginia 220
4 Miami (FL) 211
5 North Carolina State 195
6 Boston College 189
7 Louisville 176
8 Virginia Tech 175
9 Georgia Tech 150
10 Pittsburgh 145
11 Florida State 138
12 North Carolina 132
13 Clemson 126
14 Syracuse 125

Total Sacks – 9th (T-9th)

Team Games Sacks
1 Virginia Tech 3 15.0
2 Miami (Florida) 3 11.0
2 Virginia 3 11.0
4 Pittsburgh 3 10.0
5 Syracuse 2 9.0
6 Boston College 3 8.0
6 Wake Forest 3 8.0
8 Duke 3 7.0
9 Louisville 3 6.0
10 Clemson 2 5.0
11 North Carolina State 3 4.0
11 Georgia Tech 3 4.0
13 North Carolina 2 2.0
14 Florida State 2 1.0

Total Interceptions – T-1st (T-3rd)

Team Games INTs
1 North Carolina 2 5
1 Louisville 3 5
1 Pittsburgh 3 5
1 Virginia 3 5
5 Wake Forest 3 3
5 Virginia Tech 3 3
5 North Carolina State 3 3
5 Georgia Tech 3 3
9 Duke 3 2
9 Boston College 3 2
11 Clemson 2 1
11 Florida State 2 1
11 Miami (Florida) 3 1

Fumble Recoveries T-5th (T-4th)

Team Opp. Fumbles Fumble Recovery
1 Virginia 10 8
2 Miami (Florida) 9 5
3 North Carolina 4 4
4 Virginia Tech 5 3
5 North Carolina State 8 2
5 Wake Forest 5 2
5 Louisville 3 2
5 Syracuse 3 2
9 Pittsburgh 6 1
9 Georgia Tech 4 1
9 Florida State 4 1
9 Clemson 4 1
13 Duke 4 0
13 Boston College 1 0

Total Penalties – T-4th (T-7th)

Team Total Penalties
1 Clemson 4
2 North Carolina State 10
3 Florida State 11
4 Boston College 12
5 Duke 13
5 Georgia Tech 13
7 North Carolina 15
8 Pittsburgh 16
8 Syracuse 16
10 Virginia 17
10 Louisville 17
12 Miami (Florida) 22
13 Wake Forest 25
14 Virginia Tech 28

Penalty Yards – 5th (9th)

Team Pen. YPG
1 North Carolina State 21.0
2 Clemson 22.5
3 Duke 33.0
4 Virginia 35.0
5 Louisville 42.0
6 Florida State 45.5
7 Pittsburgh 46.3
8 Georgia Tech 46.7
9 Syracuse 48.0
10 North Carolina 48.5
11 Boston College 54.0
12 Miami (Florida) 59.7
13 Wake Forest 75.0
14 Virginia Tech 80.7

The movement from last week to this week pretty much sums up Louisville’s effort against the Virginia Cavaliers. Regression on the offensive side of the ball with progression on the defensive side.

Bobby Petrino Isn’t Giving Up On Will Gardner

Photo: Steve Helber - AP

Photo: Steve Helber – AP

I think it is safe to say that Louisville quarterback Will Gardner had the worst performance of his young career on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville. The redshirt sophomore looked excellent in Louisville’s first drive of the game, but after that things went down hill.

Gardner did come back in the fourth quarter and lead the Cardinals to two scoring drives, but even at that point, he was still very shaky. In his first career road game, Gardner looked shaky the majority of the time. He finished the game 14-of-34 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Despite the lackluster performance, Bobby Petrino still expressed some confidence in his starting quarterback.

“I think he showed his competitive spirit and he competed really hard there on the two drives we went down and got in the end zone,” Petrino said following the game.

True freshman Reggie Bonnafon was inserted into the lineup at the end of the first half and played nearly all of the third quarter. Bonnafon was 6-of-9 for 39-yards and although he didn’t make a lot of plays, the rookie didn’t make many mistakes at all.

“We thought maybe we could get a spark and get something going,” Petrino said. “He looked good right before half, he made some plays, but we weren’t able to move the ball at all so we decided to switch it up and then we finally got rolling and got the ball in the end zone a couple times.”

With 1/4 of the regular season in the books, I think it’s safe to say that Petrino has some decisions to make on who will be the starting quarterback going forward. Even with Gardner having the worst performance of his career on Saturday, it doesn’t sound like Petrino is giving up on him.

“He did a lot. He was able to drive, get us on drives, make some good throws,” Petrino said when asked about Gardner’s fourth quarter performance. “He showed some poise in the pocket, competed hard, so it was good to see him come back and get us in the end zone twice.”

By The Numbers: Virginia 23 – Louisville 21

Photo: Steve Helber - AP

Photo: Steve Helber – AP

Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to the Virginia Cavaliers, 23-21. Losses aren’t exactly fun to talk about, but here are some notable numbers from Saturday’s game.

–46% completion percentage for Louisville Quarterbacks.  20-43

–11 Keith Kelsey tackles to lead the way for the Cardinals.

–7 Will Gardner passes batted down.

–13 Virginia points off three Louisville turnovers.

–0 Field Goal attempts for the Cards.

–2 Interceptions for Gerod Holliman.  Now leads ACC with three interceptions in three games.

–11 straight ACC loses for the Cavaliers before upsetting the Cards.

–8 Louisville punts with only one landing inside the 20 yard line.

–29% on 3rd down conversions.  (4 – 14)

–2.9 yards per rushing attempt average against the Cavs.

–100% on Red Zone Scores on the season for the Cards.  On 16 attempts the Cards have one field goal and 15 touchdowns.

–1 opponent has now rushed the field in a defeat of the Cardinals for the 2014 season.

Weekend That Was: That’s Not Reggie Edition

After a hiatus, the Weekend That Was is back! Its our one stop shop for everything that happened over this weekend.

We’ll get going here in a second, but first that certainly isn’t Reggie Bonnafon on the ACC Network.

Courtesy of @JD_Coffey via Twitter

Courtesy of @JD_Coffey via Twitter

“We never got the name of Louisville’s last quarterback what can we do here?”

“Let’s just throw some random black dude’s face in there, that’ll be a big burn.”

“Great idea!”

Yeah ACC Network, you really got us.

  • Soooooo, Louisville lost to Virginia 23-21. It was really painful. I’m sure you don’t wanna talk about it but we probably should. Three things I’ll point out.
  • First: Virginia is better than we expected. They played UCLA very tough, and their defense is very experienced. The Wahoos had a fantastic game plan for stopping the Bobby Petrino offense. The defense blitzed early and often. They noticed that Will Gardner threw low and thus put their hands up a lot. Virginia had seven batted balls but it felt like 40. If Louisville is going to improve against  ACC opponents, they will have to adjust the plan better.
  • Second: The front seven of Louisville’s defense is very strong and makes great plays. However, the secondary leaves something to be desired. Andrew Johnson was burned several times and the secondary as a whole could have been better. I trust our defense in difficult situations, but they needed some help from the offense.
  • Third: The offense wasn’t working well at all. Besides the first drive I never felt really strong about the drives. A glaring eyesore was the offensive line, which was absolutely porous at times. Yes Will Gardner wasn’t great, but comfort is created through a strong pocket. Is the answer Reggie Bonnafon? I’m not sure, he wasn’t spectacular in his one quarter but also never had good field position. We’ll have to wait and see I guess. But hey at least we didn’t lose to ECU at home.
  • If it looked like there were a lot of empty seats in Virginia its because there were.

I was hoping we wouldn’t have to deal with empty stadiums in the ACC anymore. Good thing that probably won’t happen again.

Oh wait…

Good deal.

  • In other bad fan base news:


  • Trying to lift our spirits after the big loss, Louisville men’s and women’s soccer tallied big wins this weekend. The women defeated Kent State in overtime 3-2, and the men began Louisville’s dominance over Duke with a 5-0 victory. Just a few months into the ACC era and I can already say beating Duke is tons of fun.
  • The Cardinal volleyball team had a solid weekend at the Comfort Suites Invitational, including a big victory over #14 Arizona State. However, the women weren’t able to capture the tourney title after falling to Northern Illinois. Oh well, Northern Illinois sucks anyway.
  • Shout out to Louisville native Justin Thomas for winning the PGA Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. He’s been Kentucky’s best junior golfer for a while now, and its great to see him have success at the pro level.
  • Stay tuned this week for plenty of coverage on the loss to Virginia, and what comes next for Cardinal football. You may even get a glimpse of yours truly on the Cardinal Connect Webcast.

Until next weekend.


Louisville Falls Out Of The Top 25 With Loss To Virginia

Photo: Steve Helber - AP

Photo: Steve Helber – AP

The week four editions of the AP Top 25 Poll and the USA Today Coaches Poll were released on Sunday afternoon. As expected, Louisville isn’t ranked in either poll after losing to Virginia on Saturday.

The Cardinals were ranked No. 21 in the AP Poll prior to their first loss of the season. They were just outside of the Coaches Poll last week at No. 26. Despite the loss, Louisville is still receiving votes in both polls.

AP Top 25
1 Florida State (37) 2-0 1466
2 Oregon (17) 3-0 1424
3 Alabama (1) 3-0 1346
4 Oklahoma (2) 3-0 1325
5 Auburn 2-0 1252
6 Texas A&M (3) 3-0 1195
7 Baylor 3-0 1134
8 LSU 3-0 1114
9 Notre Dame 3-0 917
10 Ole Miss 3-0 840
11 Michigan State 1-1 832
12 UCLA 3-0 807
13 Georgia 1-1 729
14 South Carolina 2-1 718
15 Arizona State 3-0 680
16 Stanford 2-1 560
17 USC 2-1 459
18 Missouri 3-0 446
19 Wisconsin 1-1 414
20 Kansas State 2-0 326
21 BYU 3-0 246
22 Clemson 1-1 209
23 Ohio State 2-1 204
24 Nebraska 3-0 172
25 Oklahoma State 2-1 126

Video: Bobby Petrino Discusses First Loss Of The Season

Photo: USA Today

Photo: USA Today

Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday afternoon, falling to Virginia 23-21. Needless to say, this was a disappointing loss. Here is Bobby Petrino’s post game press conference, courtesy of