Cardinal Football

Muhammad Ali Expected To Be Honored At Tonight’s Game

Photo: Bill Haber - AP

Photo: Bill Haber – AP

According to the Courier-Journal, Louisville legend Muhammad Ali will be in attendance at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium when the University of Louisville football team takes on the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles.

An Ali family spokesman confirmed with the CJ that Ali will be honored by the school during the game, but wasn’t sure when that would happen.

This week marks the 40-year anniversary of Ali’s famous Rumble In The Jungle fight against George Forman.

FSU Not Nearly As Successful On Thursday Nights As Louisville

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Louisville Cardinal fans don’t need me to tell them just how good the football team has performed on Thursday night’s. Since 2001, Louisville is 15-5 overall on Thursday nights, including a 10-1 record at home and a 3-0 record against ranked teams. The average margin of victory on Thursday night’s is 13.3 points.

The Florida State Seminoles haven’t been terrible on Thursday night games, but they’ve not experienced the same success as Louisville. Since 2002, FSU is 6-4 in Thursday night games.

FSU Thurs. Games Since 2012
Year Result Opponent/Score
2002 Loss Louisville 26, FSU 20 (Away)
2002 Win FSU 48, Clemson 31 (Home)
2003 - No Thursday game
2004 Win FSU 17, N.C. State 10 (Away)
2005 - No Thursday game
2006 Loss N.C. State 24, FSU 20 (Away)
2007 Loss Wake Forest 24, FSU 21 (Away)
2008 Win FSU 26, N.C. State 17 (Away)
2009 Win FSU 30, UNC 27 (Away)
2010 Loss N.C. State 28, FSU 24 (Away)
2011 Win FSU 38, Boston College 7 (Away)
2012 Win FSU 28, Virginia Tech 21 (Away)
2013 - No Thursday Game

 

“Thursday night games are always tough,” Jimbo Fisher said earlier this week. “We’re 2-1 in the four years we’ve (his staff) been here. When you play good teams, they’re all tough. And Louisville is a good team.”

Five Keys To Beating Florida State

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Defeating the defending national champions wont’ be an easy task for Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals. That said, this is a winnable game and the boys in Vegas definitely like Louisville’s chances. Here are five keys to tonight’s game.

1. Get Pressure To The Quarterback: Say what you will about Jamies Winston, but he’s as good of a quarterback in the country despite all of the off of the field issues. In fact, I think Florida State has won a lot of their games on his talent alone this year. He may not be putting up the Heisman numbers like he did last year, but he’s still the best QB that the Louisville defense is going to face all year. Regardless what Louisville does, Jameis is going to make some plays, but a big key will be to make him as uncomfortable as possible. If he’s able to sit in the pocket all day, it could be a long night. Louisville’s pass rush has been great all season, but they’ll have a huge test this evening.

2. Continue To Hold Opponents To Field Goals In The Red-Zone: One of the more underrated stats from the Louisville defense is that they currently lead the country in limiting teams to field goals when inside the Red Zone. Opponents have just a 30% TD percentage when making it to the red-zone. That trend needs to continue tonight.

3. Win The Special Teams Battle: The Louisville Special Teams unit has been inconsistent at best this season. Unfortunately, a few of their mistakes have cost Louisville games this season. When you play against the defending national champions, you can’t afford to have those same type of mistakes. Getting solid field position for the offense will be a huge key to tonight’s game.

4. Feed The Studs: Louisville’s offense hasn’t come close to performing at the level that we expected this season. That said, not having your key play-makers on the field at the same time has certainly been a big factor in the stagnant drives. In the first eight games, DeVante Parker, James Quick and Eli Rogers have only been on the field at the same time in one quarter. It’s hard for opponents to defend multiple play-makers. The rushing attack is also important, but Will Gardner needs to get the ball to his top wide-outs and put together consistent drives.

5. Don’t Beat Yourself: Not to sound like a broken record, but you can’t make many mistakes and expect to beat a team like Florida State. Penalties is something you can control. If Louisville shoots themselves in the foot with delay of game, false start or block in the back penalties, it’ll just make things much harder than they have to be.

Game Day Is Finally Here

Photo: Bill Frakes | Sports Illustrated

Photo: Bill Frakes | Sports Illustrated

The day we’ve been waiting for is finally here. We’re now 11 hours away from kicking off the biggest home game in the history of the Louisville Cardinal football program. If you were fortunate enough to get the day off from work or school, this should hold you over.

Florida State Practiced At Louisville’s Waterfront Park

Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles have arrived in Louisville for Thursday night’s match-up against the Cardinals. It’s very common in college football for visiting teams to have walk-through’s or light practices the day before a game.

I could be wrong, but I’d be willing to bet that Florida State is the first team to ever have their walk-through/practice at downtown Louisville’s waterfront park. Pictures of the Noles went viral among Louisville fans earlier this afternoon.

FSU’s private security tried to kick local media members out of the park for showing up during their practice. That obviously didn’t work out too well.

After shutting down practice, FSU then walked right past Joe’s Crab Shack. You can’t make this stuff up.

UofL Encouraging Fans To Get To PJCS Early Tomorrow

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

We’re now just one day away from what could be the biggest home game in the history of the Louisville football program. Bobby Petrino and the Cardinals are set to square off against the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles.

Unfortunately, it sounds like there is a chance for some serious traffic problems. It just so happens that there is also a huge FFA convention in town. The folks at UofL sent out a release on Tuesday evening encouraging fans to get to the game early. The release also explains the rules for Halloween costumes.

University of Louisville football fans attending Thursday night’s football game against Florida State in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium are encouraged to arrive early.

A large Future Farmers of America convention event at the Kentucky Exposition Center, racing at Churchill Downs and normal evening traffic on Thursday will add to the congestion in the vicinity of the stadium. The reserved parking lots surrounding the stadium will open at 2:30 p.m. for tailgaters attending the matchup with the nation’s second-ranked team.

Regular traffic patterns for game days will not change. Drivers should cooperate with the police directing traffic. U of L students who regularly park at the stadium on weekdays will be parking at an alternate location on Thursday.

While Halloween falls on Friday evening and fans may wish to be festive, costumes may be worn to the game but masks will not be permitted.

Louisville Sneaks In At No. 25 In The First Ever College Football Playoff Rankings

Photo: Pete Cautilli

Photo: Pete Cautilli

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee released their first ever rankings on Tuesday evening at 7:30. In somewhat surprising news, Bobby Petrino and the Louisville Cardinals were able to sneak in at No. 25, Louisville is one of four ACC teams in the top 25 rankings.

 

WEEK 10, OCT 28, 2014

Rank
Team
Record
1 Mississippi State 7-0
2 Florida State 7-0
3 Auburn 6-1
4 Mississippi 7-1
5 Oregon 7-1
6 Alabama 7-1
7 TCU 6-1
8 Michigan State 7-1
9 Kansas State 6-1
10 Notre Dame 6-1
11 Georgia 6-1
12 Arizona 6-1
13 Baylor 6-1
14 Arizona State 6-1
15 Nebraska 7-1
16 Ohio State 6-1
17 Utah 6-1
18 Oklahoma 5-2
19 LSU 7-2
20 West Virginia 6-2
21 Clemson 6-2
22 UCLA 6-2
23 East Carolina 6-1
24 Duke 6-1
25 Louisville 6-2

The selection committee members will meet weekly, in person, on Mondays and Tuesdays to produce rankings.  The committee’s rankings will be announced on ESPN each Tuesday evening for the next five weeks.

The CFB Playoff Selection Committee’s criteria includes strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, conference championships, common opponents and key injuries.

Although it’s great to see Louisville sneak into the first ever rankings, it’s also a little bitter sweet to think what could have been. Despite not playing all that well for the first 2/3 of the season, Louisville could be undefeated at this point.

I suppose this is the benefit of no longer playing in an awful football conference. With Florida State being at No.2, Louisville’s opportunity on Thursday night just got much bigger.

FSU Running Back Karlos Williams’ Domestic Battery Investigation Takes An Unexpected Turn

Sam Greenwood - Getty Images

Sam Greenwood – Getty Images

On Monday afternoon news broke that Florida State running back Karlos Williams was being investigated for an alleged domestic battery incident. There had been rumblings for the past week regarding Williams possibly being suspended, but on Friday FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher denied that his starting running back wasn’t in any type of trouble.

After the Tallahassee Police Dept. announced that they were investigating Williams, Florida State then released a statement saying that Williams’ status would be under review until they receive more information.

The alleged victim is Williams’ pregnant girlfriend who already has one child with him. She apparently had second thoughts on having Williams investigated for their incident.

On Tuesday afternoon her attorney requested that police drop their investigation, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. Her attorney states that his client has not filed a criminal complaint, did not notify police or the university of an alleged incident and will not cooperate with investigators.

This incident only went public because she decided to post photos of her injuries on her Facebook page.

It turns out an domestic battery incident isn’t the only issue that Williams may have to deal with. He was also named in a drug deal robbery incident that occurred in June. According to the Tallahassee Democrat, “Williams is listed as an associate on the TPD report and has not been charged.”

He agreed to meet and speak with investigators regarding the robbery incident, but didn’t show up as expected and later hired an attorney.

Despite the entire mess that Florida State has on their hands, it sounds like Williams will play on Thursday night against Louisville.

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