Losing to Clemson on the road usually isn’t anything to sneeze at, but the way it all unfolded on Saturday afternoon leaves Louisville fans frustrated. Myself and Shane Burris broke down the tough loss and the key areas that continue to haunt this team. However, we also noted the positives to take from the game.
When the news broke that Todd Grantham would be joining Louisville’s coaching staff and Georgia fans did everything short of helping coach Grantham pack his belongings into trucks.
Georgia was finished with Todd Grantham’s act merely two years after four of his defensive starters were taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Bobby Petrino needed a defensive mastermind to keep Charlie Strong and Vance Bedford’s painstaking labor from going to waste.
Todd Grantham was the most qualified man for the job, and he immediately brought the racks out to play once he landed in Louisville. Grantham is one of the highest paid coordinators in college football today, and he has earned every penny of his contract so far.
A quarter of the season has passed us by and the Louisville Cardinals rank 12th in the nation in total defense. Opponents average 273.7 yards against the Cardinals and Todd Grantham’s defense has not allowed 300 yards in a single game at Louisville. The Cards have seven takeaways thus far in the season, with five of those being interceptions.
Gerrod Holliman has certainly played up to the level that was promised by Charlie Strong. Holliman forced a fumble and has intercepted the ball three times in three games.
Louisville defense has not forgotten how to get to the passer. Six different Cardinals have tallied six total sacks thus far this season. Lorenzo Mauldin has fit in nicely to his new role of stand up outside linebacker in Grantham’s 3-4 defense.
Mauldin is fourth on the team in total tackles and has made three tackles for a loss to go along with his sack. Louisville’s front seven has not allowed opponents more than three yards a carry this season.
There were many question marks about Todd Grantham and his system after his departure sparked a dixie stampede in Athens. Louisville fans have nothing to complain about in terms of a Strong to Grantham drop off. Grantham is working wonders with Charlie Strong’s defensive players as well as recruiting some stallworth’s of his own.
The thought of a Todd Grantham coached defense holding the opponent down for a Bobby Petrino offense is a scary one for ACC teams moving forward.
New Coaching Staff, new Quarterback, new playbook, new defensive philosophy and a new conference. With all of the “new” around the University of Louisville Football Program, we’re still going to take a stab at the Offensive and Defensive MVP’s. Here are the predictions for the Cardinals vs the Hurricanes.
This time last year I took a gamble by going with a guy who some may have overlooked. Clearly the Ohio Bobcats did as James Burgess finished with a team high five tackles, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble to open the season.
I actually believe Burgess has the ability to lead this team in tackles this year, and the Canes could be his first victim. No chance I’m leaving him off the list to kick off this season.
Some may think this is a “no brainer” or a “gimmie”, but I look at more than just the guy lining up in the backfield for Head Coach Bobby Petrino who clearly loves to pound the rock. Dominique Brown is certainly capable, but doesn’t have a big history of catching the ball out of the backfield and turning it into big gains (averaged under two catches and 18 receiving yards per game last season).
Petrino’s offense however, may change that. During his lone season at WKU, Bobby Petrino’s lead running back Antonio Andrews finished second on the team in both receptions (41) and receiving yards (478). Look for Brown to develop another weapon to his arsenal and become a threat in the air to go along with his demonstrative ground game.
Former Louisville sharp shooter Taquan Dean will be spending the 2014-15 season playing professionally in Spain.
According to EuroBasket.com, Dean has signed with Gipuzkoa San Sebastian of Spain’s top professional league.
Since graduating from Louisville in 2005, Dean has played professionally in Italy, Russia, Spain, Greece and Turkey.
The former Cardinal spent the past two seasons with Sidigas Avellino of Italy’s top professional league. He left the club in January of 2014 following a coaching change.
Dean averaged 10.1 points and three rebounds per game during his time with the team.
He’s spent the summer in Louisville working out at the UofL basketball facility. Dean has been training with program assistant Tim Gray. He’s still the program’s all time leader in three point field goals with 159.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is a collegiate athletic conference in the United States in which its fifteen member universities compete in the NCAA. The ACC hosts 13 men’s division one sports and 14 women’s division one sports. The league was founded in 1953 by seven schools located in what are considered South Atlantic States.
The conference has added additional members in 1979, 1991, 2004, 2013, and 2014. The ACC has recently expanded beyond the coast and has stretched its branches of influence into the Midwest.
|Boston College||Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts||1863||13,906||Eagles||2005|
|Clemson University||Clemson, South Carolina||1889||21,303||Tigers||1953|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, Florida||1851||40,337||Seminoles||1991|
|University of Louisville||Louisville, Kentucky||1798||22,293||Cardinals||2014|
|North Carolina State University||Raleigh, North Carolina||1887||35,767||Wolfpack||1953|
|University of Notre Dame||South Bend, Indiana||1842||11,733||Fighting Irish||2013|
|Syracuse University||Syracuse, New York||1870||21,029||Orange||2013|
|Wake Forest University||Winston-Salem, North Carolina||1834||7,432||Demon Deacons||1953|
|Duke University||Durham, North Carolina||1838||14,591||Blue Devils||1953|
|Georgia Institute of Technology||Atlanta, Georgia||1885||21,557||Yellow Jackets||1979|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, Florida||1925||15,657||Hurricanes||2004|
|University of North Carolina||Chapel Hill, North Carolina||1789||29,390||Tar Heels||1953|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||1787||28,766||Panthers||2013|
|University of Virginia||Charlottesville, Virginia||1819||23,907||Cavaliers||1953|
|Virginia Tech University||Blacksburg, Virginia||1872||31,087||Hokies||2004|
Only two schools have left the ACC while nine have joined since the conference was founded in 1953. Maryland recently bolted for the Big 10, while South Carolina set sail for the SEC back in 1971. The University of Louisville was voted into the ACC in November of 2012 as Maryland’s replacement.
Notre Dame is currently the only member of the ACC that is considered a “non-football member.” Only two schools (UNC and Duke) can boast all 13 men’s varsity sports, only Boston College and UNC can claim all 14 women’s division one sports.
The ACC has been yielding their annual rendition of Athlete of the Year since 1945. The Anthony J. McKelvin Award was given to the conference’s best athlete, regardless of gender, until 1990. The female version of the award is known as the Mary Garber Award, and has been won by some of the biggest names in women’s athletics.
The Atlantic Coast Conference knows nothing but spectacular athletics and blinding star power. The Anthony J. McKelvin award was awarded to James Worthy in 1982, Ralph Sampson in 1983, Michael Jordan in 1984, and then Len Bias in 1986.
Tim Duncan was prestigiously honored in 1996 and in 1997 and was preceded by Antawn Jamison in 1998 and Elton Brand in 1999. Mia Hamm took the women’s equivalent of the hardware home in 1993 when she dominated the pitch for UNC.
ACC football programs are eligible for the newly generated college football playoff. The 2013 National Title was won by Florida State, an established ACC power. The ACC’s football structure is divided into two seven team conferences, Atlantic and Coastal. The University of Louisville will compete in the Atlantic Division with Clemson, Florida State, and former Big East Rival, Syracuse. The ACC Coastal division is home to teams such as Duke, UNC, and The Steady Snitching University of Miami. Louisville is the seventh school to make the leap from the Big East to the ACC.
I feel like I need to get this out of the way early. Doesn’t Atlantic and Coastal sound like the same thing?
Instead of throwing himself a watch party of heading to Brooklyn to take in the sights and sounds of the Barcaly Center, Russ Smith took the non-traditional approach to draft night. Smith spent the evening shooting hoops at the KFC Yum! Center with friends and family.
Following the draft, Russ spoke with the media discussing the draft process and shared his excitement to join the New Orleans Pelicans. Although he maintains that he’s overjoyed to be in the NBA, I’m sure I’m not the only who can tell that Russ is more than eager to prove those wrong who passed on his in the draft.
Video courtesy of TheCrunchZone.com.
For the second consecutive season, the Louisville baseball program’s College World Series appearance was very brief.
The Cardinal Nine’s season came to an end on Monday afternoon as they fell to Texas 4-1 in an elimination game.
This was Louisville’s second loss in the double-elimination tournament. They fell to Vanderbilt 5-3 on Saturday evening.
“We had a two-inning lapse where we made it a little too easy on them,” Dan McDonnell said. “They got the momentum, and we let them roll with it.”
Unfortunately, Monday just wasn’t Louisville’s day as very little seemed to go right. Texas’ Parker French and Travis Duke limited the Cardinals to four hits, as the Longhorns produced runs in three straight innings.
“It’s the eight best and eight hottest teams in Omaha, so when you don’t play clean, it gets magnified out here,” McDonnell said following the game. ”
The value of scoring a run is so important that you do your best to try to score a run and you do your best to try not to give up a run. Unfortunately, we just gave them a few too many opportunities early.”
Losing four consecutive College World Series games will leave a bad taste in the mouth of fans, but Dan McDonnell and his team deserve a ton of credit for a spectacular season. This group has been a part of something very special that we may never see again. Back-to-back CWS appearances doesn’t happen too often.
Last week was a big one for the Louisville Cardinal basketball program. Louisville hosted four unofficial visitors, including two of the top 50 players from the 2015 class, Deng Adel and Bryant Crawford.
The program isn’t expected to have many visits this week, however they did receive an unofficial visit from one of the top overall players in the 2016 class on Monday afternoon.
Tyus Battle, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound guard from Gladstone, N.J. was on the UofL campus earlier today.
Battle is regarded as consensus top ten player in the 2016 class. Rivals and Scout both rate Battle as a five star prospect while Scout ranks him as the best shooting guard in the country.
Louisville isn’t considered to be one of the leaders for the New Jersey native, but getting him on campus for a visit certainly can’t hurt their chances.
Assistant coach Kenny Johnson has been recruiting Battle in recent months, but it doesn’t appear that he’s been offered a scholarship just yet. Don’t be surprised if that changes very soon. Johnson established a relationship with Battle while he was still a member of Tom Crean’s staff at Indiana
Battle will visit Kentucky tomorrow. He’s already taken two visits to Michigan and visited Villanova this spring.