Louisville 52, Boston College 7 Game Notes

Obviously, Louisville loves playing Patrick Towles. This game was no different. Enjoy.

  • 69 yard TD run from Lamar to open the game. Nice. Nice.
  • I love DeAngelo Brown. One of the most underrated players on the defense.
  • Offensive line gave Lamar a lot of time early on. Probably says more for Boston College’s defense, but still.
  • Lamar looking great. Quick with a deep touchdown catch and the offense is rolling.
  • Defensive is looking pretty crisp so far. Hard hits, solid tackling, not too many broken reads.
  • Bomb to Jaylen Smith is Lamar at his best. Absolute beast.
  • Well, that was certainly a first quarter.
  • A real live fumble sets Louisville up. Bobby is coming for blood.
  • Quick up to 2 TDs now. 
  • Hikutini with the TD. Not sure how many different ways I can talk about a team dominating an opponent like this. 
  • Chucky!
  • Lamar with an injury, Bolin comes in. Bolin looking not great.
  • Remember last season when we alol fought over who should play, Lamar or Bolin? Good times, goooood times.
  • Lamar should have never tried to tackle the guy that picked him off. Good QBs don’t do that because of this exact situation. Disrupted the whole flow of the game by putting Bolin in.
  • Street names. Feathers. Announcers are some mixture of terrific and terrible.
  • Lamar is a magician. Plain and simple. I am never not surprised or impressed by him.
  • Seems like the team starts to fall apart when Lamar isn’t playing. As long as he is, that’s ok I suppose, but just strange.
  • Got the Dubya.
  • Lamar Jackson’s “private area”.
  • #HAILSTATE

1 down, 2 to go. #BeatOhioState #BeatWashington

Wake Forest, you’re next.

Fansplaining: Why Clemson fans are so mad at Louisville and Lamar Jackson

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly/USA Today Sports

Since the University of Louisville lost to Clemson 42-36 at the beginning of October, the Louisville fanbase has noticed a change in behavior from our previously friendly hosts. Clemson has long held a reverence among college football fans as having one of the most hospitable fan bases in the country. Just a bunch of good ole’ preppy bunch that will gladly welcome you into their tailgate for a beer and brat. Always considered the lovable bunch that suffered a #Clemsoning (or two) every year that inevitably ruined Clemson’s chance at national prominence.

Now enter October 1. Lamar Jackson brings Louisville within inches (literally) of knocking off the vaunted Clemson team, and elevating the Louisville program into the national lexicon. So Clemson gets its win, a very strong win at that, and hey, it was a great game, right?

Clemson fans have developed a strange obsession with wanting to refute any national mention of both Louisville and Lamar Jackson, while not being able to enjoy the win and their #2 ranking. They are likely to run the remaining schedule and go back to the playoff for a second consecutive year.

So the Louisville fan base has just one question for the Tiger faithful. Why you mad bro?

While I do find it strange and frustrating the sudden disdain Clemson fans have for Louisville, I do understand it. I do. I’m here for you Clemson fans. I want to explain your change to the masses and help you find peace in your undefeated season. But to truly understand the Clemson dilemma, you have to go back to 2012.

In the 2012 season, Florida State beat Clemson and finished 12-2, 7-1 in the conference and edged out Clemson (11-1, 7-1) for the Atlantic title. Clemson had won the division previously, but this was the start of the Florida State reign. The next season, Jameis Winston’s first season starting, Florida State won the final BCS Championship and again kept Clemson from national prominence.

In 2014, Louisville’s first season in the new ACC, Florida State made it to the first ever College Football Playoff unscathed, only to lose to Oregon. Clemson was again second in the Atlantic Division, but Louisville gained a win in conference play, with Bobby Petrino’s system starting to catch on with Charlie Strong’s remaining players.

Last season, sensing an opening with Winston jumping to the pros, and touting their own Heisman candidate at quarterback, the Tigers finished the regular season undefeated and found themselves in the National Title game against Alabama. While Alabama ultimately won 45-40, Clemson showed they were for real and should be a top threat this season in returning to the championship. Lead by most of their offense returning, including running back Wayne Gallman and third place Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson, they finally had their opening.

Enter Lamar Jackson. Louisville was slowly adjusting to the ACC and building their recruiting up, but Lamar Jackson was the game changer Louisville needed to elevate the program into the limelight. just two weeks after completely dismantling Florida State at home, Jackson led the Cardinals into Death Valley and showed everyone in the country that they were for real. Jackson was already garnering tons of national attention as one of the most prolific playmakers college football has ever seen, and Watson was off to a rocky start, despite Clemson remaining undefeated.

I’ve seen it argued that if Clemson loses a game, and still wins in the ACC Championship, that Louisville should get the ACC nod into the Playoff. I’ve seen it argued that if it wasn’t for the referees in Ref Death Valley, that Louisville would have indeed won the game and should be undefeated, so they deserve the nod. I’ve also seen it argued that both teams should make the playoff and we will see the result on a neutral field.

I’ve heard every week that Lamar has already locked up the Heisman trophy. I’ve heard that he’s the greatest player college football has ever seen, and that he is 5x better than Michael Vick (from Michael Vick). And I’ve heard that Deshaun Watson just isn’t the same player he was last season. That Lamar’s number are so far ahead of everyone else’s that he could average enough points alone that would beat most teams.

This is why Clemson fans are panicking. They had their opening. They were primed for at least a couple years of uninterrupted dominance and shots at the National Title, along with a Heisman trophy. And, in their opinion, Louisville ruined it. Louisville has taken all the national attention for the ACC, Lamar has taken the Heisman conversation by the throat, and Clemson got left standing in the cold.

The thing about all of this is: Clemson will probably get to the playoff. They win out and they are in. They control their own destiny, and proved that they could even hang with Alabama last season.

Louisville is coming. They put everyone on notice by hosting their first ever College Gameday, and thoroughly destroying Florida State. Lamar Jackson will be back for at least one more collegiate season and the quarterbacks coming up behind him (Jawon Pass, Malik Cunningham) show the tools to continue Louisville’s ascent. And by the way, Bobby isn’t going anywhere.

Florida State will rebound too. Deondre Francois is going to be a problem if Jimbo can figure out how to keep him upright, and Florida State is recruiting in the most talent rich state in the country. They have several young stars on the defense and are already showing the turnaround is in place. But for this season, enjoy yourselves Tiger fans. You’re undefeated, ranked #2 and likely going to be able to showcase yourselves for a second year in a row on the grandest stage of them all. Just don’t get comfortable at the top.

Updated 11/3/2016: I misspelled Deshaun Watson’s name in the Michael Vick paragraph. I had it very politely pointed out by a Clemson fan. My deepest apologies.

Louisville 32, Virginia 25 Game Notes

Due to a work conflict, I was unable to watch the game in real time. That being said, I tried to keep up on Twitter and so it will be weird watching the game already knowing the outcome. We’ll give it a go though.

  • D’Asian (Johnny?) Richardson got away with contact to the QB’s head on the first defensive drive. Strong start for the D though. Hard hits and flying around the ball.
  • First drop by Quick wasn’t totally his fault. Was overthrown. Should have caught it and would have had a TD, but it was overthrown nonetheless.
  • Second drop by Quick was terrible. Lamar did enough to make a play, Quick just couldn’t pull it in.
  • Punt coverage terrible and sets up Virginia for its first score of the game. First time the punt coverage team has let someone through like that this season. Good defensive stop. Defense has bailed out the rest of the team numerous times this season.
  • Staples with the tough grab over the middle. Easily the most reliable receiver we have.
  • Quicks third drop was brutal. Have to wonder if the sun was in his eyes? Lamar overthrows an open Seth Dawkins on the next play.
  • Virginia came into the game believing they were going to win. You can tell in the way they’re carrying themselves. Bronco Mendenhall is going to get them going soon.
  • Virginia continuing to pick on Trumaine Washington.
  • The running game had not been effective at all until Lamar breaks a big time run. Finally some signs of life from the offense.
  • Lamar hits Jamari on a dart for the Cards first touchdown. Great sequence of plays for the offense.
  • Fumble was mix of Jeremy Smith and Lamar. Jeremy didn’t clinch on the ball, Lamar tried to pull it too late.
  • Virginia QB with a beautiful lob into the end zone on their first TD. The placement was perfect and the WR beat Jaire to it.
  • Virginia with all the momentum at the start of the second quarter. Their defense is hyped, the sideline is hyped, and has Louisville’s offense on the ropes.
  • Jaire with a great INT to stop the drive. Jaire has been a fantastic revelation in the secondary this season.
  • The offensive line is going to get Lamar killed one day.
  • Louisville let Virginia believe and that was why the offense struggled so much in the first half. Any team is a much less dangerous team if you break their will.
  • Micky Crum got his ass ripped on the 4th down play by Bobby. He has been a big letdown this season. I think he is supremely talented. But he needs to get his mind right if he wants to jump into the starting role when Cole leaves.
  • Reggie’s drop was brutal too. Negated by the holding on Hughley (Fuckin Hughley) but Lamar made such a good play to get it to him. Lamar made a great play to Traveon on the next play.
  • Another holding by the offensive line. Penalties and turnovers will really hurt us at some point this season.
  • And missed tackles. Good lord Trumaine.
  • Virginia drives for the 17-7 lead. Definitely was starting to worry at this point.
  • Lamar throws an INT to set up Virginia deep in their own territory. He’s been pretty inaccurate so far. Luckily, Virginia misses the field goal. Probably the point where the momentum shifts.
  • Hikutini is the spark plug of the offense. Lamar can make a play when there isn’t one and when he has to, but Hikutini gives the offense the feeling that everything is going to start rolling. I’ve noticed that with him this year. Hopefully they can replace him next season.
  • Reggie shushes the crowd after his touchdown. The Cards are rolling.
  • Jaire with his second pick of the game returns to the 13. Again, he’s been fantastic this season.
  • Reggie quiets the crowd with his second TD of the game. Now were rollin.
  • Zykesis Cannon had a great pass breakup on the drive that Virginia scores its last TD. I really like him.
  • Defense let up a lot on the final drive. I still argue that they get worn down in these types of games and eventually break a bit. It was a ballsy call on the fourth down pass though. Thrown on a rope down the middle of the field. Virginia’s crowd is into it.
  • Final drive. The whole thing I’ve been waiting to see. Much easier to stomach knowing the outcome.
  • The fourth down throw through two defenders… Just insane by Lamar.
  • And the cap with the beautiful play by Lamar to Jaylen Smith for the touchdown. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful play.

We squeeze out the victory, and with a few undefeated teams losing, we maintain position.  A lot of credit to a well coached Virginia team, but just as in the Duke game, talent wins out. Lamar finished with 361 and 4 TDs with 90 on the ground and Staples finished with 120 and a TD. Now we need FSU to pull this out against Clemson and Clemson lose again, or Clemson win the rest of their games. My brain hurts. Boston College, you’re next.

Louisville 54, NC State 13 Game Notes

  • This is the first time I noticed that our fans didn’t boo the opposing team coming out. I’m so glad we stopped doing that to teams that aren’t our rivals or at least highly ranked.
  • Seth Dawkins starts. Glad to see from the freshman.
  • Lamar made the defense sleep with all the passes. 36 yd TD run was beautiful and what we’re used to. 
  • Washington interception was perfect. Good pressure up front and the QB never saw Washington. 
  • Bad play calling on second drive off TO. Too much running. Lamar had a good throw away.
  • Lukayas McNeil two false starts on FG. Penalties and special teams issues combined into one!
  • Thank god he still made the field goal.
  • RB runs too much east to west. Louisville doing a great job sealing gaps and staying on the weak side. 
  • James Quick fumble was correct call on field. Just bad luck.
  • James Hearns is a bad bad man!
  • Penalties already terrible. Really ugly start to the game. It honestly feels like we’re going to spend more real time on special teams than offense or defense.
  • Lamar 74 yd pass to Jaylen Smith was a perfect example of how much Lamar has grown. Old Lamar would have gotten impatient and ran with the ball or been inaccurate on the throw. He was patient, read it perfect and threw it on a rope. 
  • Defense is looking great. 
  • Lamar bad reads on the option up to two.
  • 3 bad penalties on McNeil now. Has to be more disciplined. 
  • I can’t remember the last time Lamar just took a sack. It was jarring.
  • Jaylen didn’t block the defender downfield. It was the only reason Cole didn’t score on the wide open throw from Lamar.
  • Johnathan Greenard is going to be a great linebacker for us. I really like him.
  • #ColeLeap.
  • Blocked punt by Malik Williams was special. We don’t usually get big time plays on special teams.
  • I don’t understand how NC State didn’t use any timeouts. I get that you’re getting blown out, but you don’t even try to stop the momentum on a drive or anything? 
  • Terrible play calling in the red zone for the whole first half. Weird plays, bad choices and just overall terrible play calling.
  • Halftime. Good guys 44, Bad guys 0.
  • A few things: 1. The “Bobby!” Chants were amazing. 2. It was incidental contact. And 3. The more I watch Seth Dawkins, the more I’m reminded of what Julio Jones. Big, tall, fast, and incredibly gifted. It’s easy to see why he’s on the field as a true freshman with all the talent we have at the position. He’s going to be special. 
  • At the game, I have no clue how they called NC State’s first touchdown a touchdown. It looked like he came off the ground, caught the ball, and fell out of bounds. Hoping that it wasn’t that agregious on tv.
  • The offensive line has let up a few sacks. Not good that Lamar is taking the extra hits and not feeling the pressure.
  • 70 yd touchdown pass was just ugly. DB got burned and couldn’t make the tackle. Weird third quarter.
  • Weird quarter continues with Malik Williams fumble on the kick. Never understood the whole “carry the ball with one arm in traffic” thing.
  • If the University doesn’t keep the Muhammed Ali intro to the game and third quarter, I’m burning it all to the ground.
  • #ColeBlock.
  • Jeremy Smith is a bull. Doesn’t ever get stopped the first time.
  • Angry Bobby is my favorite Bobby.
  • How this was the 8th highest crowd in stadium history I’ll never understand. Looked pretty empty in some sections. 
  • Kyle Bolin had a beautiful pass down the right side to Devante Peete. 

All in all, this was a great game. Lamar looked like Lamar full bore with over 400 yards of offense and 4 TDs. Hikutini was fantastic with 118 yards and a touchdown and Jeremy Smith finished with 51 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense was fantastic for the most part and we may have even found a (short range) kicker. 

Now we just need to pull for A&M, Houston, Oregon State and Penn State. No biggie. Virginia, you’re next. 

Louisville 24, Duke 14 Game Notes

Getty Images/Andy Lyons

I know it’s the middle of the season, but I’ve decided to start a weekly post on my thoughts of the Louisville game from that week, as well as some big picture notes.

The closest thing to Duke’s offense has to be dental surgery. Painful and slow. But, a win is a win and right now, that’s all Louisville needs to do. All the following notes are in order of the game, so it should be easy to follow along.

  • Papa John. What an asshole. Gave out free trash pizza though.

 

  • Lamar had one of the best pass fakes ever. Tucked the ball and completely sold the “I gave the ball to the running back and now I’m chillin” look after. Only the end wasn’t fooled, and unfortunately Lamar overthrew the receiver. But it was a RIDICULOUS fake.

 

  • Again, ridiculous play. Lamar’s pass to Seth Dawkins down the middle of the field was on a rope, thrown off his back foot, all while getting hit by a defender. Lamar is special, but more on that later.

 

  • Brandon Radcliffe had a great first half (and game, fumble aside). He showed great vision, power, and patience.

 

  • Duke’s defense was the first defense to really limit the offense. Clemson’s offense was forced to play with us because their defense was letting Lamar do Lamar things after the chokehold from hell.

 

  • Daww. Engagement.

 

  • Jaire Alexander continues to impress on special teams. Not entirely sure why people keep kicking to him.

 

  • If you had told me before the game that a skill position player would score an 80 yard touchdown, Jeremy Smith probably would have been the last guy on my list. Even below the backups and freshmen. The run came on a blitz, which took a lot of defenders out of it, but man, it was crazy.

 

  • This was definitely Lamar’s most inaccurate game. He was over and under throwing the receivers and struggled on a communication with a couple routes with the receivers. That being said, I thought it was his most disciplined game. He took what was given to him and didn’t make the stupid decisions many true sophomore quarterbacks make.

 

  • There were several plays that proved to me that Lamar is the most elusive man in sports. The way he gets away from defenders is something I can’t recall seeing. It’s insane.

 

  • Duke’s offensive playbook is 7 plays. Read option (always to the running back), hand off to the running back, rollout throw on third down ONLY, punt, field goal, quarterback punt, and quarterback fake punt. That’s it.

 

  • Lamar learned from the Clemson game. There was a read option where the defender came to blow him up after the handoff to the running back, and Lamar spun away from the contact. It was one of his smartest moments of the game.

 

  • We have no kicker. Where’s John Wallace when you need him?

 

  • The defense played a tremendous game. They were asked to maintain their poise and stamina while being on the field for 15 minutes longer, defending the same 3 plays all game. Huge credit to Grantham for his work with the defense.

 

  • I felt like Cutcliffe might have given the rest of the country the blueprint to beating this team. We had more talent, and that won out. But if a more talented team takes that plan, Louisville could be in trouble.

 

  • I feel bad for #31. My immediate thought went back to the 2005 Rutgers game with William Gay. It wasn’t such a black and white call as then, but it was similar. I never wish that on any kid. We got lucky.

 

Additionally, we have a handful of doomsday fans in the fanbase. “Lamar’s Heisman is gone” and “We lost all hope at the playoffs” were things that I saw online. Firstly, we played on Friday before basically everyone else. Secondly, Lamar finished with over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ask a normal quarterback if that’s a game he’d take. And lastly, as seen in the Ohio State and Clemson games, anyone can be beaten on any day. Best thing that can happen for us is for Washington to lose, Ohio State and/or Michigan to lose a game before they play at the end of the season, and if somebody could knock off Alabama that would be great.

Most importantly, and firstly, we have to win our games. NC State, you’re next.