Wow. Just wow.
I believe I warned you, ladies and gentlemen of the Big Blue Nation, that rivalry games were dangerous. Of course, this one was made much more dangerous than it needed to be by three turnovers in a row, which gave Louisville the football for the entire third quarter. I have never seen that before, a quarter in which one team ran maybe one or two offensive plays.
Nice effort by Louisville. They are a rather more dangerous team that I even imagined, and Justin Burke is a much better quarterback thank I expected. He has a strong arm and great feet. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, they were unable to handle Randall Cobb and Derrick Locke, and despite being forced to defend a ridiculous number of snaps, the Kentucky defense was up to the task. It was a stronger than expected showing by Louisville, though, and even though there is no such thing as a moral victory, I think it is possible for this Louisville team to build on today's effort.
For Kentucky, well, a victory over a rival is always worth being happy about, even if the 'Cats did not seem to bring their "A" game today. More thoughts follow the jump.
Here are some observations and a few questions that we will be discussing more in the coming week:
- Derrick Locke is back. There is no longer doubt.
- Randall Cobb is simply an incredible football player. Now, everybody knows it.
- Mike Hartline did some very good things, and some very bad things. I am reserving judgment on him, but that last drive was a thing of beauty.
- Our defensive secondary was unacceptably poor. I was very disappointed in the long, downfield throws they allowed.
- Our special teams did not kill us. Lones Seiber actually played very well, and Brooks has to be sort of happy about that.
- The first turnover was a great play by Louisville. Locke did all he could to protect that football, but the Louisville player found purchase and was able to bring much more leverage to bear to pry it loose.
- The second turnover was a good defensive play, but it was a bad play call. I though UK was way too conservative in the passing game. Louisville was sitting on that out route and jumped it perfectly.
- The third turnover was a brain-dead, inexcusable play by Hartline. If he is going to be an option on the option, he had better learn to tuck the ball away.
- At least two of Joker's calls were just plain stupid. Why the heck do you throw a 5-yard out when you need ten? I don't get it.
- I was really worried about Winston Guy. I am still worried about Trevard Lindley.
- DeQuin Evans made some big plays today, but Corey Peters was the reason we won the game.
- The clock operator needs to get another job. Maybe he can work for the Louisville Cardinals, I'm sure they'd hire him after today.
- Wildcat package?
- Our D-line was not up to SEC standards today. Our O-line was very good. Hartline didn't get touched all game. Pretty impressive.
Well, that's about all. I can say that if we bring a game like this against Florida, 63 points might be what they score in the first half. Brooks has his work cut out for him this week, the 'Cats have a lot of things to fix. The D-line must get pressure on the QB more consistently, and the defensive backfield has to occasionally stop downfield passes.
But this is a big win that I am celebrating with a smile. Threepeat against the Cards! Who would have thought that back in 2003?