The Louisville Cardinal football team lost their very first game in Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium and tonight they lost the 100th game there. Cardinal fans were very optimistic about a undefeated season and possible National Title game, but tonight those scenarios disappeared as our Cards lost a tough one to a very talented and poised UCF team 38 to 35. Like the rest of you I took this loss hard and partly because I had forgot what it felt like. Louisville hadn’t lost a football game or a basketball game in about 250 days. It was a great run but one that ended tonight.
Coach Strong after the game:
(Video courtesy Jody Demling)
This football game was about as close as you could get stat wise with UCF having 446 yards and Louisville having 445. The Knights won the battle on the ground with 196 yards rushing and the Cards won the battle through the air with 341 yards. The three skill players that stepped up tonight for the Cardinals were Dominique Brown (88 yards, 2TDs), Eli Rogers (95 yards, 1TD), and Teddy Ballgame (341 yards, 2 TDs). I thought that when the Cards went up 28-7 in the third quarter it was going to be their night but then UCF ripped off a stunning 24 consecutive points to wrest the lead with just less than eight minutes to play. All the credit goes to them for maintaining great poise especially their quarterback Blake Bortles (250 yards, 2 TDs). He was calm, cool and collected as he led his team to victory. UCF also had the “perfect storm” in running back Storm Johnson who made big plays on the ground and through the air. This guys had 109 yards rushing and 79 yards receiving. In my opinion he was the difference maker in this game and the Cardinals defense just didn’t have an answer for him.
Teddy Bridgewater after the game:
(Video courtesy @TheCrunchZone)
The Cards must now regroup and get things back together again and learn from the mental mistakes in this game. There is still a lot on the table for this season. Louisville still has a chance to win the AAC and to go to another BCS game, but now there is no room left for error. Another mishap and the Cardinals will likely end up in the Russell Athletic Bowl. And if UCF wins out that is the probable outcome anyway. Tonight the Cards just didn’t get it done, but over 55,000 fans kept up their end of the bargain and it was one of the best game atmosphere’s that I’ve ever been a part of. So kudos to you Cardinal Nation. Lets keep the passion and support going for this football team. They are the ones out there putting it all on the line and putting in the blood, sweat, and tears. Two more home games to go.
Cards take the field to a awesome crowd at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium: