By Josh Cook
Down! Set! Hike!
Here is quick look back at the weekend that was for the University of Louisville football team.
UofL took a 10-point lead on two-time defending Big East champ Cincinnati in the second quarter Friday night at Papa John‘s Cardinal Stadium, but couldn’t hold on. The Bearcats (3-3, 1-0) rallied for a 35-27 victory in the conference opener for both teams.
Louisville (3-3, 0-1) lost despite another career-high rushing performance from Bilal Powell. The senior gained 209 yards, only six days after rushing for 204 yards against Memphis, against a Cincinnati defense that entered the game ranked eighth nationally in run defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The Cards lost despite forcing three turnovers, as they couldn’t overcome a couple of missed field goal tries by Chris Philpott and five touchdown passes by UC quarterback Zach Collaros.
TOP 3 PLAYS
1. Powell’s it-looked-like-he-was-tackled-but-he-wasn’t 85-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter could end up being UofL’s highlight of the season.
2. In his first game since suffering a knee injury in the Oregon State game Sept. 18, wide receiver Doug Beaumont threw a 27-yard pass to Card quarterback Adam Froman to set up a 26-yard Philpott field goal early in the second quarter.
3. Junior defensive tackle Greg Scruggs picked off a pass by Collaros in the first quarter to set up UofL’s first touchdown - an 11-yard pass from Froman to Josh Chichester.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND
“We missed two field goals - that was critical,” UofL coach Charlie Strong said. “We needed a good start in the conference, but it didn’t happen. So we have to go out and have to improve. We need to practice better and we have to correct the errors.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND II
“It was fun and the first interception of my career,” Scruggs said of his INT that set up UofL‘s first TD. “That was new for me, a new experience. I didn’t really know what to do. I just took off running, that’s what I see everybody else do.”
STAT OF THE WEEKEND
Powell’s 209 yards on 24 carries was incredible.
Offensive Player of the Weekend - Once again there’s no question about this one...it’s Powell.
Defensive Player of the Weekend - This one is a tie between Scruggs and sophomore cornerback Darius Ashley. Scruggs intercepted a pass by Collaros and also recovered a fumble, while Ashley led Louisville in tackles (nine) for the second straight weekend also had an interception of Collaros.
FIVE THINGS I THINK
1. If Powell keeps this up he’s going to be Big East Player of the Year.
2. Philpott has to get better at making field goals.
3. It was great to see Beaumont back on the field.
4. I expected more out of Josh Bellamy, who played very well in Beaumont’s absence. However, Friday night Bellamy tallied only 22 yards of total offense (12 rushing, 10 receiving).
5. I think UofL will beat Connecticut, which lost to (yikes!) Temple earlier in the season, 35-21 Saturday at PJCS.