Louisville football entered the offseason with a lot of questions surrounding the running back position, but by August it wasn’t a position battle that attracted the most scrutiny. The announcement that former Auburn star Michael Dyer would play in for the Cardinals in 2013 elicited strong reactions from the local media, but the constant refrain was slippery-slope hand wringing peppered with moral reproach. Critics descended upon the symbolism of an elite athlete tarnished by a history of burners and spice being welcomed into a community that emphasizes “no guns” and “no drugs” among its core tenets, displayed on official signage in the football facility. Particularly in the cynical summer of Aaron Hernandez and Johnny Van Der Beek Football, the subject of football players entitled to misconduct by virtue of their talent was, for good reason, a touchy one.
This entry appears on Rush The Court.
The narrative of today’s defensive match up between #1 Louisville and #6 Syracuse has already been explored extensively. A collision of defensive juggernauts: the nation’s first and third most efficient defenses, respectively. The two lead the Big East and are top-five nationally, again, in creating steals. The Cards check in at #2 in the country in turnovers generated; the Orange: #8. Syracuse point guard Michael Carter-Williams leads the conference with a staggering 3.18 steals per game and combines with Brandon Triche to produce 4.8 SPG; Peyton Siva and Russ Smith are top-five, producing a cumulative 4.6 pilfers.
On paper it’s a push, and a juicy storyline to hype. In reality, Syracuse fields an excellent defense, but Louisville’s has the potential to be historic, and it’s just now hitting its stride. Continue reading
According to Mike Huguenin at Yahoo! Sports, Louisville’s heralded Center Mario Benavides is the #20 interior lineman in college football, and “should be the best lineman in the Big East” this season.
20. C Mario Benavides, Louisville
Particulars: 6-4/280, Sr.; Los Fresnos (Texas) High
Buzz: He will be a four-year starter for the Cardinals. In his first three seasons, Benavides has made it through just one (his redshirt freshman season in 2009) unscathed. He missed one game in 2010 and missed the first three games last season. He also missed spring drills, but is 100 percent and should be the best lineman in the Big East.
In light of underwhelming initial appraisals of Big East TV money and unrelenting shit-talking from media pundits, football fans and Mack Brown’s boss alike, it seems like an appropriate juncture to reevaluate the conference’s goals in the impending superconference era.
Put lightly, the Big East has an image problem. In the absurd, nightmarish retail strip mall of college athletics, it is the Dollar General to the SEC’s Walmart; the Big 12’s Cabela’s; the Big 10’s Menards and the ACC’s offensively-overpriced antique shop.
Its name alone is so toxic that ne’er-do-wells instantly become esteemed programs upon vacating (see: Pitt, Syracuse).
you know Bill’s rockin’ a matching scorpion tat under that cool facade of plaid and tweed.
Bill Clinton on Louisville-Notre Dame
h/t EllasDaddy and http://kentuckysports.co
video after the break
My typical anxiety that precedes a Louisville game was tinged with uncharacteristic dread last night. It was potentially their last opportunity to notch a win against a current top-25 team before Selection Sunday, and the stage was set for a letdown: Marquette’s best team in years was fully rested and looking to avenge last year’s blowout loss to the Cardinals in the Big East quarterfinals. Louisville’s historic offensive struggles were on full display in an ugly win against Seton Hall on Wednesday night, and it had been almost a month since the team had last secured a win in a highly emotional environment, against West Virginia. Defense notwithstanding, it was hard for me to imagine U of L scoring enough points to beat such a skilled, explosive Marquette team.
Then the whistle blew, and Louisville scored 50 points in one half for the first time this season.