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27 posts from September 2011

September 10, 2011

A few thoughts from FIU 24, Louisville 17



Just because they expected to beat Louisville doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy it.

Especially head coach Mario Cristobal, who I thought would break something on someone with his ferocious hugs, high fives, chest bumps after the game. Yet he was the physical manifestation of the roar out of the locker room from the players. That sound comes for a deep hunger for something. On this evening, that something was “respect.”

They beat a team from outside the Sun Belt, a team from a conference with an automatic BCS bowl bid.

“We knew it was going to happen one day,” defensive end Tourek Williams said. “We had to keep working and working and pushing. I came into this program knowing I would help push it to the next level.”

(Williams came back from one of the scarier plays of the night, going helmet to helmet with James Jones as they combined on a sack. After Williams head snapped back like he took an Ali right cross, he tried to run off the field, but staggered and fell. He had to be helped to the sideline after a few minutes on his back.

“Just a little head butt,” Williams laughed. “Everything’s good. I’m straightened out.”)

Every player or coach who had a choice has been told he made a mistake going to FIU. Hilton recalled winding up at FIU because his son chose FIU’s hat eight consecutive times when placed on the bed next to a West Virginia hat. Think he hasn’t been told at some point how big he’d be if he were blowing up the bigger stage in the Big East, Louisville’s conference?

They might not publicly talk trash or speak the modern version of “in your face,” but they longed for that game to point to and say “told you.” Coaches long for a game to point at while recruiting and say, “we can do this again and again with you. We’re just getting better.”

The challenge now, of course, is doing it again against Central Florida, which, to me, is the most talented team on FIU's schedule. It’s hard sometimes for grown men to ground themselves again after such a win. These are young men capable of the pre-adulthood grand emotional swings that draw fans to college sports. This week will test their maturity, as well as their mettle and their mantra: “1-0, every week.”

Football’s a funny game.

FIU got moved around in the first half, on both sides of the ball. Yet with three big blows, the Golden Panthers took a 21-3 lead. Winston Fraser’s 71-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter might’ve been the biggest play of the game. That was a 10-point, possibly 14-point swing the way Louisville was moving the ball.

And unless some Sun Belter turns in a Ronnie Lott, Lawrence Taylor or Bob Lilly performance Saturday, Fraser will get my vote this week for conference Defensive Player of the Week.

In the second half, which they lost 7-3, they took over defensively, although they still found going through Louisville’s defensive middle akin to swimming through boulders.

Louisville exposed some FIU weaknesses. Towering tight end Josh Chichester, six catches for 111 yards, proved an impossible matchup for FIU, too big for defensive backs and too much maneuverability for linebackers. FIU's better at attacking the flanks with the run, something that would seem obvious with their team speed even if they didn't get destroyed inside by Louisville. Jeremiah Harden, Kedrick Rhodes and Darriet Perry contributed only 53 yards on 23 carries.

That said, a game that retained some drama better than it did the crowd that headed for the exits at 24-10 with 6:00 left could’ve been a true spanking by FIU.

Remember the Comedy Central game show that got Jimmy Kimmel’s career rolling, Win Ben Stein’s Money? By midway through Friday night, FIU could’ve played Take Will Stein’s Lunch Money at will. When Louisville got into passing situations and FIU brought the company, Stein looked like a rabbit on the run. A couple of times, he turned into a resourceful Bugs Bunny to create a play out of nothing. Most of the time, he just got boiled. Fraser's interception came on a blitz on third and long. FIU also rolled up 6 sacks, two by blitzing cornerback Sam Miller, two by Williams, one by Isame Faciane and one by Joshua Forney.

Yet for extended stretches, FIU locked into or got locked onto a four-man rush. That happened on Louisville’s touchdown drive to end the first half and Stein jitterbugged the Cardinals downfield for what could’ve been a momentum-turning touchdown.

Instead, a holding penalty on the kickoff cost Louisville about 33 yards of field position, FIU got Louisville into a third and 8 and blitzed Stein into a sack by Sam Miller. FIU took the ball and drove 39 yards to a field goal that put a two-touchdown deficit, 24-10, in Louisville’s back. You could almost feel Louisville sag.

“I always tell them the first five minutes of the second half are so critical,” Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. “We didn’t get established. We returned the ball out to the 15. If we don’t get that penalty, it’s to the 50. We still would’ve had a chance.”

Aside from the flambé job Hilton and Wesley Carroll did, FIU let Louisville’s cornerbacks off the hook much of the night. Had they attacked more, we could’ve been in garbage time by the fourth quarter.

Friday’s advance story on the game in The Courier-Journal focused on Louisville’s efforts to stop Hilton with the biggest picture of Hilton that’s run outside of South Florida. The anticipation and curiosity could be heard in snatches of the parking lot conversation as I walked toward and around Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium (in the Howard Schnellenberger Football Complex). How good is this guy?

The answer came on the opening kickoff, which Hilton returned 36 yards. It wasn’t that it was such a great return. It was that it was a very good return, but done without much special – pretty good blocking that could’ve been better and Hilton seemed to be almost in rapid stroll, instead of full run. It was like shaking hands with an immensely strong person who doesn’t feel the need to show off – you can still sense all that you don’t see and instantly know how dangerous that can be.

Here’s Hilton on his first touchdown, a slant that he turned up for 74 yards like Hot Wheels blowing through Matchbox: “They blitzed my man. I told Wes, ‘Here he comes, here he comes.’ And he looked at me like, ‘I got him.’ They rolled a safety down and I gave him a quick move, used my quickness to my advantage. Once I caught it, I just shot past him.”

Louisville coach Charlie Strong said, “That first slant he caught, we were in man coverage. We actually had double coverage. He split the guys and ended up taking it the distance.”

Hilton on the 83-yarder: “On the second, they rolled the linebacker (Dexter Heyman) on me. I looked at Wes again, like, ‘it’s a linebacker.’ He looked the safety off and came to me across the middle.”

 Strong said, “The third down play, we blitzed. Our safety got caught in a little hole and he just ran by.”

Carroll said, “That’s the thing about this defense. You take gambles by playing man-to-man. If you want to play man-to-man against T.Y., and he catches the ball, it’s going to be a touchdown because (the cornerback has) got no help. There might be a safety that’s deep. But with TY’s speed, if that guy doesn’t get him down initially, it’s going to be a big play.”

In the next 30 minutes, T.Y. Hilton went from a name for college football cognescenti to a name trending worldwide on Twitter. Heisman? Slow down. But if he's not on your watch list -- and he wasn't on the ones I get updated on each week -- then your list has a credibility gap about the size of the one in the Louisville secondary that Hilton ran through.

The zebras had an interesting night.

Hilton making a sort-of fair catch wave, then taking off with a punt last week brought half the North Texas coaching staff off the bench screaming for a penalty. This week, he got flagged. Good call from my vantage point.

Caddyshack’s Al Czervik claiming a ricocheting golf ball broke his forearm was more convincing than Greg Hickman’s calf “cramp” as Louisville rushed to the line in a hurry up offense. When Hickman was asked after the game if he was OK, Tourek Williams, standing off Hickman’s left shoulder, didn’t even bother trying to hold in his laughter.

You can’t say this kept FIU from putting the game away because offensive consistency proved more elusive than T.Y. Hilton on this night. Still, FIU was driving with a third and 6 on the Louisville 28 up 21-3 when an officiating gaffe helped kill the drive. Before the snap, Louisville’s defensive end flinched, FIU left tackle Caylin Hauptmann moved and left guard Kevin Van Kirk fidgeted also. Somewhere in that mess, there was a penalty, probably two that should’ve halted the play.

It looked to me like Wesley Carroll saw it, too. Carroll didn’t exactly skedaddle from Dexter Heyman, who recorded a 12-yard sack. Instead of third and 11 or a third and 1, FIU faced fourth and 18 from the Cardinals’ 40.


September 09, 2011

Football Game Day II, 2011; soccer(s), volleyball, cross country

To no one's surprise, the Sun Belt Conference will suspend free safety Chuck Grace for his hit to the head on North Texas' Andrew Power. A Sun Belt spokesman said Grace will miss "a quarter" of Friday night's game against Louisville. So, it's less "suspension" than "punishment." He got sent to his room, but not grounded.

Preseason projections: The Sporting News actually had FIU and Louisville meeting twice this season -- here and in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Nobody else is drinking the Cardinals' bourbon: Sports Illustrated's got Louisville at 4-8, Athlon's at 5-7, but both have them 3-2 in non-conference games.

The game: Your name is Charlie Strong. You like to move the ball by land. FIU knows you want to move the ball by land. FIU also knows your quarterback is gimpy but the most big plays in a big play game could come from your receivers. So, what do you do early, Charlie? Muscle up against a defense that stonewalled a North Texas line of similar size and identical experience or freeze the macho and come out flinging?

I say Louisville comes out with a series of plays that'll use FIU's defensive quickness and speed against them: screens to quick backs, misdirection runs, play action passes. If that works and FIU's defense starts moving a half-second late, then the Cardinals will switch to the straight ahead stuff. But Strong knows Louisville needs points, so even if the Cardinals jump FIU, don't look for them to totally refrigerate the ball.

Because while FIU doesn't get the run push as consistently as it wants, the pass plays are there for Wesley Carroll and he's feeling it early again. Young Cardinal cornerbacks get taken to school by FIU's wide receivers. It's not so much the speed, it's the diversity of the attack. Once safeties Shenard Holton and Hakeem Smith have to give more than drop-in help to the corners, FIU starts running counters.

As Dan Jenkins wrote in his Sports Illustrated game story on the 1971 Nebraska-Oklahoma classic -- still tops my list of best college game ever -- you can't take everything away in modern football. At least, not in the middle of the field. Neither team finishes drives as it likes. Ameliorating those failures is a Louisville kickoff return for a touchdown and FIU getting great field position from returners, T.Y. Hilton and Richard Leonard. Quarterback Will Stein, trying to do too much, throws a late interception. FIU scores on the ensuing drive and escapes with a 27-20 win.

But, that's just one black man's opinion.

Some video from a guy with connections to Louisville and Miami.



The pitch wasn't kind to FIU last weekend, the genders combining for to go 0-3 both at home (the women) and up at the Bert & Iris Wolstein Classic (the men). Tonight's double-header, the women against Florida Gulf Coast and the men against Stetson, could be an early turning point in the season for each team.

Florida Gulf Coast is only in its fifth year as a program but makes up for that in the coaching experience of Jimmy Blankenship, an FIU alumnus who was an ace college women's soccer coach back when the oldest of tonight's players were still trying to conquer crawling. Also, Gulf Coast is 2-1-1 against FIU. This will be the last home game for FIU's women's soccer until Sept. 30.

Stetson beat Penn State last week, which edged FIU 1-0 at the Wolstein Classic. Jacksonville follows for the men on Sunday. Gonzalo de Mujica from Weston leads Stetson in assists this season with three. In fact, eight Stetson players could consider this game a homecoming of sorts, as they're from Broward or Miami-Dade. FIU has 14 such players.


Starting to wonder if the volleyball team's next home matches would be the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. It would've gone a long way toward the team going undefeated at home, one of their season goals, although a 56-9 home record since 2005 says they don't need such shortcuts. They'll get Tulane Friday night and Florida A&M Sunday. A shame they have to open at home against a soccer doubleheader and a major football game, then play their second home match on the season's first NFL Sunday.

Another of FIU's season goals was improving defensively. They're averaging 2.21 blocks per set, up from 1.67 blocks per set last year. Andrea Lakovic is closing on the rally scoring era FIU career records of Jennifer Owens for solo blocks, block assists and total blocks.


The cross country teams are at the USF Invitational today after each finshed third in the Florida Gulf Coast Invitational last week. Senior Daniela Espino won the individual title, coming home in 18:43.


September 06, 2011

Getting a Line on Things...

Watching Law & Order: SVU as a break from truTV and endless college-affiliated football (but, of course, NOT Louisville-Murray State, which Knucklehead Me forgot to DVR) when I began to wonder: what's the best TV theme song written for a dramatic or comedy series?

Not a song already written plucked from past hit charts (Bosom Buddies, The Golden Girls) or obscurity (The Wire, The Sopranos). But a theme song written for that TV show or the movie from which that show was derived. Law & Order? Mission: Impossible? M*A*S*H? Mary Tyler Moore? While you ponder your opinions on that (or not), how about your opinions on...

1. Rick Sanchez's performance Thursday night? I heard none of it. I presume some of you did. You don't have to be kind, just civil, but remember he's playing a road game compared to what he's used to doing.

2. Public Address announcer Mike Biamonte? Now, Mike, I heard -- he sits directly behind me in the press box. I never heard my longtime Herald compadre Roman Garcia on the PA, so I have no point of comparison and, besides, I want to hear your opinion. 

3. The Friday Sports Festival? A home women's soccer match against Florida Gulf Coast starts at 6:30, the same time as a home volleyball match against Tulane. Men's soccer completes the fubol doubleheader against Stetson at 8:30. All of that fights for attention with the football team at Louisville on ESPN at 7. Is that too many sports happening at once, causing the diverse sports fan to wish he had Triplicate Girl powers? Is that too many sports all getting overshadowed by running up against what everyone could tell would be a huge football game?

Speaking of that game, has anybody watched the line? Nobody's seen a line move that fast since Studio 54. According to http://www.vegasinsider.com, Louisville opened a nine-point favorite. Bettors must have jumped on FIU like Dirk Diggler, because across the board in sports books on and off shore, the line dropped to Louisville by four. Sportsbetting.com has Louisville by 4.5. Everybody apparently needs Louisville action.

Capperspicks.com won't help in that regard, picking FIU 28-17. Gambler's Palace Blog, connected to sportsbettingtweets.com, picks FIU but doesn't give a score.

So, let me know what you think. Back to Benson (not the butler on his way to state budget director) and Stabler (not Ken)...



September 05, 2011

Enclosed (Not Domed) Stadium in 2012, T.Y., Bjelica POWs, Grace Under Fire

Time for FIU to get its house in order. Texas A&M's waiting to join the SEC harem, the Pac 12's talking with other schools and holes will be created that conferences will want to fill.

FIU athletic director Pete Garcia said today after this football season, FIU Stadium's north side bleachers will be demolished and replaced by seating that fully encloses the stadium. The project will begin No. 13, the day after FIU's final regular season game, against FAU, and will be finished in time for the 2012 season. There will be north side suites and second Stadium Club.

The full expansion to 45,000 seats with a second deck is a few years down the road.

"This is needed right now," Garcia said. "We need to finish out our stadium."

"A huge step. The parallels of the program, the facilities, our university are remarkable," head football coach Mario Cristobal said. "Everything is continually going forward at 100 mph. It's a very strong statement by our administration, one that we're very thankful and privileged to have, that football and this university, building that camaraderie, that tradition are very very important to this university community. As a football coach, I'm as fired up as you can imagine. That was the final piece of the stadium for now."

Garcia said of making the stands ring the field completely, "This will be an important recruiting tool for Coach Cristobal," but what he didn't mention was the bigger picture recruiting tool -- making FIU a more attractive school to recruit to a conference as the puzzle squares shift with conference realignment. The actual number of seats won't change much, but the aesthetic and feel will. It'll look like a college stadium instead of a Texas-sized high school stadium.

Though rain ruined the season opener crowd, FIU's got over 11,000 season ticket holders now and the Central Florida game is nearly sold out. That game's expected to be FIU's largest home crowd in the program's 10-season history.

T.Y. Hilton won the Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Week award after rolling up a national best 283 yards of all-purpose yards against North Texas. Middle Tennessee State's Eric Russell got the Defensive Player of the Week nod after 13 tackles, 11 solo, a sack and an intercetion that he returned 34 yards in MTSU's choke againt (ugh) Purdue. Western Kentucky punter Hendrix Brakefield was the Special Teams Player of the Week. He averaged 44.6 yards per punt on eight punts against Kentucky and had two downed inside Kentucky's 10. FIU's nominees were Hilton, linebacker Winston Fraser (11 tackles) and kicker Jack Griffin. I voted for Hilton, Russell and Brakefield, although I almost went for Fraser over Russell. 

The situation with free safety Chuck Grace lingers, as of right now. Some resolution might come in the next two days. Expect Terrance Taylor, who had four tackles Thursday, to play for Grace when Grace's fourth quarter head shot against North Texas costs him game time against Louisville this Friday. Grace will get some punishment from the Sun Belt. They can't give him a pass, not with the pressure on the authorities at all levels of football to address hits to the head and the ever increasing knowlege of the damage those hits can do.

FIU came through Thursday healthy. Louisville quarterback Will Stein's left ankle had him in a walking boot, but he should play Friday. Center Mario Benavides and defensive end B.J. Butler are out. Defensive tackle Brandon Dunn didn't dress in Louisville's 21-9 win against Murray State and is questionable for Friday.

Up in that part of the country, they think of Florida International as one of those schools you see advertising on Judge Judy or Judge Joe Brown. So Eric Crawford of The Courier-Journal, Louisville's newspaper of record since the days when jockeys in The Kentucky Derby were black, is taking some guff for picking FIU by 7. He's being accused of being a Kentucky homer. Loyalties are so divided between Louisville, Kentucky and Indiana in the C-J's coverage area -- The Hoosier State is across the Ohio River from downtown -- and so emotional that the paper actually used to make sure each school received the same number of inches of coverage to insulate itself against favoritism charges.


The volleyball team went 2-2 over the weekend at The Blue Raider Bash at Middle Tennessee State, beating Austin Peay and East Tennessee State and losing to Auburn and Missouri. Individually, Jovana Bjelica racked up 76 kills in 15 sets, 35 digs and nine blocks, good enough to be named to the All-Tournament Team and the Sun Belt's Player of the Week.


September 03, 2011

Freaky Bizarro Hat Trick Friday; Grace (launch and) Land.

Apparently, the football team sucked up all the end of week good fortune. Three FIU sports teams closed Friday with losses, although at the least the volleyball team went .500 on the day. So, they earn the leadoff spot...


"September's Blue Raider Bash" sounds like a back-to-school party. The volleyballfest held at Middle Tennessee State packs four matches in three days for FIU. The Gilded Cats popped Austin Peay 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-20), then took a 2-1 lead on Auburn before losing the last two games 25-18 and 17-15. In the fifth set, FIU actually led 15-14.

Jovana Bjelica racked up 45 kills between the two matches, setting a career-high of 21 against APeay and beating that with 24 against Auburn. Also, against Auburn Bjelica had 14 digs. Earlier Saturday, she had FIU's only service ace of the day. Redshirt freshman Jessica Egan dished out 24 assists.

The five-set loss leaves FIU 3-2 on the season and 22-7 in five-setters since coach Danijela Tomic took over. Saturday at 8:30, they face Missouri.


Missouri-Kansas City came to West Dade with a seven-game road losing streak that goes back to last season, an 0-1-2 record this season, only one goal on the season and laboring under the school teams' nickname "Kangaroos." (Cool animal. Just a very busy name for your school teams...)

Yet the Marsupials from Missouri were able to pump in three goals on FIU, the last of which came with 1:22 left in overtime, and left FIU on the wrong end of a 3-2 score and 2-3 record. It's the second game of the season, along with the opening loss to Stetson, that FIU has lost late after dominating play statistically.

Victoria Miliucci scored for FIU as did Chelsea Leiva. FIU outshot UMKC 24-10, for what that's worth.

Two minutes after Miliucci tied the game 1-1 in the 38th minute, UMKC's Taylor Bare scored to send FIU into halftime down 2-1. After 35 years of watching/covering soccer and almost 40 watching/covering hockey, I can tell you that when you give up a goal on the next 2-3 minutes/shift AND it's near an intermission, you'll lose the game 80-90 percent of the time. Giving up those goals often show a lack of mental focus that'll prepare you for defeat. Also, they often produce huge redirections of emotion.

They'll have a week to lick wounds before leading off a soccer doubleheader at FIU by facing Florida Gulf Coast at 6:30 p.m. As for the team playing Stetson in the 8:30 p.m. nightcap...


Up in Columbus, Ohio, the men's soccer team went into the second half against Ohio State down 2-1 on a 40th minute goal. They eventually lost 3-1 after ruling the tide of play in the second half.

FIU outshot Ohio State 11-5 in the second half and earned seven corner kicks to Ohio State's one. Still, the 24th minute goal by senior Jahbari Willis stood as the Golden Panthers' only goal. The men's soccer team faces Penn State in Columbus Sunday, then is off until Friday's game with Stetson.


Big, honkin' gap in our coverage of Thursday's game -- while I was with media being led under the stands to the interview room to wait for postgame podium stuff, free safety Chuck Grace was being tossed from the game for launching himself at North Texas' wide receiver Andrew Power. Grace could miss next week's game against Louisville if FIU's appeal of the call gets rejected. Demarkus Perkins and Terrence Taylor are listed as the next two safeties on the "official" depth chart. Perkins didn't play at all Thursday, at least not according to my notes or the official game book.

September 02, 2011

Few thoughts from FIU 41, North Texas 16.

Sorry this postgame blog didn’t get up last night. It was post-midnight by the time I left Camp Mitch, I still had to drive back to South Beach, the kid’s first day of this school year is today and I’m the Morning Mussolini in getting her ready. For Saturday night games and road games, I expect to have this up late night.

So this is coming to you live from Cushman School Primary School Parent Orientation on three hours sleep.

The game story is at http://www.miamiherald.com/sports.

After Thursday’s 41-16 win, FIU players recalled the similarity to the season’s first official practice. That afternoon, the weather horn ran the team off the field and under the bleachers, then summoned them back. Several times. Back then, I talked to players who said this would help keep whatever minor problems that cropped up during the season from derailing what they wanted to do.

Well, the horn took charge late Thursday afternoon again. Requests to clear the stands and the field came soon after. And FIU players who had been through all of this several times over the last month changed gears, reset their emotional peaks and just dealt with it. OK, there was some head-banging in the locker room according to T.Y. Hilton.

Meanwhile, North Texas couldn’t have been happy. New coaching staff, inexperienced quarterback, young team playing a talented, more established team on the road…give that team boring routine. They’ve got enough gears to shift. The dampening of the crowd, literally and in size, counted as the only bright spot for North Texas in the pregame stop-start. 

Pete Garcia looked at the wet and what could've been a nice crowd with the same look I had two days after we put our Hemingway, Caruso, asleep (his ashes sit on my side of the desk). The FIU athletic director grew up here. He knows what rain does to the best of sporting events down here, exponentially so for a weeknight sporting event at the on-campus facility of a commuter school in a circle of suburbia traffic hell. Garcia also knows what rain does to South Florida traffic. I heard some horrifying drive times from colleagues. I wonder how many people got part of the way there in the crawling traffic and said, “Forget this.”

The student sections got packed, but the rest of the crowd could’ve carpooled in a West Kendall mom van.

As for the game…

FIU’s quickness inside on defense just destroyed North Texas’ line. That gave running back Lance Dunbar no chance. Dunbar bounced outside for a couple of gains, but spent most of the night carrying some member of the front seven, usually linebacker Winston Fraser. North Texas quarterback Derek Thompson isn’t ready to be the I-beam upside the head of a team like FIU, especially down 28-0 early. At least four times, he floated throws a breath late that nearly became pick sixes.

Brelan Chancellor averaged 28.0 per kickoff return last year for North Texas. That said, the kickoff coverage needed to be more consistent. When kicker Jack Griffin makes two tackles or was the most dependable special teams tackler, as was the case last night, few gold stars get handed out for coverage.

Not much more can be said about T.Y. Hilton. He's an opposing coaches' nightmare because of what he can do but also because of what's around him -- a grinding running game, other receivers who can make tough catches or turn a little into a lot. On his 60-yard touchdown catch, the safety meandered toward Wayne Times, taking away the corner's help on Hilton. Later.


FIU head coach Mario Cristobal listed Darriet Perry as the starter at running back. I suspected that was out of respect for Perry as a leader and a senior. If you listened closely to Cristobal, you could hear his love for Rhodes’ runner’s instincts and vision. Sure enough, Rhodes got the bulk of the work early before they used Perry to batter a North Texas defense that got used to Rhodes’ shiftiness.

The best runs aren’t always the longest. NFL Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett broke the only 99-yard run in NFL history, but he’s often said if there was one play that would be next to his Hall bust, it was a 4-yard touchdown run against the then-St. Louis Cardinals (at 30 seconds in the video). Barring injury, Rhodes will make many runs this season longer than his 19-yard touchdown run Thursday. I doubt he’ll make any that demonstrate more running talent.


Cristobal hoped to sucker punch North Texas with freshman cornerback/kick returner Richard Leonard. Leonard had a solid game both on defense and special teams. He had the first of the near interceptions that would’ve been returned for scores, in the second quarter of his college career. He broke well on the ball, got to it the same time as the receiver and just couldn’t hold on while outfighting the receiver. The same play a few games from now, he’ll be there a quarter step quicker and he’ll be heading the other way with the ball.

Louisville got up on Murray State early Thursday then came home with the win, although not as eased up as FIU. I didn't DVR it. Hopefully, I'll snag a replay of it so I can do a full tracking of the game and give a decent scouting report.

September 01, 2011

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