Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Game Week--Louisville

It will have been 12 days since the last game when WVU takes the field Thursday night and 19 days since the last home game. Much has changed over that time, especially the weather with the temperature expected in the high 30's for gametime this week. Wondering what to wear? Maybe Rich Rodriguez can help out the uninitiated.

Rodriguez challenged West Virginia fans to take up a Gold Rush fashion to the stadium Thursday: "I would like to see everybody wearing a gold shirt, a gold sweatshirt, waving a gold towel, a gold pom-pom. Wear gold shoes, even. We don't sell beer, so we can't sell gold beer. But I hope we have all gold. It looks good.
Looks like I finally have an excuse to break out those gold pants I've been dying to wear, or maybe I'll just dress up as a banana. However, OS will never wear anything but white shoes, unless Wes Ours has some gold ones laying around in his trunk he wants to get rid of. BTW if you are one of those people who gets mad when someone comes to this game wearing blue or white do the rest of us a favor and die. I mean it. If you are going to get upset and yell at people b/c they didn't listen to "Coach" then you are just wasting my oxygen.

On to the game. Louisville has been a trainwreck disappointment so far this season, but remains one of the best one dimensional teams in the country. Even in the four losses this year Louisville has outgained their opponents. However, key defensive breakdowns, special teams missteps, and poorly timed turnovers have cost the Cardinals. Louisville's biggest loss points wise was only 9 and in that game Utah scored with 1:13 left to push the lead from 6 and Louisville didn't have time to answer. The average loss has been by 5.5 points.

The Offense is 6th in the nation at 510 yards a game and the passing offense is 4th. The offense is averaging 37 points a game, but has actually struggled in the last three games against Cincy, UConn, and Pitt averaging just 23 points a game over that stretch. Brian Brohm is 4th in the nation in total offense and 5th in passing efficiency. He has thrown the ball 368 times so far this season and has completed 68.2% of those attempts. Many of those have gone to Harry Douglas who is 7th in the nation in receptions per game at 7.86. Anthony Allen and Brock Bolen have combined for almost 1000 yards rushing and Allen is averaging 5 yards a carry.

There was the good news for Louisville. Now on to the bad. The defense is putrid. Louisville is 79th in total defense and 67th in scoring defense this season. The Cardinals have been bad against both the run (61st) and the pass (96th). One of the reasons is the loss of DT Omobi Okoye in the draft or maybe the fact Willie Williams isn't living up to all of his expectations. Williams, the former Hurricane recruit/player, was booted from Miami before moving his game to Louisville and has only lived up to half of his true potential. His on field performance never matched his commitment to getting arrested.
Linebacker Willie Williams, with 11 arrests before matriculating at Miami, was dismissed five weeks ago at Louisville after a drug arrest in which police reportedly found him eating marijuana, hence an additional felony charge of tampering with physical evidence (he pleaded guilty to the lesser drug charge last month).
It's a long way from the famous diary in which Williams ordered enough surf and turf dinners on the Florida State dime to feed a small army.

Louisville has 5 wins and games remaining at WVU, at USF, and hosting Rutgers in order to get bowl eligible. This has been a precipitous fall for a team ranked in the top 10 to start the season. However, if the defense can play at all for Louisville they remain a dangerous team. That just hasn't happened much this year. Just ask Syracuse (only other win Buffalo).

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