Sunday, September 5, 2010

Governor's Cup Recap : Cards fans still Standing Strong.

As anyone with any semblance of a brain predicted, the Cats won a close game in Louisville over the Cards yesterday to retain the Governor's Cup for a fourth straight year. It appears the difference in the game ended up being the 7 points the Wildcats rang up in a mere 35 seconds on two plays to start the game. The game started off with the few thousand Cat fans in attendance "whooping and hollering" and spilling beer everywhere as the team from down the road got off to a very fast start offensively.

I have to say I was surprised that I only had two UK fans text me about the game, well two and Boogie of course; but we all know how that went for him (see below). Typically, it seems that I get texts from every hilljack to emerge from the woods sending me a text if the Cards fall to the Cats. I think 1 of 2 things happened to stop that this year, 1) either it has become such a regular occurance that they don't feel the need anymore. Kragthorpe has sent us that far into suckiness that it's not a big deal for the Big Blew team to beat us, or 2) (the more likely scenario) Most UK fans didn't even realize that there was a football game. Since Cal has come along things have been more restored to order in Big Blue Nation. They only care about Basketball and since their team is good again (although not Final 4 good) they can go back to only paying attention to the roundball sport. Either way, yesterday was absolutely a gorgeous day for tailgating and football. You couldn't have asked for better weather.

Some of my observations from the game:

1) Derrick Locke is fast.

2) Randall Cobb could in fact be one of the most explosive players in College Football, and could be my pick to win the newly-created Paul Hornung award for most versatile player.

3) Neither UK nor UL have spectacular teams, but both have some pretty good players.

4) Bilal Powell has slimmed down and is a powerful and fast runner.

5) Troy Pascley couldn't catch a cold. -- Seriously, Pascley I think caught one ball all game. He dropped a VERY catchable ball in the endzone in the first half, a momentum-killing pass hit him directly in the chest in the 2nd half, and another catch he had in his hands and dropped on a HUGE post route that would have resulted in momentum swinging HEAVILY in the Cards favor in the second half.

6) Neither Hartline nor Froman are "terrible" quarterbacks, as both fanbases would have you believe. They both managed the game very well I thought and neither made horrible throws, aside from the one pick that Froman threw off his back foot in the 4th quarter. Hartline made very good decisions I thought and Froman just didn't get any help with drops from several receivers.

7) Cameron Graham may be our best pass-catcher. It also hurt losing Josh Bellamy on Vic Anderson's huge kickoff return, and obviously Michaelee Harris before the game ever started.

I think in the end the Cats just have a more talented team with more depth, and outplayed the Cardinals yesterday. Nothing wrong with saying that. No excuses, Louisville just got beat. They played a hard fought game and I like the way they stuck in there and gave the Cats a scare in the second half. The previous regime's team would have rolled over and gotten beat something to the tune of 59-12 probably, and that is optimistic for the old offense.

I think with their schedule at the end of the season the Cats should be bowling for a 5th straight year, and the Cards will do well to get any more than 4 wins. I think it's very possible to get more than that, and I'm not "predicting" a 4 win season by any means, but their baseline I think is 4 wins. They definitely have a confidence and swagger about them that we haven't seen since the Petrino era and the fanbase has a renewed passion for football once again.

Good luck to both teams this season!

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