Written by Garin Turner
For the first time since 2010, the NC State Wolfpack (5-1, 3-0 ACC) are ranked in the top 25. They will certainly move up in the rankings after defeating Louisville (4-2, 1-2 ACC) 39-25. Louisville is now 0-7 when both teams are ranked and Louisville is on the road.
The game moved at a fast pace as both teams ran the hurry up offense throughout. By halftime, Louisville had the ball 16 minutes while NC State had the ball for 14. The final time of possession saw the Wolfpack with a slight edge 30:33 to Louisville's 29:27.
Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson had a good game but didn't do enough to help his team win. He took a lot of hits in the game and was sacked four times by a good Wolfpack defensive line. Jackson finished the day 26/47 for 354 yards and a touchdown pass. He ran 19 times for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Jackson became the 6th player in FBS history to reach 3,000 yards rushing and 7,000 yards passing in a career but he much rather have a win than amazing stats.
Louisville started the game with the ball but didn't do much leading to a 3 and out. The Wolfpack drove the ball down the field on their first possession but failed to score. The Cardinals blitzed nearly every play on the first drive but the Wolfpack managed to move the ball. NC State tried several trick plays in the first quarter but Louisville was ready for them.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Wolfpack struck first with a 48-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ryan Finley to Kelvin Harmon on a five play 59-yard drive that only took 1:42. Louisville answered when Jackson connected with Seth Dawkins for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Louisville missed a lot of tackles in the game that would've brought fourth down and the Wolfpack made them pay for it. After a 39-yard pass from Finley to Stephen Louis, running back Nyheim Hines scored the first of his two touchdowns on a 11-yard run to bring the score to 14-7. After both teams traded field goals, the score at halftime was 17-10 Wolfpack.
NC State outgained Louisville 334-225 at the half. Louisville was better on third down converting 4-8 while NC State was 2-6. Penalties where an issue for both teams in the game. The Cardinals had 10 for 69-yards while the Wolfpack had six for 50 yards. At the end of the game, the Wolfpack had outgained the Cardinals 520-470. "We didn't do a good job defending the pass game. We couldn't get pressure on the quarterback," head coach Bobby Petrino said.
The Wolfpack scored on their second drive in the 3rd quarter, A Hines 7-yard run with 1:35 left in the 3rd quarter to bring the score to 24-13. Louisville answered in the 4th quarter with a four-yard touchdown run by Jackson. They went for two but failed on the conversion. NC State marched right down the field and capped off the drive with a three-yard touchdown run by Reggie Gallaspy II and converted on the two-point conversion to make the score 32-19.
With 4:10 left in the game Jackson scored on a three-yard run but the extra point was blocked. After a defensive stop by the Cardinals they got the ball back with plenty of time left. However, Jackson threw a pick six to Germaine Pratt to seal the game for the Wolfpack. "Offensively we moved the ball at times but we weren't as consistent as we wanted to be," Petrino said.
Finley was 20/31 for 367 yards and a touchdown. Hines was the leading rusher for the Wolfpack with 18 carries for 102 yards and the two touchdowns. Harmon and Jaylen Samuels had big days in the passing game. Harmon finished with six receptions for 133 yards and a score while Samuels had seven receptions for 104.
Louisville returns home next week when they take on Boston College.
NC State is on the road next week to take on Pitt.
Writer - Garin Turner
After three straight home games, No. 17 Louisville Cardinals (4-1, 1-1 ACC) travel to Raleigh, NC to take on No. 24 NC State Wolfpack (4-1, 2-0 ACC). The game is tonight at 7pm central on ESPN. This contest marks the second game for both teams against a top 25 opponent. Louisville lost against defending national champion Clemson 47-21 three weeks ago. The Wolfpack beat then 12th ranked Florida State 27-21 two weeks ago in Tallahassee.
Since joining the conference in 2014, the Cardinals and Wolfpack have played every year including at 54-13 victory for the Cardinals last year. Louisville is 6-1 all-time including 2-0 in road games against the Wolfpack.
This is NC State's first time in the rankings this year after winning four-straight. The Wolfpack and Clemson are the only teams in the ACC who haven't lost a game in conference. For that to continue for the Wolfpack they'll try their hand at stopping reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson.
Jackson in five games this season has completed 112-175 passes for 1,636 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions with a quarterback ranking of 163.6. Jackson has been equally as dangerous with his legs as he is with his arm. He has 72 carries for 437 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Cardinals rushing attack. Jackson is 13 yards away from becoming the seventh player in ACC history to reach 10,000 career yards of total offense. He also needs 32 yards rushing to become the second player in school history to rush for 3,000 career yards.
Top WR Jaylen Smith will miss tonight's game as he continues to nurse a wrist injury. Other WR's have stepped up in his absence. Dez Fitzpatrick has 16 receptions for 280 yards and six touchdowns.
For the Wolfpack, their defense is ranked 8th in the FBS in rushing. They've only allowed 85.6 yards a game. Bradley Chubb will do his best to slow down the Louisville offense. Chubb has 29 tackles including 12 for a loss of 58 yards. He also leads the team in sacks with 5.5 and has forced a fumble.
QB Ryan Finely will look to continue his solid play on the season. He's 138-192 for 1,403 yards passing with nine touchdowns and most importantly zero interceptions. His QB rating is 148.7. He leads the ACC and is ranked 9th in the FBS in completion percentage with .719. In only 18 games at NC State Finely is ranked 9th in school history in career passing yards (4,462), and 9th in touchdowns (27).
The Wolpack have a solid running game as they've amassed 13 touchdowns in five games this season. Nyheim Hines leads the way with 82 carries for 411 yards and three touchdowns. Jaylen Samuels has the most touchdowns in the group with five. As a team, the Wolfpack have rushed for 841 yards.
Jon Greenard will lead the Cardinals in slowing down the rushing attack of the Wolfpack. Greenard has 32 tackles including 9.5 for a loss and also leads the team with 5 sacks. The Cardinals would love to force Finely to throw his first interception on the season. They have four different players with an interception on the season.
Written by Melanie Ann Greenwood
Louisville, KY - On the corner of South Floyd Street and Central Avenue at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, head coach Bobby Petrino and his football team, Louisville Cardinals, have inspired the University of Louisville as well as the city of Louisville with their 55-10 win against Murray State Racers in week five.
Throughout the week, a black cloud began to cover the Louisville athletics program. However, the football team put their focus on what they could control. Knowing that if they let the distraction take away from their focus it could develop into a disastrous Saturday afternoon.
After the game, coach Petrino praised his team, "I like the way we prepared throughout the week. You know, we were challenged throughout the week and one of the things we really wanted to do was do a good job in the classroom, do a good job on the practice field and be able to focus and stick together as a team."
That plan worked and resulted in the destruction of far inferior opponett.
Reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson began the scoring for the Cardinals. The Junior cleverly maneuvered a fake handoff that lead to their first touchdown at 10:30 in the 1st quarter.
Murray State tried to keep the game close going on a 12 play 67-yard drive. However, the Racers had to settle for a 36-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
Jackson then connected twice with wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick on two perfectly timed passes for scores in the first and second quarters. The Cardinals had a commanding 21-3 lead with 11:44 left in the first half.
Louisville was quick to add to the lead when Jackson connected with tight end Charles Standberry for an eight-yard score that had the fans on their feet, as the Cardinals made it a 28-3 game.
Running back Reggie Bonnafon then gave the crowd more to cheer for when he entered end zone for a 6-yard touchdown to all but seal things up at the half, 35-3.
Murray State would attempt to make things interesting to open the second half when Jason Johnson took a fumble recovery 23 yards for a touchdown. The read 35-10, but not for long.
The Cardinals backups came into the game and the Racers had just as hard of a time stopping them. Quarterback Jawon Pass would throw and run for two touchdowns, and kicker Blanton Creque hit field goals of 37 and 44 yards for a final of 55-10.
"It was great to get a lot of players in today. That's really what we wanted to do," coach Bobby Petrino said. "I love our football team. I love the University. I love the City of Louisville."
They love you too.
The Cardinals (4-1, 1-1 ACC) have a short week as they travel to Raleigh, NC to take on N.C. State on Thursday night at 8:00 p.m. for a big divisional match-up.
Written by Garin Turner
There was no hangover from last week’s disappointing defeat to defending National Champions Clemson as the Louisville Cardinals took care of business winning 42-3 against Kent State.
Last year's Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Lamar Jackson was back to his old self, breaking a school record for career touchdowns with 88 passing Chris Redman. Jackson was 18 of 22 passing for 299 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. Jackson didn't run the ball as much as he carried eight times for 34 yards and a touchdown. He didn't play in the fourth quarter. "I'm not trying to break records, I just go out there and try and get my team get in a better situation," Jackson said.
Jackson accomplished all of this without his top wide receiver Jaylen Smith who missed the game with an injured wrist. Sophomore receiver Seth Dawkins stepped up with four receptions for 75-yards and a touchdown. The Cardinal receivers finished the day with 23 receptions for 374 yards and two touchdowns. "We basically came out and took care of business did what we're supposed to do," Head Coach Bobby Petrino said.
The Cardinal defense also stepped up combining for 75 tackles, two sacks and 14 tackles for a loss. They also forced three Kent State turnovers including an interception returned for a touchdown by senior cornerback Trumaine Washington. "I thought the defense did a nice job of controlling the line of scrimmage. We played physical and I liked the way we tackled," Petrino said.
Written by Garin Turner
The Louisville Cardinals (2-1) are set to take on the Kent State Golden Flashes (1-2) in Louisville for their second straight home game. The game starts Saturday at 11 am central time. The Cardinals are coming off a disappointing loss against defending national champion Clemson 47-21. Kent State lost to Marshall last week 21-0. Kent State leads the all-time series against Louisville 9-8. The last meeting was in 1973 which saw the Golden Flashes win 10-3.
Look for Louisville to go for the knockout punch early in this one. Their offense, led by junior quarterback and last year's Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson was held in check for most of the game against an excellent Clemson defense. Jackson for the season is 76-127 for 1088 yards passing with eight touchdowns and just one interception. Jackson is also the leading rusher for the Cardinals with 57 carries for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Jackson has outgained the entire Kent State offense by himself this year. Jackson has 1391 all-purpose yards on offense. Kent State has 584 for a difference of 807 yards. Junior wide receiver Jaylen Smith is Jackson's primary target. He has 22 receptions for 379 yards and two touchdowns. Louisville would like to get the run game going with somebody else other than Jackson. This could finally be the game where somebody steps up.
A bright spot for Kent State coming into this game is that Louisville has given up 36 points a game. The Golden Flashes haven't showed a lot of offense so far averaging 19 points a game. They'll want to keep their defense off the field as much as possible for them to have any chance in this one. Their lone win of the young season came against FCS opponent Howard 38-31. Against FBS competition, they've only scored one field goal.
Written by Erik Slaby
Louisville, KY- On a sweltering, humid, sunny afternoon here in Louisville, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, in front of a crowd of 55,888 people, the second most in school history, the 3rd ranked Clemson University Tigers defeated the 14th ranked University of Louisville Cardinals by a score of 47-21. This loss now gives Louisville a 0-1 record in Atlantic Coast Conference play and a 2-1 record on the season.
This game was hyped in the week leading up to it for a few reasons. It was the first game in ACC play for both Clemson and Louisville, both teams were ranked and ESPN’s College GameDay was in attendance. Making it the “game of the week” for ESPN. With all of the excitement surrounding the game and the pressure seemingly on Clemson, as the defending national champions, Louisville was not able to win the game. Early on, it seemed like the game would be close but in the second quarter, it started to turn bad for Louisville.
At the 5:31 mark of the second quarter, Clemson got the football back on their own 10 yard line after forcing Louisville’s 5th punt of the night. Clemson gained a combined 11 yards on their first three plays of the drive but on the 4th play, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant launched a beautiful, deep pass to wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud who ran untouched into the end zone. Inexplicitly, McCloud was left wide open, with no Louisville defender within 10 yards of him. Louisville clearly had busted coverage on the play as a few defenders were caught peeking in the backfield. Louisville did not score again until early in the fourth quarter. Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino spoke after the game about this play.
“It was a big play obviously,” an almost despondent Petrino said. “He (McCloud) ran a great route and the ball was perfectly thrown. We jumped on it and the double move, they (Clemson) executed it very well. Pulled the backside guard and we gave him (Bryant) sometime to throw it, but that is a touchdown play that we’ve got to be able to come back from.”
While the touchdown by Clemson in the second quarter was the turning point, the dagger occurred in the third quarter. Early in the third quarter, it appeared that Louisville was beginning to get a rhythm offensively after a few positive plays, but after a 40 yard plus run by Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson was negated due to a personal foul penalty on an offensive lineman, it soon went south.
Two plays after the penalty, Jackson was intercepted by Clemson linebacker Dorian O’Daniel who returned it 44 yards for a touchdown. O’Daniel seemed to have the play read from the start as he jumped the route immediately. This brought the score to 26-7 and any hope that Louisville had of making a comeback seemed to vanish into the air. The crowd was also taken out of the game at that point and many began to leave the stadium. Petrino addressed these plays after the game.
“I didn’t see the block,” Petrino said. “I don’t know what the call was. Obviously we had a big play and brought it back. But, we really just tried to get some yardage to get in a manageable situation. He (Jackson) saw the linebacker.” Petrino also added, “And we didn’t tackle. If the ball is intercepted, you’ve got to go make the tackle. There will be a lot to teach on that play for sure. That really did change the momentum. It didn’t allow us to get any momentum, because they (Clemson) had the momentum the whole time.”
Offensively, Louisville was led by Jackson who completed 21 of 42 passes, for 317 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The majority of this yardage though came in the fourth quarter where the game was well in hand for Clemson. Louisville had 116 yards net rushing as a team so it would seem that they struggled to run the ball, but they did not. For whatever reason they did not run the ball much, unless it was on quarterback scrambles. They seemed to abandon the run late in the first quarter.
Clemson was led by Bryant who completed 22 of 32 passes, for 316 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for two touchdowns. The running game was led by running back Tavien Feaster, who finished with 92 yards on 10 carries. Fellow running back Travis Etienne also added 98 yards on the ground with the bulk of it coming on an 81 yard touchdown run. That was the longest play from scrimmage for Clemson since 2007. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney spoke after the game about Bryant’s performance on the road against a quality opponent, in a hostile environment.
“I mean, he was awesome,” Swinney said. “He had a couple of shaky moments early, he was high on a couple throws, and we missed a couple layups, to be honest with you.” He also continued by saying, “but he settled in. He settled in and played a heck of a game. Made some nice scrambles with his legs, made some nice runs. And when you complement him with our backs, we really only need to get the ball to the edge. We can be tough to defend, especially when we take care of the ball. I’m just really proud of him. It takes poise, preparation, focus, confidence, and mental toughness to be able to stay locked in and just do your job. He made some big time throws, too.”
Louisville will continue their stretch of home games against Kent State next week. While Kent State is not a high profile opponent like Clemson is, this game will allow Louisville to regroup both offensively and defensively and let them see if they have improved after this tough loss to Clemson. Petrino stated that next week the team needs to, “Just come back and work harder. There’s a lot of football out there to play, obviously, but we need to improve. We can’t make mistakes and we need to play better.”
Written by Garin Turner
Saturday night's game is must see and could be an early indicator to see who has a shot for the College Football Playoff this year when #3 Clemson Tigers (2-0) face #14 Louisville Cardinals (2-0, 1-0 Conf) in Louisville, Ky. This primetime game will start 7 PM central time on ABC. The last three games between these two have been decided by six points or less and have gone down to the final play of the game. Clemson has been on the winning side of them all. In last year's game, Clemson won 42-36. Lamar Jackson had 457 yards total including four touchdowns. Louisville came one yard short of a first down at the Clemson 3-yard line in the final seconds of the game.
For Clemson, all they have to do is contain Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the reigning and defending Heisman Trophy winner. Against Purdue and North Carolina, Jackson averaged 505 yards per game including 385 yards passing. Last Saturday against the Tarheels, Jackson became the second player in FBS history to have 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing in consecutive games. Jackson is 55-85 for 771 yards and five touchdowns. He also has 40 carries for 239 yards and three touchdowns. Malik Williams has 13 carries for 149 yards. The Cardinals are more than just their star QB. Wide Receiver Jaylen Smith has 17 receptions for 300 yards and a touchdown. Dez Fitzpatrick has eight receptions for 173 yards and three touchdowns.
The Tigers are set at QB as well. After DeShawn Watson went to the NFL this year, Kelly Bryant has stepped up so far. Bryant is 35-51 for 417 yards and one touchdown and an interception. He's also carried 26 times for 136 yards and three touchdowns. WR Ray-Ray McCloud has nine receptions for 105 yards and Deon Cain has four receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.
This game could come down to who has the ball last. Both defenses would like to have a strong performance. The Tigers have four All-American candidates on their defensive line. Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell at end with Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins at tackle all led a Clemson defense that recorded 11 sacks last week against Auburn. Clemson are ranked second nationally both in total defense and sacks. They are also in the Top 10 in seven defensive categories and have not allowed a touchdown this season.
Louisville on the other hand, have been in two shoot out games with Purdue and North Carolina. Usually, the offense needs to stay on the field to give the defense a break but with Jackson and crew on offense, the defense might need to provide the rest.
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