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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cards Split Saturday -- SUNDAY CARDINAL COUPLE

Cardiac Cards Survive...win 32-25


Yesterday morning on the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour, I quipped that for Virginia to pull off the upset, the wheels would have to fall off for Louisville in all facets of the game. While this came close to happening, the better team found a way to win in the face of some adversity. Yesterday, we found out just how good this team could be, despite a bad overall performance, based on key plays in clutch situations. Since I almost had a heart attack multiple times before the clock read zeroes across the board, I'd rather just focus on the positives and forget this game ever happened.

Two years ago in Charlottesville, a muffed punt lost the game. Sure, in the grand scheme of things, a single play doesn't cost a team an entire game. However, this one was the direct reason for loss, so it lost the game. The culprit behind that muffed punt was James Quick. I only bring up that nightmare, because it must be something about that stadium that makes Quick forget he has hands attached to the end of his arms. Three drops by Quick in the early going, including one that looked like a sure touchdown, threatened to completely derail the offense. It would be unfair of me to not mention that Quick wasn't the only one dropping passes for the Cards, but his seemed to be the most egregious to me. And here I said I was only going to focus on the positives. You all should have known me better.

My first shoutout goes out to a defense that came up big when it mattered. Did they allow 25 points in the game? Yes. Did they give up a go ahead touchdown and subsequent 2-point conversion with under two minutes left? Yes. However, make no mistake that the defense saved this game. On two huge series that could have blown the game wide open, the defense made their mark. The first comes after Louisville's first stalled drive, which started about 15 yards deeper in their own territory than it should have (Jaire Alexander was hit after calling fair catch and it was uncalled). Louisville punted the ball away, and the Virginia returner broke off a huge return, getting to the seven yard line before being forced out of bounds by Mason King (get that punter tackle stat, Mason!). The defense held strong in the "and goal" situation and held Virginia to a field goal. Later in the game, after a Lamar Jackson air mail interception (seriously, no idea where that one was supposed to go) was returned to the 15 yard line, the defense was tasked with a short field again. Again, they held strong and, this time, Virginia hooked the kick to the left. Virginia came into the game with one of the best red zone conversion percentages in the ACC (albeit on a low number of attempts), but they were held to 3 points on two drives that started in the red zone. Clutch defense.

You already know who the second shoutout goes to. The man earns a helmet sticker every single game, and it was no different yesterday. Lamar Jackson amassed 451 total yards, threw for four touchdowns and only had the one wild interception previously mentioned. If not for numerous drops early in the game, his passing numbers may look even better. Those four touchdowns included a DIME to Jaylen Smith to regain the lead with 13 seconds left. His completions also included a laser to Cole Hikutini on 4th and 3 to save the game. The ball was so close to being swatted down at the line by two Virginia players that I get heart palpitations whenever I watch the replay, even though I know how it ends. That drive may very well have been the clutch moment Lamar needed under his belt for his Heisman resume.

I used this picture last week. It still applies.
People will talk a lot about an underwhelming performance against a team the Cardinals should have had no troubles with, but that really doesn't matter. Even if it is a made up rivalry, Virginia is a league rival and those games are weird every year. Louisville went on the road, had some bad breaks, but put together a good enough performance to win the game. That is what is important about yesterday's game. It wasn't a matter of a bad team blowing the upset. Virginia was doing almost everything right. They didn't lose the game. Louisville won it. In the end, when we try to speculate what the postseason looks like for the Cards, nothing matters if they don't win the rest of their games. Yesterday was a crazy day in college football. Ohio State had their hands full with Northwestern at home. Washington won on a punt return (with suspect no-calls, I hear). The Big XII is essentially out of the picture with West Virginia and Baylor both losing. Nebraska was finally knocked off. Chaos is happening all around, and Louisville was able to avoid it.

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Field Hockey Controls the Game, but Not the Scoreline; Fall 4-1 at Michigan


This season has been very good for the stick-ball girls. They finished conference play with a respectable 3-3 record (like most of the league) in a conference that usually keeps all seven teams in the top 25. They also won nearly every non-conference challenge that faced them. In games they lost they were competitive, and none really seemed out of reach. Yesterday's game was a strange aberration. If I showed you the game stats (excluding the score and saves), you would be inclined to think that Louisville won the game. I know I was. Louisville outshot Michigan, they drew 5 more penalty corners, and they were penalized fewer times. However, either Michigan's goalie was better, or their shots were more efficient. Either way, 4 of Michigan's 7 shots on goal found the back of the cage, compared to just 1 of 7 for the Cards. If I'm reading the box score correctly, (which there's really no way to know for sure) Michigan's fourth goal came on a Louisville empty net (sorry, Paulie). It's a rough way to end the regular season, rather deflating if you ask me, but I believe that the Cards are in a good position going into the ACC tournament and beyond. Let's see if they can manage to final bring home the hardware they deserve.

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Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Returns


Yesterday we took back the airwaves on WCHQ with the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour. You heard Worldwide eulogize the 2016 Volleyball season before it's dead, Paulie force quite a few Halloween puns, and me make wildly wrong predictions about yesterday's football game.

Sadly, due to a glitch of both MP3 systems at the studio...the show was not recorded and there will be no re-broadcast available to hear.

We apologize for this malfunction. Technology can be mean, sometimes.

Until next time, Go Cards!
-CH-

8 comments:

  1. Just got word that the station lost the capabilities on the MP3 units to record the broadcast. No replay available. I suspect it had something to do with Halloween.

    Paulie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Card football fans just need to forget about big wins and just get wins. One game at a time.

    Nick O.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Texted the exact same thing to Paulie yesterday afternoon after leaving it out of the article. Style points are cool if you can get them, but winning, which other teams might struggle with on their own, is all that matters.

      Delete
    2. I agree Case. I like your writings. Control our course, hope the others shipwreck.

      Nick O.

      Delete
  3. What's going on with your radio show? Two weeks in a row and no broadcast?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't air last week due to scheduling conflicts. We were on air Saturday, but the recording failed in studio, so no replay available.

      Delete
    2. That's a shame. I like going back and listening to your re-broadcasts. Maybe you guys should dump little ol' Crescent Hill and head to the big-time!

      Nick O.

      Delete
    3. Nah, we cool. We like the format and the people there. Just one of those things...I attribute it to all the spooky music and sound effects during the show...scared the comouters, I guess.

      Paulie

      Delete

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