The Louisville Cardinals played a tight game against the Duke Blue Devils in a Black-Out Friday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
The Cards came away with a 24-14 victory that was achieved in what seemed like slow motion. Duke kept to their plan of milking every possible second off the clock and taking chances on third down with quick screen passes. For the most part, it worked, putting the Blue Devils in 16 third down situations.
Louisville had nearly twice as many yards as Duke, finishing with 469. Lamar Jackson threw for 181 yards and a touchdown, and ran for an additional 144 yards and a score. However, Jackson was on the sideline for most of the game due to the Blue Devils game plan of controlling the clock. Duke held possession for 15 more minutes than Louisville in a 60 minute game.
Go to ESPN for highlights: http://www.espn.com/college-football/game?gameId=400869461
The story of the night was not Duke’s time of possession, it was in fact, penalties. Louisville is one of the most penalized teams in college football. The Cardinals come in 9th place on the list of most penalty yards with 484, and are tied for 13th with 51 total penalties accrued. This is a curse that Bobby Petrino cannot seem to remedy.
The full rankings for penalties can be seen here: http://www.espn.com/college-football/statistics/team/_/stat/downs/sort/totalPenalties
In Friday’s Black-Out, the Cards were penalized four times for 32 yards. However, one of the penalties was for a block in the back, which brought back Jaire Alexander’s 90-yard punt return for a touchdown. Also, a roughing the passer penalty was called on Keith Kelsey, which gave Duke a fresh set of down to milk the clock.
Penalties have been the achilles heal that have hindered football domination for the Cardinals. Yellow has become the cursed color that plagues the dreams of Louisville coaches. If the Cards are to succeed in the realm of college football’s most elite, they have to take care of sloppy plays that bring the yellow flags raining down.
Louisville’s next challenge will be at home against NC State. The game will be nationally televised on ABC at noon on Saturday, October 22. Coach Petrino has plenty of work fixing the costly errors of his Cardinals.