By Beau Kilpatrick–
The Louisville Cardinals move two spots to No. 5 after destroying the NC State Wolfpack. The Cards walked away with a 54-13 win at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium this past Saturday.
I was fortunate enough to watch the game from the press box at mid-field and the high flying Cardinals did not disappoint. The defense established their dominance early by not allowing a score in the first half and limiting the Wolfpack to only two first downs in the opening half.
Keith Kelsey led the Cards with eight tackles. Stacy Thomas, Trumaine Washington, and Jonathon Greenard each collected an interception. The front seven dominated the trenches by limiting NC State’s running backs to a measly 14 yards. Louisville’s secondary held the Wolfpack to 236 yards and only nine first downs.
Blanton Creque, UL’s kicker, had a perfect game. Creque was 4-4 on field goals and 6-6 on PAT’s. Creque set a new school record for points by a kicker with 18 total.
For more stats on the game: http://www.espn.com/college-football/game?gameId=400869469
Lamar Jackson broke his own school record in Saturday’s beat down. Jackson now has 34 total touchdowns, beating the previous mark of 33 that was held by Dave Ragone and Brian Brohm. Jackson’s new record will be difficult to break as the Cards still have five regular season games remaining. The possibility of advancing into the post season could raise Jackson’s total TD count even further.
This game rewarded Louisville with its six win of the season, making their record 6-1. This sixth win is significant because it means that the Cards are now bowl eligible. Louisville’s upward trajectory has spoiled players and fans alike. Attending a bowl game is no longer considered a success, its considered automatic for the Cardinals. The bar has been raised by their recent success over the past decade. For them, it’s the College Football Playoffs or bust.
Bobby Petrino finally has all the pieces he needs to compete for the national championship. He has the top contender for the Heisman Trophy, a running back in Brandon Radcliff that is averaging 7.8 yards per carry, a stable of electrifying receivers, a kicker that has found his niche, and a dominating top ten defense.
For more on the Heisman race: http://m.espn.com/ncf/heisman?wjb
Louisville sits in fifth place, so they are still on the outside looking in towards the four teams that will be invited to the playoffs. They will have to finish strong to climb the ranks for a chance to compete for a national football championship.
Next up, the No. 5 Louisville Cardinals will travel to Virginia on Oct. 29 to take on the Cavaliers. The game will be broadcasted at noon on ABC.