Dominant defense willing the Cards to victory
09/29/2014 07:30 AM
Aside from a first quarter field goal, the Louisville defense pitched a shutout Saturday against Wake Forest. Yes, the final score was 20-10 in favor of the Cards, but the Demon Deacons’ lone touchdown came on a UofL fumble that was recovered in the endzone for a score.
The Louisville defense was defiant, deafening and dominant. In the running game, Wake racked up a whopping -22 yards. That led to an average of -1/yards per rushing attempt. The Deacs may not be a top-tier team in the ACC, but that’s an impressive number no matter who the opponent happens to be.
In pass defense, the Cards were just as impressive. They limited Wake Forest to 122 passing yards through the air, intercepted three passes and amassed eight sacks.
If you’re keeping count, that nets to 100 yards of total offense allowed, which is a feat you won’t see accomplished often at all in major college football.
But for everything that Lorenzo Mauldin and the UofL D accomplished on their side of the ball, the offense did about the opposite.
The offense coughed up the ball a handful of times with three fumbles. And in his first start of his college career, Reggie Bonnafon struggled mightily.
The freshman gunslinger, filling in for an injured Will Gardner, finished the game 16-32 for 206 yards, often throwing inaccurate passes to receivers in the flats or missing open targets downfield. No doubt it was a tough day for Bonnafon emotionally considering the recent passing of his father, but his starting debut was not one to remember.
Elsewhere in the offense, receivers were plagued with drops when passes were on target and starting running back Dominique Brown disappeared after an early fumble.
A bright spot on O was the play of Brandon Radcliffe. The redshirt sophomore ran for 129 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns.
His play definitely shined, and it was all the Cards really needed on offense given the defense’s dominance. The team will surely need a stronger performance Friday at Syracuse, but for now they have a strong crutch that they know they can depend on.
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