Explosive plays let Cards pull away in a sloppy game

09/22/2014 07:30 AM

After stormy weather delayed Saturday’s game between Louisville and Florida International, the teams were fired up to get play underway on the sloppy field. Unfortunately, the game was just as ugly as the weather at times.

The Cards struck first with a touchdown on the game’s opening drive, but the score would stay at 7-0 for the remainder of the first quarter. Late in the second quarter though, things got out of hand in a hurry.

Gerod Holliman would return an interception for a touchdown. Then on the Cards’ next possession, Will Gardner’s lofty pass down the sideline would be hauled in by James Quick and taken to the house for a 74 yard score.

Louisville would find the end zone once again on a Gardner to Quick connection, and FIU added a field goal to make it 28-3 at halftime. The second half as a whole yielded only 6 more points, and UofL left FIU with a 34-3 win.

Explosive plays were obviously the main story line this week, and the team should be happy about a number of developments.

Will Gardner establishing a go-to connection with Quick should help the receiving woes in the absence of DeVante Parker. Gerod Holliman’s back-to-back interceptions show that this defense continues to have big play ability. The defense as a whole was very good, limiting the Golden Panthers to just 206 yards of total offense. All of these things were great, but there are still some areas that need improvement.

One being the offensive line’s protection of Will Gardner (who was sacked five times). Another is Gardner’s ball security when he’s under pressure (he lost two fumbles). Also, the rushing attack was rather non-existent, which was surprising considering the performance through the first three games and the addition of Michael Dyer.

A 34-3 win is definitely nothing to scoff at, but these are issues that could’ve hurt the Cards against a better opponent. In fact, they did just a week ago against Virginia.

Slowly but surely, this team will find an identity during the 2014 season, but they need to do it quickly if they want to compete during their inaugural season in the ACC. Florida State, Clemson and even Notre Dame as an out-of-conference foe, loom large in the back half of the schedule.


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