Kicking the Tires: Louisville

No permanent Internet solutions yet, but it's working well enough at this point for me to write the UL preview.  You can check out SB Nation's Louisville blog, Card Chronicle, for more on Louisville, but I understand a lot of Louisville is without power because of the remnants of Hurricane Ike, so there isn't a whole lot new at the site.

Players to Watch

K-State

Passing -- Josh Freeman: 34/45, 520 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INTs, 260 yards per game

Rushing -- Keithen Valentine: 24 carries, 104 net yards, 4.2 ypc, 1 TD

Receiving -- Brandon Banks: 9 catches, 183 yards, 3 TDs, 92.5 ypg

Louisville

Passing -- Hunter Cantwell: 35/66, 355 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs, 177.5 ypg

Rushing -- Vic Anderson: 24 carries, 145 net yards, 6.0 ypc, 1 TD

Receiving -- Doug Beaumont: 14 catches, 160 yards, 0 TD, 80 ypg

Statistics that are fun to look at...

Scoring Offense

K-State: 3rd, 57.0 ppg

Louisville: 65th, 26.5 ppg

Total Offense

K-State: 18th

Louisville: 86th

Scoring Defense

K-State: 10th, 8.0 ppg

Louisville: 46th, 18.5 ppg

Total Defense

K-State: 6th, 198.0 ypg

Louisville: 4th, 193.0 ypg

The Cardinals are 1-1 on the season.  In week one, UL dropped a rivalry game to Kentucky, 27-2.  The same week K-State was demolishing Montana State, UL defeated Tennessee Tech, 51-10.  Not to get too far afield here, but Tennessee Tech has since defeated SEMO, 29-27; that's the same SEMO team Mizzou annihilated 52-3.  Also, Kentucky is 3-0 on the season, with wins over Norfolk State (38-3) and Middle Tennessee State (20-14).

Louisville's offensive deficiencies against Kentucky probably scared small children and sickened those who love football, but the Cards looked better against Tennessee Tech.  Still, Cantwell's numbers on the season are nothing special, and I will be very disappointed if we permit this game to turn into a shootout.  Our defense must tackle better, though, and must do a better job stopping the run.  Running back Vic Anderson will see to it that we pay if we are not prepared to stop the running game.

Defensively, Louisville does not give up yards or points easily.  This will be easily Josh Freeman's sternest test to date (duh), and it will be very telling for the rest of the season how he handles this game.

One other thing I noticed in watching UL's opening week matchup with Kentucky.  Cantwell has perhaps the slowest delivery of any quarterback I've seen since the 1980s.  He looks like he's winding up an old fire-engine as he rears back to throw.  Let's hope that gives Ian Campbell and his defensive line mates a little extra time to get into the backfield and put pressure on Cantwell.

On a final note, it doesn't look like we're going to have a lot of success running the ball on UL, but I hope to God we at least try.  We all saw what happened to that school down the river on Friday night when they completely abandoned the running game, and that could be us if we don't try (side note: the Jocques Crawford-for-2,000-yard watch now stands at 64 yards, or 1,934 short of his goal for the season).

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