By Josh Cook
Down! Set! Hike!
Here is quick look back at the weekend that was for the University of Louisville football team.
The Cardinals won their first road game in nearly two years (since a 35-28 victory at Memphis on Oct. 10, 2008) by beating Arkansas State 34-24 Saturday to spoil its homecoming and give coach Charlie Strong his first victory away from Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
UofL (2-2) played easily its best first half of the young season in building a 31-7 lead. However the Cards folded in the second half, getting only a late field goal by Chris Philpott, to hold off the Red Wolves (1-4).
Bilal Powell continued the stellar start to his senior season, rushing for 157 yards and a touchdown and also scoring on a 57-yard pass-play. Vic Anderson added 108 yards on the ground, while Adam Froman completed 20 of 33 passes for 308 yards with three TDs and one interception. Josh Bellamy had four catches for 66 yards for two touchdowns, while Josh Chichester also had four receptions for 66 yards as UofL amassed an incredible 575 yards of offense against Arkansas State, which ranks 117th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense.
TOP THREE PLAYS
1. There were so many in the first half it’s hard to choose just a No. 1, but we’d have to go with Powell’s 47-yard touchdown run on a fake punt. Arkansas State had just scored to pull within 10-7 and UofL was about to punt the ball back when Strong pulled a rabbit out of his hat with the fake punt on fourth-and-3 at the ASU 47.
2. Three minutes and 20 seconds after Powell’s 47-yard TD run he and Froman connected for a 57-yard touchdown. On first-and-10 at the ASU 43 Froman threw a laser that landed on Powell’s hip as he streaked down the sideline. In a little over three minutes UofL’s lead had gone from 10-7 to 24-7.
3. We give Philpott’s career-best 46-yard field goal with just under four minutes remaining in the game slightly ahead of Bellamy’s diving 21-yard TD catch only because Philpott’s kick came with more pressure as the Red Wolves rallied in the second half.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND
Five hundred seventy-five. That was the amount of total offense the Cards rolled up against the Red Wolves.
Offensive player of the week - No contest here, Powell had an astounding 222 yards of total offense.
Defensive player of the week - Junior linebacker Dexter Heyman had 11 ½ tackles, including 10 of the solo variety.
FIVE THINGS I THINK
1. I think Powell is going to make first-team All-Big East.
2. I think all Bellamy does is make big plays. The Cards have to get him involved in the passing game as much as they can.
3. It was great to see highly-regarded true freshman Dominique Brown finally get on the field, but now that the Cards have burned his redshirt I think he needs to see more than just four touches in a game. Obviously his understanding of the offense and such has a lot to do with that, but he needs to be more involved.
4. I think UofL has to cut down on the penalties - 13 for 90 yards against a team that has lost to Louisiana-Lafayette and Troy is not going to cut it against Big East teams.
5. I think UofL will beat Memphis 28-17 next Saturday.