clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Louisville's Incredible Disappearing Secondary

When I was watching the MTSU/Louisville game a few weeks ago, I was shocked at the frequency with which Louisville's defense made mental mistakes, but I chalked it up to a one-game aberration. It's no aberration:

In their three games against Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) opponents, the Cards have surrendered averages of 329 passing yards a game and 16.2 yards per completion. Orange quarterback Andrew Robinson threw for 423 yards on just 17 completions, including pass plays of 79, 60, 48 and 42 yards.

"I've never given up this many deep balls since I was in junior high," Kragthorpe said.

We just have to hope the problems continue:

N.C. State (1-3) hopes to continue several trends that have the Cardinals’ defenders in disarray. In three games against Bowl Subdivision teams, Louisville (2-2) has allowed at least one touchdown pass of more than 50 yards in each and given up a total of 988 yards through the air.

[snip]

Middle Tennessee State had three scoring plays of at least 35 yards and hung closer than expected. Instate rival Kentucky hit a game-winning 57-yard touchdown pass in the final minute to knock Louisville out of the Top 10.

Take a look at some of these blown coverages. Kentucky's game-winning pass:



An MTSU receiver is completely uncovered in a short-yardage situation:



Watch Syracuse's first play from scrimmage.

Syracuse ranks 114th in total offense; Middle Tennessee, 108th. Yet both posted at least 465 total yards against Louisville (MTSU averaged more than 10 yards per snap), meaning they played like top-25 offenses against the Cardinals--in MTSU's case, a top-five offense.

Middle Tennessee scored 42 against Louisville and has scored 31 points in its other three games combined. Ditto Syracuse: 38 against the Cards, 32 total in the other three games.

The breakdown:

MTSU Passing:
Opponent Comp Att Yds Yds/Att Comp% TD INT
FAU 20 32 199 6.2 62.5 1 2
L'ville 14 26 290 11.2 53.8 2 2
LSU 8 15 81 5.4 53.3 0 0
WKU 14 24 169 7.0 58.3 0 0
MTSU Offense:
Opponent 1stDwn Plays Yds Yds/Play Pts
FAU 15 64 217 3.4 14
L'ville 20 55 555 10.1 42
LSU 9 52 90 1.7 0
WKU 17 61 288 4.7 17

Syracuse Passing:
Opponent Comp Att Yds Yds/Att Comp% TD INT
Washington 20 32 199 6.2 62.5 1 0
Iowa 7 20 79 4.0 35.0 0 1
Illinois 19 29 223 7.7 65.5 1 0
L'ville 17 26 423 16.3 65.4 4 0
Syracuse Offense:
Opponent 1stDwn Plays Yds Yds/Play Pts
Washington 13 61 207 3.4 12
Iowa 5 50 103 2.1 0
Illinois 14 63 286 4.5 20
L'ville 16 61 465 7.6 38

I refuse to be encouraged.