Louisville coach Bobby Petrino summed Saturday’s game up best saying, “It’s a bad day for us.” Nothing went right for the Cardinals as they fell to 0 – 2 on the season with a 34 – 31 loss against the unranked Houston Cougars. It has not been the start the Cardinals were hoping. The loss comes less than a week away from a home game against the No. 12 ranked Clemson Tigers.
Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson was electric in bringing U of L back in their first game of the season against Auburn. He nearly helped them come away with a victory in that game, but what a difference a week makes. Jackson struggled finishing 17 – 27 for 168 yards. He threw one touchdown and two interceptions before being replaced at the beginning of the fourth quarter by Kyle Bolin.
Jackson’s biggest strength is his quickness and athleticism, but the Cougar defense did not allow him to get away from them. He was held to 16 yards on 12 carries.
Bolin nearly gave the Cardinals enough for the win, but it was too little too late. He finished 10 – 18 passing and threw two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, the second of which went to redshirt freshman Mickey Crum. Crum was huge on the day finishing with 6 catches for 103 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Petrino stopped short of saying who next week’s starter would be, but praised Bolin saying, “When Kyle came in, he did give us a lift and we were able to get back to a normal offense and move the ball. But it wasn’t enough.”
The offense was not the only problem for Louisville as their defense allowed 462 yards to the Cougars.
Special teams failed them also giving up a 100 yard kick return for a touchdown after the Cardinals went up 17 – 10. Combined that with 4 turnovers and 9 penalties it was a recipe for disaster.
U of L could not contain Houston’s quarterback Greg Ward Jr. He threw three touchdown passes and had 334 yards of total offense (236 through the air and 98 on the ground).
Now the Cardinals move on to for a national televised game at home against Clemson on Thursday evening.
Many questions remain unanswered after two games. Can the Cardinals come up with the answers against a power Clemson team to open ACC play?