Houston 36, Louisville 10 Game Notes

I have become increasingly nervous about this game. I woke up in a Jeremy Ito-induced sweat last night. Rutgers, you have not been forgotten. I’m glad you hate the B1G so far. Ugh. Let’s go!

  • Houston uni’s = flameeeeeeeessssssss
  • Speaking of, wish we had gone all-white or all-white with chrome. Alas.
  • Florida State also deferred Houston.
  • Malik Williams. Smh.
  • Hey, Wake lead for 3 quarters right?
  • Loud crowds bother us. All year they have.
  • Gonna have to roll Lamar a lot. They will be forcing him to throw.
  • The punting has been incredible for the most part this year. Amazing turn of events.
  • Defense gets settled in and forces Houston to punt. Time for the offense to settle down.
  • If I see another false start, I’m going to lose my shit. It’s not rocket science guys!
  • Defense once again makes a stop. MVP’s.
  • Jaylen Smith is one of the most gifted receivers to play here. He’s only a true sophomore!
  • Second fumble of the game. I mean…I just don’t even know.
  • Defense holds again. 10-0 Houston. Could be much, much, much, much, much worse.
  • I hate penalties.
  • #FuckinHughley
  • Well, the best thing I can say about the first quarter is that it’s over. Moving on.
  • Mason King is my favorite Louisville punter ever.
  • And we’ve moved to the “pick on Washington” portion of Houston’s offense.
  • Fucking trick play…
  • 17-0. This may not be our night.
  • Ed Oliver will be playing on Sunday’s. Just saying. None of our linemen will be. Zero.
  • The game plan for containing Ward has been fantastic. It’s the rest of the players that we aren’t stopping.
  • 24-0. About as bad as this could be going.
  • This is a truly young team. Lead by mostly 19 year old sophomores. Look at the poise on the defense compared to the offense. Mostly lead by seniors.
  • And as I say that the defense gets burned on another trick play. 31-0.
  • Ok, let’s unpack this first half. The Playoffs are gone. The Heisman has slipped a bit. The offensive line is hot, hot garbage. Lamar is doing what he can, but he essentially has one other player on offense (Jaylen Smith). The defense has done what it can, but just like the rest of the season, turnovers and the offense have kept them on their heels. They’re tired and Trumaine Washington needs to go back to Florida. I don’t think I’ll be updating in the second half, unless something major happens.

Well that was something. I know it’s been said a million times at this point, but that was one of the worst offensive line performances I’ve ever seen. Any level. Anyway, I can’t continue to beat what everyone has been saying into the ground. Have to get better.

Kentucky, you’re still next.

Louisville 44, Wake Forest 12 Game Notes

Cards will need a lot of help tonight. Let’s get into it.

  • Jaylen Smith on the first play fumbles it. Not a good start at all. 
  • Cards got lucky to only let a field goal up after the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. I actually like the two strikes rule with that penalty. 
  • Staples drops a sure touchdown. Bad start for the receivers overall.
  • The “get hype” videos for the defense are the worst thing the media team has done this year. It’s not the players fault either. They didn’t need it, and the music sounds like it’s being played through a paper towel roll.
  • Defense getting gashed by the running game early. Getting pressure on the QB when they pass though.
  • Well, Pittsburgh just screwed our playoff hopes I think. 
  • Lamar getting no time to operate in the pocket. O Line looks like shit.
  • Just heard the phrase “NC State is gonna beat Clemson”. Louisville fans are special.
  • Kelsey turns the tide of the momentum with the fumble recovery. 
  • Offense finally started to roll before the Radcliff fumble. Wake takes over and drives the ball down the field for another field goal. 9-0 Wake and we’re in trouble.
  • Lamar has a huge run and fumbles. I’ve never seen such poor ball handling by a team. It’s amazing honestly.
  • 12-0 Wake. Cards need to WAKE up. I know, poor effort.
  • Cards finish the half with a solid drive that stalls in the red zone. I don’t understand why our red zone play calling has been so awful. Weird passes and bad running play have ruined several drives this season. 
  • At least we get some points. 12-3 at the half.
  • Awful pass interference call against Jaire starts the second half. Defense finally gets a punt though.
  • Huge read option give to Radcliff changes the complexion of the game and the Cards down 12-10 now with plenty of time. 
  • Great call by the coaching staff going back to the read option after the touchdown. Defense bit on Radcliff and Lamar got a huge gain. 
  • WE KNOW ITS NOT INTENTIONAL GROUNDING! WE KNOW!
  • And terrible job by the coaching staff not passing on 3rd and 10. Missed field goal to boot.
  • I think the conference on the intentional grounding was the other ref saying “If you don’t reverse this, we aren’t getting out of here”.
  • Wake coach, what a dick. Challenging an intentional grounding, which you can’t do. These refs are awful. #ACCAnarchy
  • Radcliff was a man possessed on the touchdown drive. Ran strong, angry and mean. Cards take the lead 16-12 after the failed 2 point conversion.
  • Again, D’Angelo Brown is one of, if not the, most underrated player we have.
  • Your special teams captain, DeVante Peete ladies and gentlemen.
  • Nasty hit, but definitely not targeting. Just an awkward play.
  • Radcliff with his third score and now we’re rolling. Finally looking competent. Good thing other top teams aren’t playing well either.
  • Defense starting to exert its will over their O Line. Passing situations leading to tons of sacks.
  • Lamar broke a tackle from the same guy twice on one play. 
  • Ronald Walker with the pick 6 to officially seal it. Right as USC extends its lead against Washington and Iowa takes the lead against Michigan. Poetic.
  • Cards finish it off with a nice Malik Williams TD. 44-12 final.

A strong performance in the second half to clinch it. Lamar finishes with 298 total yards and 1 touchdown. Off night for him. The MVP has to go to either the entire defense or Brandon Radcliff, who had 141 yards and 3 touchdowns. Great team win for sure. 

Side note: Washington got knocked off by USC and Michigan lost to Iowa. If you’re into that sort of thing. 

Houston, you’re next.

Fansplaining: Why some Baylor fans protested Art Briles’ firing

Photo: Tony Gutierrez, STF

Art Briles was hired as Baylor’s football coach on November 28, 2007. He led the Bears to national prominence as the head coach. He also was in charge of the team during one of the most egregious sex scandals on a college campus. Briles was let go on May 26, 2015.

Last week, Baylor met TCU on the football field for an in-confrence game. The game was scheduled to be a “green-out” for the fans, but the Baylor team would be wearing all black. WR Chris Platt tweeted “This black out means more than just the uniform to us. #truthdontlie”. The hashtag, along with #CAB, are both pro-Briles hashtags and Platt quickly made his account private and posted a response, claiming the tweet was not in support of Briles. Fast forward to tailgate time, where a group of fans were selling black ¬† t-shirts outside the stadium with the aforementioned #CAB on the front. Again, the game was intended as a green-out for fans.

So how did we get here? Why is a man, who at best covered up sexual assault by his players, still revered by so many Baylor faithful? Because, football.

When Briles was hired, he was taking over a program in shambles. Guy Morriss was the most recent coach, but from 1996-2007, 4 different coaches led Baylor to an overall record of 35-101, 11-85 in conference play. The program was a wreck, and Briles had experience reviving the previously dormant Houston program. Baylor was in big boy football though, and in the most high pressure state for the sport at that. Competing against the likes of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, an up-and-coming TCU team, and even other outside threats such as the SEC West division for recruits would be a very tall task for a team that had never had a reputation for strong football.

Briles was up to the task though. After two 4-8 seasons, Briles led the Bears to a 7-6 season with sophomore Robert Griffin III at quarterback. Briles never had another season below 8-5. All of this success came at a cost however. A moral cost. Because of Baylor’s position in the pecking order for Texas football, Briles had to take chances on players with questionable backgrounds to fill his roster with talent. It was the decision that ultimately cost him his job and possibly his career.

On June 25, 2015, Baylor DE Sam Ukwuachu was indicted on two counts of sexual assault. The problem is no one outside the Baylor program knew until August 17th, when it was reported. Ukwuachu was released from the Boise State football program in 2013 for a similar incident, of which Briles was aware. On August 21st, Ukwuachu was found guilty on the charges. In September, an external investigation was started by Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton into the program. In January, ESPN’s Outside the Lines¬†reported multiple instances in which Baylor “either failed to investigate, or adequately investigate, allegations of sexual assault”. On April 13, 2016, former DE Shawn Oakman was arrested on charges of sexual assault, but the victim declined to press charges and Oakman was not disciplined by the university. The Baylor Board of Regents received their full report from Pepper Hamilton on May 13th, and on May 26th, Baylor suspended Briles with the plan to terminate him.

All of this is to say that Briles knew what was going on, actively attempted to cover it up with help from the Waco Police Department and is all around kind of a disgusting human being.

So why do the fans, including thousands of women, still support him and want him back with the program? Football. In Texas, football is king. It is the biggest moneymaker at almost every college in the country, and for a fanbase starving for quality football, they want more. Briles gave them a piece of the good life. Baylor had started to out-recruit Texas and TCU on some players in Texas, and Briles system was one that catered to an entertaining style of football to watch. He brought prominence to a small town in Texas and national attention (as well as a Heisman trophy) to an area that had never dreamed they would be there just 8 years ago.

I’m not excusing the defense of Briles by any means. I’m explaining it. The demigod culture in sports, particularly in college sports, turns coaches into something beyond the university, beyond the team and sometimes beyond the rules. If Briles had disciplined these players, I think he loses maybe a few more games over the 8 years, but he is still the coach of Baylor and still revered in Waco. Coaches would do well to take note of what Briles did to his career when choosing to take these kinds of players on their teams.

The Real Issue I have with President Trump

America elected Donald J. Trump last night as our next commander-in-cheif. While that was as shocking a result as I could have imagined, it showed the type of America that we live in.

As a white straight male, I personally will not suffer from the narcissistic, sexist, racist rhetoric Trump, and more importantly his supporters, have spewed for months now. I have no fear of walking down the street and being profiled by these cowards and told that I’m not good enough to live in “their” country.

What I am saddened, and ultimately disgusted, by is what this decision means for my black, hispanic, middle eastern, LGBTQ and female family members, friends, and fellow Americans. They will have to deal with all of these issues on a daily basis, because our president will allow it. The harassment seen at the polls yesterday and the bullying issued by his supporters will only get worse, empowered by his status.

If you chose to write in a candidate, vote third party or simply not cast a vote, you get no option to complain. You contributed to this. The fate of our nation was in our hands and we chose the bully who could not be trusted with his own Twitter account over the experienced politician who has blood on her hands. You know who else has blood on their hands? Every President that has sat in that position. Being the President means you make the tough calls, for better or worse, and you live with those decisions forever. I don’t envy the position at all.

Our nation is in trouble in terms of climate change as well. He has already stated his idiotic opinions on it and we will be taking a big step back in saving the world from utter extinction with him in office.

I will worry every single day for the next 4 years for my family and friends. I will worry that they are ok in the streets, fighting the bigotry and suppressions that loom large over us. Because we will fight. We will not be silent. We endured 8 years of these same fear mongerers disrespecting arguably one of the best Presidents to ever hold office, and we will return the favor in kind. We will buck against these terrible policies and do what we can to slow this regression on the nation.

It is not a matter of policy for me. It’s basic human decency. I respect other people, so I guess that makes me a commie liberal. And I’m ok with that. Because the world needs more acceptance and understanding. Unfortunately, for four years, we will not get that from our “leader”. We will not be silent. We will fight.

Note: I did not, nor will I, capitalize “president” in reference to him. He must earn that title.

Louisville 52, Boston College 7 Game Notes

Obviously, Louisville loves playing Patrick Towles. This game was no different. Enjoy.

  • 69 yard TD run from Lamar to open the game. Nice. Nice.
  • I love DeAngelo Brown. One of the most underrated players on the defense.
  • Offensive line gave Lamar a lot of time early on. Probably says more for Boston College’s defense, but still.
  • Lamar looking great. Quick with a deep touchdown catch and the offense is rolling.
  • Defensive is looking pretty crisp so far. Hard hits, solid tackling, not too many broken reads.
  • Bomb to Jaylen Smith is Lamar at his best. Absolute beast.
  • Well, that was certainly a first quarter.
  • A real live fumble sets Louisville up. Bobby is coming for blood.
  • Quick up to 2 TDs now. 
  • Hikutini with the TD. Not sure how many different ways I can talk about a team dominating an opponent like this. 
  • Chucky!
  • Lamar with an injury, Bolin comes in. Bolin looking not great.
  • Remember last season when we alol fought over who should play, Lamar or Bolin? Good times, goooood times.
  • Lamar should have never tried to tackle the guy that picked him off. Good QBs don’t do that because of this exact situation. Disrupted the whole flow of the game by putting Bolin in.
  • Street names. Feathers. Announcers are some mixture of terrific and terrible.
  • Lamar is a magician. Plain and simple. I am never not surprised or impressed by him.
  • Seems like the team starts to fall apart when Lamar isn’t playing. As long as he is, that’s ok I suppose, but just strange.
  • Got the Dubya.
  • Lamar Jackson’s “private area”.
  • #HAILSTATE

1 down, 2 to go. #BeatOhioState #BeatWashington

Wake Forest, you’re next.

Fansplaining: Why Clemson fans are so mad at Louisville and Lamar Jackson

Photo: Joshua S. Kelly/USA Today Sports

Since the University of Louisville lost to Clemson 42-36 at the beginning of October, the Louisville fanbase has noticed a change in behavior from our previously friendly hosts. Clemson has long held a reverence among college football fans as having one of the most hospitable fan bases in the country. Just a bunch of good ole’ preppy bunch that will gladly welcome you into their tailgate for a beer and brat. Always considered the lovable bunch that suffered a #Clemsoning (or two) every year that inevitably ruined Clemson’s chance at national prominence.

Now enter October 1. Lamar Jackson brings Louisville within inches (literally) of knocking off the vaunted Clemson team, and elevating the Louisville program into the national lexicon. So Clemson gets its win, a very strong win at that, and hey, it was a great game, right?

Clemson fans have developed a strange obsession with wanting to refute any national mention of both Louisville and Lamar Jackson, while not being able to enjoy the win and their #2 ranking. They are likely to run the remaining schedule and go back to the playoff for a second consecutive year.

So the Louisville fan base has just one question for the Tiger faithful. Why you mad bro?

While I do find it strange and frustrating the sudden disdain Clemson fans have for Louisville, I do understand it. I do. I’m here for you Clemson fans. I want to explain your change to the masses and help you find peace in your undefeated season. But to truly understand the Clemson dilemma, you have to go back to 2012.

In the 2012 season, Florida State beat Clemson and finished 12-2, 7-1 in the conference and edged out Clemson (11-1, 7-1) for the Atlantic title. Clemson had won the division previously, but this was the start of the Florida State reign. The next season, Jameis Winston’s first season starting, Florida State won the final BCS Championship and again kept Clemson from national prominence.

In 2014, Louisville’s first season in the new ACC, Florida State made it to the first ever College Football Playoff unscathed, only to lose to Oregon. Clemson was again second in the Atlantic Division, but Louisville gained a win in conference play, with Bobby Petrino’s system starting to catch on with Charlie Strong’s remaining players.

Last season, sensing an opening with Winston jumping to the pros, and touting their own Heisman candidate at quarterback, the Tigers finished the regular season undefeated and found themselves in the National Title game against Alabama. While Alabama ultimately won 45-40, Clemson showed they were for real and should be a top threat this season in returning to the championship. Lead by most of their offense returning, including running back Wayne Gallman and third place Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson, they finally had their opening.

Enter Lamar Jackson. Louisville was slowly adjusting to the ACC and building their recruiting up, but Lamar Jackson was the game changer Louisville needed to elevate the program into the limelight. just two weeks after completely dismantling Florida State at home, Jackson led the Cardinals into Death Valley and showed everyone in the country that they were for real. Jackson was already garnering tons of national attention as one of the most prolific playmakers college football has ever seen, and Watson was off to a rocky start, despite Clemson remaining undefeated.

I’ve seen it argued that if Clemson loses a game, and still wins in the ACC Championship, that Louisville should get the ACC nod into the Playoff. I’ve seen it argued that if it wasn’t for the referees in Ref Death Valley, that Louisville would have indeed won the game and should be undefeated, so they deserve the nod. I’ve also seen it argued that both teams should make the playoff and we will see the result on a neutral field.

I’ve heard every week that Lamar has already locked up the Heisman trophy. I’ve heard that he’s the greatest player college football has ever seen, and that he is 5x better than Michael Vick (from Michael Vick). And I’ve heard that Deshaun Watson just isn’t the same player he was last season. That Lamar’s number are so far ahead of everyone else’s that he could average enough points alone that would beat most teams.

This is why Clemson fans are panicking. They had their opening. They were primed for at least a couple years of uninterrupted dominance and shots at the National Title, along with a Heisman trophy. And, in their opinion, Louisville ruined it. Louisville has taken all the national attention for the ACC, Lamar has taken the Heisman conversation by the throat, and Clemson got left standing in the cold.

The thing about all of this is: Clemson will probably get to the playoff. They win out and they are in. They control their own destiny, and proved that they could even hang with Alabama last season.

Louisville is coming. They put everyone on notice by hosting their first ever College Gameday, and thoroughly destroying Florida State. Lamar Jackson will be back for at least one more collegiate season and the quarterbacks coming up behind him (Jawon Pass, Malik Cunningham) show the tools to continue Louisville’s ascent. And by the way, Bobby isn’t going anywhere.

Florida State will rebound too. Deondre Francois is going to be a problem if Jimbo can figure out how to keep him upright, and Florida State is recruiting in the most talent rich state in the country. They have several young stars on the defense and are already showing the turnaround is in place. But for this season, enjoy yourselves Tiger fans. You’re undefeated, ranked #2 and likely going to be able to showcase yourselves for a second year in a row on the grandest stage of them all. Just don’t get comfortable at the top.

Updated 11/3/2016: I misspelled Deshaun Watson’s name in the Michael Vick paragraph. I had it very politely pointed out by a Clemson fan. My deepest apologies.

Louisville 32, Virginia 25 Game Notes

Due to a work conflict, I was unable to watch the game in real time. That being said, I tried to keep up on Twitter and so it will be weird watching the game already knowing the outcome. We’ll give it a go though.

  • D’Asian (Johnny?) Richardson got away with contact to the QB’s head on the first defensive drive. Strong start for the D though. Hard hits and flying around the ball.
  • First drop by Quick wasn’t totally his fault. Was overthrown. Should have caught it and would have had a TD, but it was overthrown nonetheless.
  • Second drop by Quick was terrible. Lamar did enough to make a play, Quick just couldn’t pull it in.
  • Punt coverage terrible and sets up Virginia for its first score of the game. First time the punt coverage team has let someone through like that this season. Good defensive stop. Defense has bailed out the rest of the team numerous times this season.
  • Staples with the tough grab over the middle. Easily the most reliable receiver we have.
  • Quicks third drop was brutal. Have to wonder if the sun was in his eyes? Lamar overthrows an open Seth Dawkins on the next play.
  • Virginia came into the game believing they were going to win. You can tell in the way they’re carrying themselves. Bronco Mendenhall is going to get them going soon.
  • Virginia continuing to pick on Trumaine Washington.
  • The running game had not been effective at all until Lamar breaks a big time run. Finally some signs of life from the offense.
  • Lamar hits Jamari on a dart for the Cards first touchdown. Great sequence of plays for the offense.
  • Fumble was mix of Jeremy Smith and Lamar. Jeremy didn’t clinch on the ball, Lamar tried to pull it too late.
  • Virginia QB with a beautiful lob into the end zone on their first TD. The placement was perfect and the WR beat Jaire to it.
  • Virginia with all the momentum at the start of the second quarter. Their defense is hyped, the sideline is hyped, and has Louisville’s offense on the ropes.
  • Jaire with a great INT to stop the drive. Jaire has been a fantastic revelation in the secondary this season.
  • The offensive line is going to get Lamar killed one day.
  • Louisville let Virginia believe and that was why the offense struggled so much in the first half. Any team is a much less dangerous team if you break their will.
  • Micky Crum got his ass ripped on the 4th down play by Bobby. He has been a big letdown this season. I think he is supremely talented. But he needs to get his mind right if he wants to jump into the starting role when Cole leaves.
  • Reggie’s drop was brutal too. Negated by the holding on Hughley (Fuckin Hughley) but Lamar made such a good play to get it to him. Lamar made a great play to Traveon on the next play.
  • Another holding by the offensive line. Penalties and turnovers will really hurt us at some point this season.
  • And missed tackles. Good lord Trumaine.
  • Virginia drives for the 17-7 lead. Definitely was starting to worry at this point.
  • Lamar throws an INT to set up Virginia deep in their own territory. He’s been pretty inaccurate so far. Luckily, Virginia misses the field goal. Probably the point where the momentum shifts.
  • Hikutini is the spark plug of the offense. Lamar can make a play when there isn’t one and when he has to, but Hikutini gives the offense the feeling that everything is going to start rolling. I’ve noticed that with him this year. Hopefully they can replace him next season.
  • Reggie shushes the crowd after his touchdown. The Cards are rolling.
  • Jaire with his second pick of the game returns to the 13. Again, he’s been fantastic this season.
  • Reggie quiets the crowd with his second TD of the game. Now were rollin.
  • Zykesis Cannon had a great pass breakup on the drive that Virginia scores its last TD. I really like him.
  • Defense let up a lot on the final drive. I still argue that they get worn down in these types of games and eventually break a bit. It was a ballsy call on the fourth down pass though. Thrown on a rope down the middle of the field. Virginia’s crowd is into it.
  • Final drive. The whole thing I’ve been waiting to see. Much easier to stomach knowing the outcome.
  • The fourth down throw through two defenders… Just insane by Lamar.
  • And the cap with the beautiful play by Lamar to Jaylen Smith for the touchdown. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful play.

We squeeze out the victory, and with a few undefeated teams losing, we maintain position.  A lot of credit to a well coached Virginia team, but just as in the Duke game, talent wins out. Lamar finished with 361 and 4 TDs with 90 on the ground and Staples finished with 120 and a TD. Now we need FSU to pull this out against Clemson and Clemson lose again, or Clemson win the rest of their games. My brain hurts. Boston College, you’re next.

All-NBA Team Selections

Steve Dykes/Associated Press

This is a quick blast of our All-NBA first, second and third team selections. Enjoy tonights tipoff!

All-NBA First Team

  • BC Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder
  • BC Steph Curry, Golden State Warriors
  • FC Lebron James, Cleveland Cavaliers
  • FC Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors
  • FC Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

All-NBA Second Team

  • BC Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers
  • BC James Harden, Houston Rockets
  • FC Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers
  • FC Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs
  • FC Paul George, Indiana Pacers

All-NBA Third Team

  • BC John Wall, Washington Wizards
  • BC Kyle Lowry, Toronto Raptors
  • FC Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
  • FC LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
  • FC Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans

NBA Division and Playoff Preview

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In a rapid fire of posts today before tonights games, we’re going to start with our picks for each Division, including the over/under picks. I’ll also give my playoff teams at the end, including my picks for the Finals, and this seasons champion.

Eastern Conference

  • Atlantic Division
  1. Boston Celtics over 52.5
  2. Toronto Raptors over 50
  3. New York Knicks over 40.5
  4. Philadelphia Sixers under 25
  5. Brooklyn Nets under 21.5
  • Central Division
  1. Cleveland Cavaliers over 57
  2. Indiana Pacers over 45.5
  3. Detroit Pistons under 44.5
  4. Chicago Bulls over 40.5
  5. Milwaukee Bucks over 36
  • Southeast Division
  1. Atlanta Hawks over 43.5
  2. Washington Wizards under 42.5
  3. Charlotte Hornets under 40.5
  4. Miami Heat over 35
  5. Orlando under 37

 

Western Conference

  • Northwest Divison
  1. Oklahoma City Thunder over 45
  2. Portland Trail Blazers over 45.5
  3. Minnesota Timberwolves over 42.5
  4. Utah Jazz under 47
  5. Denver Nuggets over 37
  • Pacific Divison
  1. Golden State Warriors over 66.5
  2. Los Angeles Clippers over 54
  3. Sacramento Kings under 32.5
  4. Los Angeles Lakers over 25.5
  5. Phoenix Suns under 29
  • Southwest Division
  1. San Antonio Spurs over 57
  2. Houston Rockets over 44
  3. Dallas Mavericks over 40
  4. Memphis Grizzlies under 44
  5. New Orleans Pelicans under 36.5

 

Playoff Teams

Eastern Conference

  1. Cleveland Cavaliers
  2. Boston Celtics
  3. Toronto Raptors
  4. Indiana Pacers
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Detroit Pistons
  7. New York Knicks
  8. Washington Wizards

Western Conference

  1. Golden State Warriors
  2. San Antonio Spurs
  3. Los Angeles Clippers
  4. Houston Rockets
  5. Oklahoma City Thunder
  6. Portland Trail Blazers
  7. Minnesota Timberwolves
  8. Dallas Mavericks

And my picks for the Finals are the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers with the Warriors winning in 5 games.

Louisville 54, NC State 13 Game Notes

  • This is the first time I noticed that our fans didn’t boo the opposing team coming out. I’m so glad we stopped doing that to teams that aren’t our rivals or at least highly ranked.
  • Seth Dawkins starts. Glad to see from the freshman.
  • Lamar made the defense sleep with all the passes. 36 yd TD run was beautiful and what we’re used to. 
  • Washington interception was perfect. Good pressure up front and the QB never saw Washington. 
  • Bad play calling on second drive off TO. Too much running. Lamar had a good throw away.
  • Lukayas McNeil two false starts on FG. Penalties and special teams issues combined into one!
  • Thank god he still made the field goal.
  • RB runs too much east to west. Louisville doing a great job sealing gaps and staying on the weak side. 
  • James Quick fumble was correct call on field. Just bad luck.
  • James Hearns is a bad bad man!
  • Penalties already terrible. Really ugly start to the game. It honestly feels like we’re going to spend more real time on special teams than offense or defense.
  • Lamar 74 yd pass to Jaylen Smith was a perfect example of how much Lamar has grown. Old Lamar would have gotten impatient and ran with the ball or been inaccurate on the throw. He was patient, read it perfect and threw it on a rope. 
  • Defense is looking great. 
  • Lamar bad reads on the option up to two.
  • 3 bad penalties on McNeil now. Has to be more disciplined. 
  • I can’t remember the last time Lamar just took a sack. It was jarring.
  • Jaylen didn’t block the defender downfield. It was the only reason Cole didn’t score on the wide open throw from Lamar.
  • Johnathan Greenard is going to be a great linebacker for us. I really like him.
  • #ColeLeap.
  • Blocked punt by Malik Williams was special. We don’t usually get big time plays on special teams.
  • I don’t understand how NC State didn’t use any timeouts. I get that you’re getting blown out, but you don’t even try to stop the momentum on a drive or anything? 
  • Terrible play calling in the red zone for the whole first half. Weird plays, bad choices and just overall terrible play calling.
  • Halftime. Good guys 44, Bad guys 0.
  • A few things: 1. The “Bobby!” Chants were amazing. 2. It was incidental contact. And 3. The more I watch Seth Dawkins, the more I’m reminded of what Julio Jones. Big, tall, fast, and incredibly gifted. It’s easy to see why he’s on the field as a true freshman with all the talent we have at the position. He’s going to be special. 
  • At the game, I have no clue how they called NC State’s first touchdown a touchdown. It looked like he came off the ground, caught the ball, and fell out of bounds. Hoping that it wasn’t that agregious on tv.
  • The offensive line has let up a few sacks. Not good that Lamar is taking the extra hits and not feeling the pressure.
  • 70 yd touchdown pass was just ugly. DB got burned and couldn’t make the tackle. Weird third quarter.
  • Weird quarter continues with Malik Williams fumble on the kick. Never understood the whole “carry the ball with one arm in traffic” thing.
  • If the University doesn’t keep the Muhammed Ali intro to the game and third quarter, I’m burning it all to the ground.
  • #ColeBlock.
  • Jeremy Smith is a bull. Doesn’t ever get stopped the first time.
  • Angry Bobby is my favorite Bobby.
  • How this was the 8th highest crowd in stadium history I’ll never understand. Looked pretty empty in some sections. 
  • Kyle Bolin had a beautiful pass down the right side to Devante Peete. 

All in all, this was a great game. Lamar looked like Lamar full bore with over 400 yards of offense and 4 TDs. Hikutini was fantastic with 118 yards and a touchdown and Jeremy Smith finished with 51 yards and 2 touchdowns. The defense was fantastic for the most part and we may have even found a (short range) kicker. 

Now we just need to pull for A&M, Houston, Oregon State and Penn State. No biggie. Virginia, you’re next.