When you are Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State or another undefeated power 5 team right now style points don’t matter. You win and your are in the playoffs. Louisville you’re 24-14 win over Duke isn’t good enough. If you are the Louisville Cardinals you need style points, and a lot of them. You are trying to impress the committee in hopes of working your way back into the playoff picture. You are close enough to be a playoff factor. This was not the kind of performance Louisville needed to have.
As good of a coach as Bobby Petrino, you’ve got lay this effort on him. Louisville wasn’t prepared and they weren’t ready to play. With so much to play for including a playoff spot and a Lamar Jackson Heisman, the Cardinals were flat. Jackson by his standards had an average game, completing only 50% of his passes. He did still run for 144, so it wasn’t a Heisman losing type game, but he didn’t create more separation with the other Heisman hopefuls.
I have to wonder if Louisville spent too much time seething about the Clemson loss, and not enough time focusing on a Duke team that went to South Bend and beat Notre Dame. Bobby Petrino was still steamed talking about the loss to Clemson this week, and you can bet this fed down to the rest of the Cardinal team.
Make no mistake Duke had Louisville on the ropes. The Cardinals were fortunate to get a roughing the kicking penalty on a missed FG. Duke would have got the ball back with about 2 minutes left in the game and only down 3.
If I am Bobby Petrino, I throw the Clemson game tape away. The Cardinals nearly let one loss become two. They have to forget about the Clemson loss. It’s over. There is a lot left to play for, and Louisville must play better and more focused if they want to make a playoff impression and ensure that Lamar Jackson wins the Heisman. Efforts like tonight even in a win aren’t going to cut it.