It was all there for Louisville just over two weeks ago – The possibility of the playoffs or an Orange Bowl, a top 10 season, and a Heisman Trophy for QB Lamar Jackson. Then in a disastrous two weeks, it is all likely gone. The playoffs and a top 10 season are definitely gone. The Orange Bowl is probably gone, and Jackson’s Heisman chances are in jeopardy.
The loss at home to a bad Kentucky team was an embarrassment. The Wildcats came in at 6-5 and with their best wins being over a Vanderbilt team that lost 31-7 to Georgia Tech or a South Carolina team that just lost 56-7 to Clemson. This was following a blowout loss to Houston the week before. Who do you blame when there is such a late season collapse?
Here’s the answer and why from @LvilleSprtsLive
The coaching staff has a lot of questions to answer. Never had the team in the right frame of mind after the Clemson loss.
— LouisvilleSportsLive (@LvilleSprtsLive) November 26, 2016
Bobby Petrino is a fine coach. He’s won a lot of games at the collegiate level, but with a fairly young team and a shot at a special season he gets poor marks for his coaching and team management in November.
Arguably one of the 4 best teams in the country in September, the signs of a lack of focus were creeping through, that should have been addressed by the coaching staff. There was shaky effort against Duke, and a near loss at Virginia. It happens though. Clemson had close games. Ohio State did too. Even Alabama nearly lost to an Ole Miss team that ended up 5-7.
That shouldn’t have derailed the whole season. Certainly Louisville has some issues on the offensive line, and getting beat by an inspired Houston on the road can be forgiven, but Kentucky was a different story.
There were 4 turnovers and defensive lapses all over the field. Louisville is in a position where they are still a good team, and will get a decent bowl game. Petrino will get a month to try and re-focus his team, because he failed to do it in November.