Maybe Louisville was never really a playoff team, maybe they were before getting thrashed 36-10 by Houston tonight. What we do know is Louisville sat 5th in the playoff rankings going into Thursday’s with the Houston Cougars. From that position with 3 weekends of football left, Louisville could make the playoffs. They needed help, but it was possible.
Thursday the Cardinals threw it all away with an embarrassing performance at Houston. Give Houston credit, they punched Louisville from the opening kick and the Cardinals never recovered. Louisville defensively showed some pride, keeping Houston scoreless most of the 2nd half after giving up 31 in the first half. Unfortunately for the Cardinals the Louisville offensive line was manhandled all night long.
How do you explain such a performance from a team that had played so well for much of the season? Certainly there was a lack of focus from the Louisville team. Louisville players were tweeting prior to the Houston game their displeasure with their playoff ranking. That should have been our first clue, that maybe Louisville wasn’t ready to play. Nobody could have seen this meltdown coming though.
Bobby Petrino didn’t have his team ready to play – plain and simple. With so much on the line, Louisville fell flat on a national stage.
It can still be a very good season for Louisville. Lamar Jackson had such a gigantic Heisman lead, it is still his to lose. He’s probably safe there. What about the Orange Bowl? Louisville is likely still in good position there too. Florida State is the only real other contender, and Louisville blew them out.
Petrino does have to pick up the pieces of a disastrous game. We know Louisville is a good team – but Thursday night Louisville learned where they have significant hole. Lamar Jackson’s great play hid the fact that the Cardinal’s offensive line has been nothing special. Thursday night it was downright awful.