Louisville football dances with wolves, but falls to NC State

Saturday night under the Halloween eve lights, the Cards lost to a testy NC State Wolfpack squad, who was reeling from a recent loss to a resurgent Miami squad. That didn’t leave Malik Cunningham and the Louisville offense shaking in their britches at all.

Louisville fell 28-13 to NC State in what was actually a very competitive game for most of the way. The offense showcased the ability to move the ball up and down the field against one of the more formidable defenses in the ACC. They gained a respectable 219 yards through the air, and 215 yards on the ground. Jalen Mitchell helped anchor this balanced output on the ground by adding 69 yards on just 13 carries.

After Malik Cunningham threw a whirly-bird ball 76 yards down the sideline to Jordan Watkins at the end of the first quarter and tied things up at 7-7, it felt as though the Cards had a hot W to cook up for the remainder of Saturday night’s contest.

Sadly, that was not the case.

Louisville took the lead on a 42 yard field goal by James Turner to go ahead 10-7 early in the second half. However, both offenses were stalled until Devin Leary threw a touchdown pass at the end of the third quarter to put NC State ahead 14-10. Leary added another two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter that put a stake right through the hearts of Louisville fans everywhere.

Some positives to come out of Saturday night are that the Cardinals defense has grown up a lot since last season. The Wolfpack only ran for a measly 44 yards on the ground on just 24 carries. In the ACC, if you can take away the run game, you’re typically able to stay competitive with teams from the upper echelon of the conference. That is a great sign for the Cards.

Also, I’d like to highlight LB Dorian Jones. That kid can bring the mustard for all the hot dogs and leaves opposing ball carriers with a dirty girdle if they meet him tip toeing in the hole! He is only a redshirt freshmen, but was Louisville’s leading tackler and has really helped this improving defense.

Louisville is now 4-4 overall and has to win two of its last four games to even think about being considered for a bowl game. I cannot believe I am saying this, but Clemson looks like a very winnable game next week. Let’s hope this season the Cards can leave hopeful fans with no tricks, just treats!