Games Notes, 6:00 Game Time
-Game will be broadcast on ESPNU (Rob Stone, Danny Kannell, Allison Williams)
-Sirius Channel 92
-Charlie Strong actually hired Murray State head Coach to be QB coach before Murray job was offered to him.
-UofL is 9-4 in home openers since opening PJCS
-Louisville was 7-4 vs. unranked opponents in 2010.
-Louisville is 29-17-10 all-time vs. members of the OVC.
-Since 1998 UofL is 32-17 in the month of September
-In 2010 Louisville Out Scored their opponents 164-79 in the 2nd quarter.
-Louisville returns just 4 starters on offense, including all 5 on the offensive line (due to Benavides injury)
-Will Stein will be the 5th different QB to start an opener the past 5 years for UofL.
-In the last 8 seasons the Cardinals have scored 302 points in openers (34.8).
-Murray State was 6-5 in 2010, 5-3 in the OVC.
-Murray played one FBS school in 2010, losing to Kent State 41-10.
Tale of the Tape
Points Per Game: UofL-26.4 Murray-36.1
Points Allowed Per Game: UofL-19.4 Murray-30.4
Rushing: UofL-175.0 Murray 136.2
Rushing Allowed: UofL-144.3 Murray 190.6
Passing: UofL-194.0 Murray 313.5
Passing Allowed: UofL-167.4 Murray 208
Sacks: UofL-39 Murray 20
Sacks Allowed: UofL-17 Murray 16
This marks the 18th meeting between Murray St. and Louisville. Louisville has a 11-6 series advantage including the last 3 games, the most recent contest in 2007 the Cards prevailed 73-10. Murray State last defeated the Cardinals in 1984.
Vance Bedford has a message for you:
I made a post last week about how bad of an idea it was for Kentucky to play WKU in Nashville. I know Kentucky wanted this game to be on a Saturday but ESPN could only televise it on Thursday night. That made it very difficult for fans from both schools to plan a trip to go watch this game on a week night. Now word has come out today that only 29,000 seats have been sold. That is not going to be good when you turn the TV on and see a stadium that is more than half empty for an opening game.
Final week of preseason football! Season is almost upon us! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait! Here’s a quick run down on last week’s performances by our former Wildcats.
Lions vs. Bills Thurs 6:30pm eastern
Stevie Johnson – WR Bills 8/27 vs. JAC – 4 catches, 76 yrs, 1 td – Stevie ended his “slow start” with a BANG! He showed everyone on Saturday why he’s considered a top 20 WR in the NFL. I fully expect a great season out of him.
Colts vs. Bengals Thurs 7pm eastern
Jacob Tamme – TE Colts 8/26 vs. GB – 1 catch, 5 yds – Tamme is the back up to Dallas Clark, however the Colts are expected to run more double TE sets this coming season. That makes Tamme a legitimate player in the league. Obviously, with both playing, I wouldn’t expect spectacular fantasy numbers out of these guys.
DeQuin Evans – DE Bengals 8/25 vs. CAR – No stats, did play LB. It appears the Bengals are considering releasing Mr. Evans. I don’t know the guy personally, but he seems like a stand up guy and has TONS of heart. He’s looked solid so far this preseason and I hope it continues. I’d love to see him make the final squad.
Giants vs. Patriots Thursday 7:30pm eastern
Myron Pryor DT Patriots -8/27 vs. DET – 1 solo tackle, 2 assists – He’ll clog the middle and definitely help against the run. I’m proud of this local boy and wish him continued success. Even if he’s a Patriot…I can look past that. Expect similar stats to this all season long.
Ravens vs. Falcons Thurs 7:30pm eastern
Corey Peters – DT Falcons -8/27 vs. PIT – no stats - Corey actually saw some snaps this week, however, he’s still nursing that knee injury from about 3 weeks ago. Expect to see his work load increase.
Eagles vs. Jets Thursday 7:30pm eastern
Trevard Lindley -8/25 vs. CLE – 1 pass deflection – Trevard isn’t going to “WOW” you in the tackling department. He was never known as a heavy hitter, but he’s an excellent coverage back. Listed as 2nd string, expect to see him excel in nickel situations.
John Conner – FB/Terminator Jets. 8/29 vs. NYG – 2 rush 1yd – As a said last week, John isn’t paid to carry the ball, his single goal is to block. Of course, he’ll get some touches here and there, but mainly he’ll pancake either the 1st/2nd level defenders for LT or Greene. Expect him to continue to strike fear in opposing defenses.
Steelers vs. Pathers Thursday 8pm easten
Gary Williams – OT Panthers 8/25 vs. CIN - Starting tackle for the Panthers. Their success will certainly waver on Mr. Williams blocking ability. Cam Newton is officially the starting QB, thus meaning…they’ll have to protect for this young gun quite a bit as he’ll experience one hell of a learning curve. Good luck is all I can say…
Chiefs vs. Packers Thursday 8pm eastern
Micah Johnson – LB Chiefs 8/26 vs. STL – 3 tackles - Micah had a great game against the Rams, but he’s going to have to continue the flow against the Packers. This game will likely determine his future with the Chiefs. I hate to add extra pressure to him, but I’m sure he knows it already. I’m hoping he can stick and be a factor, I always loved watching him at Kentucky. Speed, power and excellent drive….
Tim Masthay – P Packers 8/26 vs. IND – 7 punts, 43.4 avg - I’ve raved about Tim all preseason long and he continues to shine. He is without a doubt, a top 3 punter in the NFL. Many people don’t remember the Colts actually had him and McAfee at the same time. I bet that was a tough decision, both of those player’s are neck and neck in every punting category.
Randall Cobb – WR/KR/PR Packers 8/26 vs. IND – DNP - Still healing from his knee injuries, the Packers decided to have Cobb sit out another game. All signs indicate that he’ll be fine for the opener. Expect Cobb to see the “some” action this week.
Browns vs. Bears Thursday 8pm eastern
Chris Matthews – WR Browns 8/25 vs. PHI – 1 catch, 4 yds, 1 td - When I saw Chris get in the end zone, I almost felt like he was family. I’m cheering for this kid every week as if its his last. I love his attitude and if he continues to do work, he’ll make the squad. The Browns are big on him for obvious reasons (6’4″ with hands). He finally got on the board against the Eagles, expect him to see more action vs. the Bears. Let’s go out there and get another TD, what do you say?
Broncos vs. Cardinals Thursday 10pm eastern
Jeremy Jarmon – DE Broncos. 8/27 vs. SEA – 3 tackles, 1 sack – Jeremy made a huge splash last week against the Seahawks registering his 1st sack of the preseason. That has to be a confidence booster. Facing Kolb this week, you never know what could happen.
Wesley Woodyard – LB Broncos 8/20 vs. OAK – 8/27 vs. SEA – 3 tackles, 1 assist, 0.5 Sacks - Another breakout game for Mr. Woodyard. He continues to have a nose for the ball as he did at Kentucky. Some consider him undersized for the position, but that doesn’t seem to affect his play. I look for a repeat performance this week.
Alfonso Smith – RB Cardinals – 8/27 vs. SD – DNP – Apparently Fonso had a sore hamstring, which forced him to miss the game. Fresh off moving up the depth chart it’s obvious the Cardinals would like to utilize him. I’d be surprised if he plays against the Broncos due to it being the last preseason matchup. Of course, they could use this week as the determining factor on whether or not Fonso’s career is going to continue Arizona. It all depends on the injury. Basically what I’m getting at is, I have no idea what the Cardinals plan on doing with him. This is the same team that cut him twice last season. In my opinion, he’s safe. Take that for what it’s worth.
Ricky Lumpkin – DT Cardinals – 8/27 vs SD – DNP – I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find a solid reason as to why Ricky didn’t see any action. He’s had a great preseason, but I’m not sure if its been enough. He’s listed as 3rd string, which doesn’t bold well making the final roster. Look for him to be practice squad or released. I hope I am completely wrong in saying that…
Raiders vs. Chargers Friday 10:30pm eastern
Glenn Pakulak – P Raiders 8/28 vs. NO – DNP - It appears the Raiders are seeing what they have in Lechler. Most camps believe Pakulak has done enough to earn the starting nod. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Cut by teams
Braxton Kelley – Was listed as 3rd string LB and on Monday he was released. Keep an eye out for him to a early season pick up for someone’s practice squad to provide potential depth.
Derrick Locke – As I stated last week, I was worried about him being a valuable component to the Eagles organization. I questioned the signing due to their depth at running back. I’m hoping Derrick lands on his feet elsewhere, but his back injury seems to be the deciding factor so far.
Mike Hartline – Again, I saw this coming when the Colts signed Kerry Collins last week. It’s going to take time and major effort from Mike for teams to give him another shot. He has the size, but people tend to question his arm strength.
On the eve of Louisville’s first football game, we receive a little basketball news to wet our palates. The latest version of the hoops schedule includes 17 nationally-televised contests, and what is arguably the toughest schedule under coach Rick Pitino. Four out of conference games are against teams in the CBS Sports preseason top 25 poll made shortly after last season – @ Butler, @ UK, Vanderbilt, Memphis. Butler is unlikely to start out in the top 10 as guard Shelvin Mack unexpectedly made the jump to the NBA, but they will still be a very difficult opponent in Hinkle Fieldhouse. As always, the BIG EAST schedule is a grind, playing Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and DePaul twice. Other highlights include a Dec. 23rd matchup against Western Kentucky and an exhibition against Scotty Davenport’s Bellarmine Knights.
Former Louisville great Elvis Dumervil is ready to return to the field after missing all of 2010 with a torn pectoral muscle. Last year, the Broncos made Dumervil one of the highest paid players in the league, offering a 6 year $61.5 million contract. One month later, he tore his pectoral muscle. Dumervil is ready to return after leading the league in sacks in 2009, and is excited to be under defensive minded coach John Fox.