Illinois State: Preview

Illinois State (5-1)

When: Saturday, 1:00pm

Conference: MVC

Watch:  WHAS, BEN, ESPN3

Line: N/A (at time of posting)


What is going on here? 

The Illinois State Redbirds come to town, and they took our old Triple A baseball mascot.  I always wanted to know what happened to our famed triple a baseball mascot.  He flew North West to a little town called Normal, and nothing weird about that.  Even kept his red and white colors.   Apparently, he took Louisville’s old Missouri valley Conference with him.  Louisville won or shared league titles 7 times between 1966-1975.  What are they trying to prove by coming up to Yum!, and throwing pieces of our past in our faces.  I don’t like it.

They are pretty damn good too.  In 2011, they were 21-14 last year that ended in the 2nd round of the NIT (in OT) to Stanford 92-88. Grabbing strong wins against (recent Cards opponent) UNI, Morehead State, Rutgers, and Mississippi.   So far in 2012, they are off to a 5-1 start.  Top wins Drexel and UAB, with a narrow loss to the Big 10’s Northwestern in OT, 72-69.


So why should Cards Fans care?

The MVC has talented teams, Cards need to establish a rhythm with Gorgui out, and Illinois State will not be afraid of the competition.  Cards couldn’t integrate the wings against Duke.  Our wings contribute, Cards win against Duke. Zach and SVT more than covered for lost contribution from Gorgui  Dieng.  The wings, however, had little to no production.  Cards need to get them going against Illinois State in order to handle even stiffer competition heading our way over the next 30 days.  Illinois State will be competing for a MVC title this year, so this is a top 100, maybe top 75 RPI opportunity be year’s end.


About Illinois State

ISU will primary lean on an 8 man rotation.  Tyler Brown is the man to focus on at 18.8 ppg.  Jackie Carmichael and Bryant Allen pitch in 16.2 & 13.0 respectively.  Carmichael leads in what appears to be a team effort in rebounding.  Pitino wants more rebounds out of his guards, and this team will expose that if not improved.  They all go for the rebounds.  They will take those rebounds and pitch to the wings to one of their FOUR shooters over 40% from 3 point range.  Cards get sleepy on D, ISU will be shooting a 3.  Cards Fans are going to see a scrappy team effort out of Illinois State, and they will be throwing themselves around the court.  They average 85 ppg, and their opponents averaging 19 ppg less.  They will challenge for the MVC title this year, and our Cardinals need to be ready.  Coming off a loss, and a 1 week break – I am sure they will be itching to go.


Cards 80 Illinois State 65

Will Stein Press Conference Notes Day After Rutgers Win


Will Stein:

- Great win, dream come true.

- Locker room was wild after the game.

- Stein is excited about the cool t-shirt he got.

- “The legend of Teddy Bridgewater continues to grow every game.”

- Teddy is the heart and soul of this football team.

- “I was just told to manage the game.”

- He told Coach Strong to relax after he slid early on third down and didn’t get the first down.

- Flight back home was loud, he couldn’t get any sleep. Went to sleep at 6:00 am.

- “Season is over yet, just beginning.”

- The game last night will help with recruiting.

- Wednesday Coach Strong told the team not to listen to the rumors about the Auburn job.

- Stein would like to go to the Orange Bowl in Miami, “70 degrees sounds good to me.”

- He would like to play an ACC team to see where the program stacks up now.


Rick Pitino Pre-Illinois State Press Conference Notes



- Two difficult games in a row coming up, Illinois State is a very talented and veteran team.

- Zach Price and Stephen Van Treese are not Gorgui Dieng, guards will have to step up their game.

- Van Treese does a lot of things well, the more you see him the more blemishes you see.

- Chane Behanan has been practicing very well lately.

- Illinois State does a lot of things well, very good.

- Montrezl Harrell is a raw talent, unskilled, but most freshman are like that.

- Van Treese doesn’t have much offensive confidence.

- Called Teddy Bridgewater, Teddy Heisman.

- Don’t think about the conference change much. “We have two years left in the Big East, so that’s what I think about.”

- “We expected to beat Duke, with or without Gorgui.”

- Illinois State mixes up their defense, could be difficult for Price and Van Treese.

- Van Treese and Price draw charges well. Price is perhaps the best on the team at it.

- Gorgui will work on his lower body strength while he is out.

- Gorgui goes to all UofL sports, “Not mens, but womens.”


Louisville vs. Illinois State Preview



Louisville had three tough games in the Battle of Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas last week and are ready to get back to the KFC Yum! Center.

The Louisville Cardinals will take of the Illinois State Redbirds Saturday afternoon.

This will be the first time the two teams have played each other since 1974 when Louisville beat the Redbirds in Freedom Hall, 117-107.

Louisville comes in ranked fifth in the nation with a record of 5-1. The Cardinal lost to Duke in the finals of the Battle of Atlantis tournament Saturday.

Louisville will be without their prized center Gorgui Dieng after he broke his wrist against Missouri last Friday. Dieng is expected to be out four to six weeks.

“With a little luck, Gorgui will be back by the start of our BIG EAST schedule,” said Louisville Coach Rick Pitino via “We will miss his defensive presence and passing ability, but it is time for other guys to step up their performances.”

Illinois State comes into the game after losing to Northwestern Saturday in overtime, 72-69.

Senior Tyler Brown had a career high 36 points in a losing effort for the Redbirds.

Illinois State’s coach, Dan Muller, will plays his almost his entire bench. The Redbirds’ bench averages 27.2 points a game.


Location: KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky.YUMCenter

When: Saturday, December 1 at 1:07 p.m. ET

Watch: WHAS in Louisville, Ky.

Online: ESPN3


Listen: WKRD Radio (790 AM) in Louisville, Ky.

WJBC Radio (93.7 FM) in Chicago, Ill.


Starting Lineups

Illinois State

F Jon Ekey, 6’7″, 220 pounds

PF Jackie Carmichael, 6’9″, 240 pounds

G Tyler Brown, 6’4″, 185 pounds

G Kaza Keane, 6’1″, 185 pounds

G Bryant Allen, 6’0″, 180 pounds



C Zach Price, 6’10”, 250 pounds

PF Chane Behanan, 6’6”, 250 pounds

F Wayne Blackshear, 6’5”, 230 pounds

G Russ Smith, 6’0”, 165 pounds

PG Peyton Siva, 6’0”, 185 pounds




Matchup to Watch: Zach Price vs. Jackie Carmichael

Since Dieng is out for the Cardinals, Louisville needs someone to step up at the center position every game.

Price, who started against Duke Saturday, has some experience but has not developed as quickly as most Louisville fans would like. He averages one points and 1.6 rebounds a game.

Senior Stephen Van Treese will also have some quality minutes at the center position off the bench.

Carmichael is a very talented and experienced senior for the Redbirds. He is their second leading scorer this season with 16.2 points a game, he also leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 per game.


Game Notes

- Illinois State averages 85 points a game and has allowed just 66.5 points per game by their opponents.

- Louisville averages 74.2 points a game and has allowed 54.5 points per game by their opponents.

- Senior point guard Peyton Siva is 119 points away from having 1,000 career points at Louisville.

- Illinois State averages 18.3 assists a game.

- Louisville averages 40.8 rebounds a game.

- Louisville’s Russ Smith is 12th in the nation in steals with three a game.Siva is tied for  18th with 12.83.

- Peyton Siva is 21st in the nation in assists with 6.3 a game.

- Illinois has a 50.5 percent field goal percentage so far this season.


Game Predictions

Louisville should win this game, but they cannot take the Redbirds for granted.

Illinois State will try to stay in the game with their outside shooting.

Louisville’s guard will bring pressure the entire game, they will score a lot of their points off of turnovers.

Wayne Blackshear will lead the Cardinals in scoring with 18 points.

Chane Behanan will have a double-double and lead Louisville in rebounding.

Freshman Montrezl Harrell will give Louisville a spark off the bench, he will be used at the power forward and center position.


Louisville will win 78-65.


You can follow Jon on Twitter @JonKYSportsCo.

Sheriff REVIEW Louisville Wins Big East/BCS Bid Over Rutgers 20-17

Teddy Bridgewater came to New Jersey in a walking boot, a brace/cast on his wrist and uncertainty of whether or not he would even play against Rutgers.  But the sophomore signal caller would play, and 52,798 Scarlet Knight fans would be subject to watching one of the gutsiest performances in college football.  Bridgewater would finish 20 of 28 for 263 yards and 2 Touchdowns after Will Stein started the game and Teddy didn’t see the field until the 2nd quarter.

In warm-ups I watched Teddy intently.  He didn’t come out at first and then when he did finally emerge from the locker room in pads he wasn’t overly enthusiastic while warming up.  Charlie Strong said during his post-game that Teddy came to him during the 1st quarter that he was ready, but by then the Scarlet Knights were already on the board.  In fact, it took just one offensive snap for Rutgers to score after Calvin Pryor missed a tackle and knocked CB Terrell Floyd off his man and Gary Nova had an 85-yard TD pass to Brandon Coleman.  It was an unfortunate start to the game considering Louisville had two players there ready to make a tackle, but sometimes defensive players can block their own team when they don’t wrap up the tackle.

Louisville had trouble running the ball all evening. The Cards finished with just 42 yards on the ground, but Rutgers struggled as well with just 56 of their own.  When it comes down to a game where the Quarterback must win the game Louisville obviously had the advantage even despite Bridgewater having just one arm and one leg.   Nova finished 13 of 28 for 284 yards, 2 Touchdowns, and 2 Interceptions.  Not a terrible game, but consider that 153 yards came on two busted plays and neither came in the 2nd half, and that should tell the story of how well the Louisville defense played all evening in Piscataway. The Cards also gave up a LONG TD  to Mark Harrison from Nova after James Burgess just blew a tackle in the 2nd quarter.  The 85-yarder I can live with because freakish things can happen in sports.  But Burgess missing that tackle really bothered me.  But Burgess would make up for it later……

Meanwhile, the Cards were struggling to move the ball and it wasn’t until Rutgers squandered a scoring opportunity with a fake (maybe botched) field goal attempt that ended up a Touchdown was called back due to ineligible man downfield, that the Cards began moving the ball in earnest.  Louisville got the ball with 8:35 to go in the 3rd quarter and put together a 14-play, 90 yard Touchdown drive that was capped off with a Jeremy Wright shuttle pass reception for 14-yards.  Prior to this drive, it was evident that Louisville’s interior offensive line was getting dominated.  DT Scott Vallone was dominating inside and rendering Louisville’s running game useless.  The TD narrowed the margin to 14-10 and created the possibility of victory.

At this point in time the Louisville sideline was through the roof.  They were bouncing up and down, yelling, screaming.  They had swagger.  And it just takes one play, one instant to put things on their head and the Cardinals got that moment when Jeremy Deering was ROCKED by Terrell Floyd (both players went down on the hit) and the ball came loose only for Calvin Pryor to recover on the Rutgers 20.  And then, like so many other times in the REDZONE the Cards went to their Touchdown ATM in DeVante Parker and it took just one play for Louisville to take a 17-14 lead.  Parker was double covered, but like he’s shown so many times before he has the ability to go up and get the ball like no one else.  It does help quite a bit that Teddy Bridgewater puts it in a place where only Parker can catch it.  But this exchange was the ENTIRE game.  It gave the Cards the lead and put them in position to win.

I spent the entire 4th quarter on the field.  Nervous energy kept me there, and the amount of trash talk from the Rutgers fans to the Louisville sideline during this time probably fueled a great deal of the Cardinal energy.  Much of what was said isn’t fit for print, but the Cards had the lead and Rutgers hadn’t done much on offense when the Cardinals weren’t missing tackles.  Things didn’t change, except for when a Teddy Bridgewater pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and intercepted by Lorenzo Waters and returned to the Louisville 42.  The Scarlet Knights needed just 21 yards before a Nick Borgese (back-up kicking due to injury) hit a 38-yard field goal to knot the game at 17.

After a HUGE catch from Eli Rogers Louisville would eventually have to punt after a Teddy Bridgewater sack on 3rd down.  Rutgers found itself with 4:39 on the clock facing 3rd & 8 when James Burgess got his redemption and intercepted Gary Nova and gave the Cards the ball with FANTASTIC field position.  There was an unsportsmanlike flag on the play. I don’t know if it was for celebration or a personal foul. There was a lengthy scrum on the Louisville sideline with Rutgers and Louisville players going back and forth.  I was TOO CLOSE to really see what was happening in the mass of humanity, but I do know that Coach Strong was really upset with the flag which took the ball from the Rutgers 32, (49-yard field goal range) to the RU 47 (out of field goal range).  But Andrell Smith and Teddy Bridgewater connected on a HUGE 30-yard reception on the following play that eventually led to a chip shot 29-yard John Wallace field goal in what was the game deciding score at 20-17.

Rutgers got the ball back with 1:35, down 3 and moved the ball to midfield on one of the most bizarre plays I’ve seen on 1st down with about 1:12 remaining.  Gary Nova just threw it up to no one, and Terrell Floyd ran it down and caught it for the game clinching interception.  I’m going to have to go back and see this particular play on film, but I can’t imagine why the receiver wasn’t there or why Nova threw it there.  It was just, Floyd….all alone with the conference championship and a BCS bid on the line and a Gary Nova pass.  Twilight Zone stuff.

From there it was a simple kneel down.  The Cards who hadn’t won a game since November 3rd finally notched their 10th win of the 2012 season, grabbed the Big East Title, and earned their first BCS bowl since the 2006 Orange Bowl. Louisville had the ball for 42:11 of the game and ran 80 plays to Rutgers’ 45.  Clearly the object was to control the ball and limit the Scarlet Knight opportunities. In fact, the longest Rutgers had the ball in any one quarter was 5:02 in the 4th quarter.  The Cards were 8 of 19 on 3rd down and limited RU to a pedestrian 3 of 11 to boot.  I have to credit the game plan and Louisville’s ability to stick with that game plan throughout.  The way this game was played it was all about just grinding and not making mistakes and waiting to capitalize on Rutgers’ mistakes.  If not for 2 busted tackles this game isn’t as exciting.

The past 48 hours have been an absolute whirlwind and a stark contrast to last Saturday.  Last Saturday Wristpacolyspe befell CardNation when Teddy Bridgewater and Gorgui Dieng were diagnosed with broken wrists, and Louisville Football fell in triple overtime to the Connecticut Huskies and Louisville Basketball fell to the Duke Blue Devils.  The Karma seemed to change Wednesday morning with the news that Louisville would be joining the ACC, and then rumors about Charlie Strong to Auburn began popping up in the national media, which Coach Strong vehemently has denied.  Then coming into the game for the Big East Championship the Cards were not sure whether or not they would have Teddy Bridgewater available, to come in and win like this just caps off a roller coaster of emotion for CardNation.

At this point I couldn’t be happier about being a Card Fan.  Conference Title in hand. BCS Bowl to be announced Sunday.  Membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  I don’t believe that Charlie Strong takes another job.  I’m not saying that he won’t, he certainly left the door open in his press conference……BUT I really don’t see why he would leave the Cards with an entire team returning in 2013 that has one of the most special players in college football as its center piece.  Couple that with the fact that Charlie is already a Top 20 paid coach with an athletic director committed to matching any offer to go along with ACC membership and it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Coach Strong to leave Louisville now, if ever.  But IF Coach Strong is going to move on to a different position the pay off is after 2013, not after 2012.  It just doesn’t make sense for him to leave for a ‘good’ job.  He’ll leave for a ‘GREAT’ job and there are only 10 of those in CFB.

Right now it looks like the Orange or Sugar Bowl for Louisville all depending on Kent State’s final ranking.  We can all laugh about how Kent State (a team Kentucky beat handily) is affecting the BCS picture later.  But for now, it seems like a pretty cut and dry case that Louisville is either going to face Florida in the Sugar Bowl, or Florida State (OK maybe Georgia Tech) in the Orange Bowl.  Either way, the exposure that Charlie Strong and this football program is going to get over the next month in the state of Florida and nationally is going to be INVALUABLE with recruits not just for the 2013 class (it will be small) but for 2014 (a potentially HUGE class) and beyond.  It’s no secret that Louisville and Charlie Strong have built this team with a huge lift from Florida players, having Coach Strong & Staff in Miami for bowl prep for 10 days definitely isn’t going to hurt.

My head is spinning thinking of everything that happened tonight.  Hopefully if you followed me on Twitter and read my preview (which I nailed the final score right on the money) you enjoyed the coverage of this epic game.  There is so much more to come, I’ll make sure to add videos and tidbits as I find them.  Also be sure to look out for CrumsRevenge’s Highlight VIDEO on Monday Morning as usual! GO CARDS!!!!  Make sure to book your hotels, flights, and get your BOWL TICKETS THIS WEEK!!!!!

Louisville is BCS Bound After Beating Rutgers With Injured Bridgewater



Louisville is now heading to a BCS bowl after winning a tough game against Rutgers on the road, 20-17.

The Cardinals came into the game unranked after losing two straight conference games, but still had hopes of winning the Big East conference and head to a BCS bowl.

Louisville started former walk-on Will Stein after Teddy Bridgewater broke his left wrist and sprained his ankle in Saturday’s game against UConn.

Stein led the Cardinals the complete first quarter, but were unable to get any rhythm on offense.

Bridgewater was able to get the offense rolling in the second quarter to get kicker John Wallace close enough to hit a 20 yard field goal.

Louisville went into halftime down 14-3.

Bridgewater took charge in the second half and led the team on a 90-yard dive, completing a shuffle pass to Jeremy Wright for a touchdown.

Louisville then forced a fumble on the kickoff and got the ball back on the 20-yard line.

Bridgewater then threw it up to DeVante Parker for a spectacular touchdown catch, making it 17-14 Cardinals.

Even Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman hopeful Johnny Manziel took notice of Bridgewater’s impressive play.


Rutgers were able to tie the game with just over two minutes left in the game. Bridgewater and the Louisville offense drove down the field quickly and set up an easy field goal for John Wallace.

Rutger’s quarterback, Gary Nova, had plenty of time to drive the Scarlet Knights down the field, but threw an interception to Terrell Floyd.

Will Stein was able to kneel the ball to end the game.


Teddy Bridgewater, who was unable to practice the entire week, had 263 yards passing and two touchdowns.

“They have a tremendous playmaker at the quarterback position,” Rutgers coach Kyle Flood said after the game via “We just weren’t able to match him in the end.”

Floyd told Tim Sullivan of the Courier Journal about Bridgewater, “Some of those throws he made, I don’t see any other kid in our league who can make those throws,”

Louisville is still a very young football team and have only scratched the surface of what they can accomplish.

The team not only showed their poise to fight back, but also showed they can stay focus despite hearing rumors all week that their head coach, Charlie Strong, has interviewed for the Auburn job.

The University of Louisville has had an incredible past two days. The university was voted into the ACC Wednesday and now the Cardinals will be heading to either the Orange Bowl or the Sugar Bowl.


The BCS bowl matchups will be announced Sunday at 8:30 p.m. E.T. on ESPN.

Louisville ends the regular season with a record of 10-2, which is the best record since 2006 when the Cardinals went to the Orange Bowl.


Charlie Strong said after the game via

For us to go on the road and win the championship, it’s so special. It’s special for this program. It’s special for the University. It’s special for our fans and for the city of Louisville. It’s just special. I’m just so happy for us to get to a 10-win season, go win us a conference title and get us to a BCS bowl.”

This is Louisville’s second straight year winning the Big East title.

Louisville fans can order their bowl tickets on



Game Stats



FIRST DOWNS................... 22 9
  Rushing.....................        6        1
  Passing.....................       15        8
  Penalty.....................        1        0
NET YARDS RUSHING............. 42 54
  Rushing Attempts............       41       17
  Average Per Rush............      1.0      3.2
  Rushing Touchdowns..........        0        0
  Yards Gained Rushing........       92       56
  Yards Lost Rushing..........       50        2
NET YARDS PASSING............. 322 284
  Completions-Attempts-Int....  28-39-1  13-28-2
  Average Per Attempt.........      8.3     10.1
  Average Per Completion......     11.5     21.8
  Passing Touchdowns..........        2        2
TOTAL OFFENSE YARDS........... 364 338
  Total offense plays.........       80       45
  Average Gain Per Play.......      4.6      7.5
Fumbles: Number-Lost..........      0-0      1-1
Penalties: Number-Yards.......     6-52     3-35
PUNTS-YARDS...................    5-209    5-153
  Average Yards Per Punt......     41.8     30.6
  Net Yards Per Punt..........     41.6     30.4
  Inside 20...................        4        1
  50+ Yards...................        1        0
  Touchbacks..................        0        0
  Fair catch..................        2        0
KICKOFFS-YARDS................    5-283    4-229
  Average Yards Per Kickoff...     56.6     57.2
  Net Yards Per Kickoff.......     41.6     42.2
  Touchbacks..................        0        0
Punt returns: Number-Yards-TD.    2-1-0    1-1-0
  Average Per Return..........      0.5      1.0
Kickoff returns: Number-Yds-TD   4-60-0   5-75-0
  Average Per Return..........     15.0     15.0
Interceptions: Number-Yds-TD..   2-15-0   1-29-0
Fumble Returns: Number-Yds-TD.    1-5-0    0-0-0
Miscellaneous Yards...........        0        0
Possession Time...............    42:11    17:49
  1st Quarter.................    10:07     4:53
  2nd Quarter.................    11:23     3:37
  3rd Quarter.................    10:43     4:17
  4th Quarter.................     9:58     5:02
Third-Down Conversions........  8 of 19  3 of 11
Fourth-Down Conversions.......   1 of 2   0 of 1
Red-Zone Scores-Chances.......      4-4      0-0
  Touchdowns..................      2-4      0-0
  Field goals.................      2-4      0-0
Sacks By: Number-Yards........      0-0     3-25
PAT Kicks.....................      2-2      2-2
Field Goals...................      2-3      1-1