Hell in the Hall – Louisville Sports Blog

Dedicated to the joyful noise of the Card faithful

The Game within a Game…

Posted by frankpos on October 11, 2009

The Cards finally grabbed their second W this season, coming from behind with just over 2 minutes to go, to nail So. Miss 25-23 in the waning seconds on Ryan Payne’s barefoot 32 yd field goal.

Payne’s game-winner– his  first try at one ever–was set up by Trent Guy’s sizzling kick-off return of 64 yds with 2:13 to go, after So. Miss had retaken the lead 23-22 on  it’s own strong 80 yd drive.

Before that, Scott Long had changed the game momentum entirely with  a U of L record 92 yd touchdown pass reception, as the Cards overcame a 16-7 halftime lead –and dominance–by USM.

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so miss payne 2 3999925225_dbee4fcf9c

All eyes up...

All eyes up...

Good !   and bro-hug time...

Good ! and bro-hug time...

An elated--and relieved--Ryan Payne after the game winner.

An elated--and relieved--Ryan Payne after the game winner.

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BTW, it is well known and groaned that U of L has had its problems with making field goals.  But Ryan Payne is Louisville’s “Rudy’– a walk-on with no scholarship.  He has played football –high school or college– only 2 yrs.  He was a soccer star before that.  Even though he has been a walk-on now for two yrs, he has been thrust into the limelight both years, when scholarship players failed.

This season, Ryan has been instrumental in both victories this year and has now converted on 7 out of 10– including his longest–a 42 ydr– and now this game winner.  He is one of the few “feel -good” stories of this difficult season. See the sidebars on this site for my interview with Ryan.

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Vic Anderson got more touches this game, leading the ground assault with 90 yds--and averaging 6.2 yds/carry.  He hobbled into the post game presser with a smile on his face, and an ice pack on his knee--minor strain, nothing serious.

Vic Anderson got more touches this game, leading the ground assault with 90 yds--and averaging 6.2 yds/carry. He hobbled into the post game presser with a smile on his face, and an ice pack on his knee--minor strain, nothing serious.

Strangely, Ryan was not one of the 5 players Koach chose to talk at the presser.  He was not asked to speak to the press in the other victory either, in which he played a key role.   Not sure why….

I had a chance to talk to Ryan after his victory lap with the other players around the stadium. He naturally was  beaming from the testosterone and the rare glory of a game-winner.

He grinned and laughed: “Yeah, I was REALLY nervous when I went  out there.  I knew when they (USM) scored that I might get to do it.  So I started warming up and  concentrate.  And when Trent returned that kick-off, I figured, yeah, it’s  going to  be up to me.”

I left him living a walk-on’s dream–signing autographs and having pics taken with pretty girls…

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Scott Long was upended on this catch--but hung on-- for one of his career high 5 catches for 146 yds.  He also changed the whole momentum of the game with his 92 yd reception and TD that finally grabbed the lead for the Cards in the key 3rd qtr.

Scott Long was upended on this catch--but hung on-- for one of his career high 5 catches for 146 yds. He also changed the whole momentum of the game with his 92 yd reception and TD that finally grabbed the lead for the Cards in the key 3rd qtr.

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Matt (kylures) took the pics for Hell in the Hall– here’s the link to about a zillion pics he took of last night’s game.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylures/sets/72157622435292597/

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QB Adam Froman was effective running the ball (4 carries for 19 yrds), as well as throwing (14-26 and 1 TD with 1 interception.)

QB Adam Froman was effective running the ball (4 carries for 19 yrds), as well as throwing (14-26 and 1 TD with 1 interception.)

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The size of the crowd for a homecoming game on a perfect autumn evening was depressingly sparse, with only about 3/4 of the stadium filled.  And by the end of the game–a game with an exciting finish, mind you–  a good half of the stadium was empty.  The fans still there, though, had migrated down toward the field and were raucous at the end and in victory.

Related to this:  I tried to give my 2 Brown & Williamson Club tix away for 5 hrs before the game….no takers.  Never happened before….

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Trent Guy at the post game presser; Guy gunned it for 64 yds to set up the winning FG, on a specially designed play.

Trent Guy at the post game presser; Guy gunned it for 64 yds to set up the winning FG, on a specially designed play.

Where was Jurich?  Well, right there in his box as usual, thank you, seemingly sewn into his signature black turtleneck.

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Yes, there was a football game played.  And another game was also being played all night long in the press box and at the post-game presser.

This latter game circled carefully about the 2 ton pink elephant in the room– “rumors.”

I was at the post-game presser.

K stated everything u would expect him to say when not questioned too hard: Said he was staying “for the long haul.”  Said he was hired to do a job and was going to do it.  Repeated again that he and TJ had not “talked.”

But… no one really put him on the spot with specific questions–such as 1)what “long haul” really meant now, 2)whether there had been ANY  contact whatsoever  between either him or his representatives and with U of L or its representatives concerning his employment, or 3) even if a candidate search was indeed going on.

Naw, I didn’t go there either, although I and others were sorely tempted I’m sure, but….

After a come-from-behind, feel good moment like the end of the game–after so many losses– I believe no one in that presser wanted to push too hard with pointed hard questions.  C-J’s Eric Crawford and others danced around the issue, asking  K and each of the players how they “dealt” with “it”. (“It” being very vaguely defined as “the rumors.”)  Eric was the most probing, and at least got K to go on record that he wasn’t thinking about going anywhere, anytime soon.

K allowed that “it” did affect his family– he mentioned his wife in particular, and  said it was hard on his family.

Obviously also  the players were at least aware of  “it’– Vic was the most specific, stating he had received numerous texts but he just ignored them, and he and the team were not going to worry about them “until they heard something official.”  This last comment raised a few eyebrows.

There was NEVER  a direct statement by K or any of the players that these rumors were absolutely false –or that K would be back next yr. The players simply stated that they supported K and were ignoring “it”.

As had already been pointed out by top insiders throughout Card Land on the message boards and blogs,  K will most likely stay through this season–so this presser contained  really no big surprise.  If we had lost the game by 20–as it appeared we might do at halftime–then the presser might have been a lot different –and tougher–I believe.

K bought himself some lessening of the intense pressure of  “it” with this temporary feel-good 2 pt victory over a middling C-USA team, without it’s starting QB.

But let me assure you:    “it” ain’t going way…

A well deserved victory lap...

A well deserved victory lap...

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2 Responses to “The Game within a Game…”

  1. kylures said

    The thing that I took away from this game was that the leaders of the team put a lot of noise out of their mind and went out and took the game. In a game that went back and forth repeatedly, they kept making the plays that they had to in order to win. The catch by Scott Long in the third quarter for a 92 yard play was one of the gutsiest plays I have seen. The ball was underthrown, and Long just came back on got it in double coverage. While you wish our defense could have held them in the fourth quarter, USM was a tough and worthy team that came back and took the lead. But for Louisville to dig it out from there, took another couple of players to step up and make the big play. This was one game that the players really, really wanted, and the effort showed.

  2. sonja said

    And the rumors just kept flying last night at the name. Chucky was in Owsley Frazier’s box watching the game. No, wait that’s Tuberville up there.Charlie Strong is reviewing the tape and will call Jurich next week with suggestions and instructions on hlow the team should play UConn.

    Yes, Virginia…the rumor mongers were in orgasmic frenzy last night. The Grudenities won in convincing fashion against the Tuberians…with the Strongers and Fulmeradians far behind in the polls.

    Best one I heard last night goes to the rather intoxicated young man who
    swore up and down that Schnellenberger and Brohm were leaving FAU to take over the Cards.

    And Crum is replacing Pitino with Wade Houston at his side also, right?

    The execution may have been delayed last night but the death penalty….to paraphrase the Great and Powerful Howard:

    “The only variable is time”

    (Pay no attention to that man in the black turtleneck behind the curtain.)

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