|Cardinals try to move on after Kentucky loss|
|Written by Admin|
|Monday, 01 September 2008 22:18|
Monday's session proved to be more difficult than most.
``When you lose a football game and you have to go back and watch it again, it's painful,'' Kragthorpe said one day after the Cardinals were drilled 27-2 by rival Kentucky. ``There were a lot of mistakes we were making, a lot of mistakes we wish we could go back and do over, but you don't get a second chance.''
Instead, the Cardinals will try to plow forward, though the going won't be easy. One of the nation's top offenses for most of the last decade, Louisville's retooled unit looked dismal against the Wildcats. The Cardinals managed just 205 yards of total offense - less than half what they averaged per game a season ago - and struggled to develop any sort of rhythm.
Though Kragthorpe praised Kentucky's play, he saw plenty of missed assignments and mental errors by his players that helped the Wildcats along.
``A lot of our errors were unforced errors, errors where we didn't execute as well as we're capable of playing,'' he said.
Nobody was immune. Quarterback Hunter Cantwell, who had played spectacularly at times in relief of former star Brian Brohm over the last three years, seemed rushed in his first start in almost two seasons.
He overthrew receivers and lacked any sort of touch, instead opting to fire the ball at his targets when a little finesse would have helped. Cantwell finished 20-of-43 for 152 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.
It was Louisville's first game without a touchdown pass since a win over Syracuse in 2006.
``We missed some deep throws, some of those we've got to put our hands on them and catch them, and some of those we've got to get more trajectory on them so (the receivers) can find the ball a little easier,'' Kragthorpe said.
The running game, a focal point for new offensive coordinator Jeff Brohm during training camp, didn't help. The Cardinals ran for 53 yards on 29 carries - a 1.8 average - and failed to muscle for the tough yards when they needed it.
Trailing 10-0 late in the second quarter, Kragthorpe opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Kentucky 21. Brock Bolen, however, was stuffed for no gain while testing the left side. The Cardinals would take only one snap closer to Kentucky's end zone the rest of the game.
``Everybody can be more consistent in terms of their assignments and in terms of executing those plays,'' Kragthorpe said.
There were some bright spots for the Cardinals, mostly on defense. Kentucky scored just one offensive touchdown, and that was after an interception put the Wildcats inside the Louisville 10. The linebackers, all making their first starts, played well and shut down Kentucky's running attack. Sophomore wide receiver Doug Beaumont caught nearly everything that came his way, hauling in nine receptions for 76 yards.
``This team will bounce back, I'm confident of that,'' Kragthorpe said. ``This coaching staff will bounce back. You put it behind you, you learn from it, certainly you don't forget it. If you forget this loss, you're not much of a man in my opinion. This ought to stick in your craw.''