--By Jared Anderson
--Photo by Jared Annderson
Louisville's 1-1 start was expected by most for this year after falling to Alabama in the season opener and defeated Indiana State in week two. Still, fans have been concerned about the 2018 team based off of appearance.
Alabama has been a national powerhouse since Nick Saban arrived in 2007. In his first season the Crimson Tide went 7-6. Since then their worst season was a 10-3 "bump" in 2010. They demolished Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl at the end of the season. Besides Saban's first year Alabama has not lost to an unranked team. The lowest ranked team to earn the honors was #19 South Carolina on Oct. 9, 2010. Louisville scored 14 points against the Crimson Tide, slightly above average for points scored against Alabama by unranked teams.
Louisville came into the game with a few obstacles. Jawon "Puma" Pass got his first start under center after Lamar Jackson went to the NFL. We saw a little of Puma late in games last year picking up scrap time. Jaylen Smith was uncertain going into the game following emergency surgery a couple weeks before. He played but did not appear to be 100%. Brian VanGorder had his first game as defensive coordinator and the defense appeared to be still adjusting to his gameplan. The lack of Jaire Alexander proved fatal in the passing game as Alabama passed for nearly 300 yards and totaled two touchdowns in the air.
Here is a list of every Alabama loss since 2008:
11/25/2017: 26-14 @ #6 Auburn
1/10/2017: 35-31 vs #2 Clemson (National Championship)
9/19/2015: 43-37 vs #11 Ole Miss
1/1/2015: 42-35 vs #4 Ohio State (All State Sugar Bowl)
10/4/2014: 23-17 @ #11 Ole Miss
1/2/2014: 45-31 vs #10 Oklahoma (All State Sugar Bowl)
11/30/2013: 34-28 @ #4 Auburn (Chris Davis returns missed field goal for a touchdown)
11/10/2012: 29-24 vs #15 Texas A&M
11/5/2011: 9-6 @ #1 LSU
11/26/2010: 28-27 vs #2 Auburn
11/6/2010: 24-21 @ #12 LSU
10/9/2010: 35-21 @ #19 South Carolina
1/2/2009: 31-17 vs ##6 Utah (All State Sugar Bowl)
12/6/2008: 31-20 vs #2 Florida (SEC Championship)
In their second game of the season, Louisville got off to a snails pace against Indiana State, ultimately outlasting to Sycamores 31-7. Several weather delays and a monsoon that flooded parts of the field interrupted gameplay. Pass, who is a pocket quarterback instead of a Lamar-like rushing quarterback. An aerial attack does not bode well in wet conditions, often causing a misfire by the quarterback or an easy drop by a wide receiver. The delays also prevented Louisville's offense from ever building momentum in the first half.
Indiana State, a primarily running football team, was able to continue with their gameplan of the ground game. They took advantage of the constant delays and a frustrated Louisville team. As the weather lightened up and the delays stopped Louisville was able to settle in and pull away in the second half thanks to a surprising performance by backup quarterback Malik Cunningham.
Louisville's game against Western Kentucky will give fans the best idea of how the team looks. The weather looks clear *knocks on wood* and everyone looks healthy and ready to go for Saturday.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m., and the new expansion appears to be fully completed.