Petrino hoping Cards peak at the right time for nationally televised showdown with Clemson

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Let the hype begin. Actually, it already had, with the announcement over the weekend that ESPN’s “College Game Day” would be visiting Louisville for the second season in a row to showcase the No. 14 Cardinals’ (2-0, 1-0 ACC) crucial showdown with No. 3 Clemson (2-0, 0-0) Saturday night. The buildup will continue to escalate throughout the week, so...

Cards overcome mistakes, but narrow win can’t disguise big problems for the Cards

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Yes, Lamar Jackson turned in another solid, and game-saving, performance. True, the defense came through with several big plays at crunch time. Those are the highlights from the University of Louisville’s opening 35-28 victory over Purdue in front of 37,394 fans Saturday night in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Other than that, the No. 16 Cardinals — a 25-point...

Louisville star quarterback Jackson not concerned about repeat Heisman performance

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today A year ago at this time as an unproven sophomore, Lamar Jackson wasn’t thinking about winning the Heisman Trophy, and he is taking the same approach as the No. 16 University of Louisville football team heads into its season opener against Purdue on Saturday. Jackson could become the first player to win the Heisman twice since the award started in 1935, a feat that...

New coordinator Sirmon seeks to put some ‘magic’ back in Louisville’s defensive set

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today At first glance, the University of Louisville football team’s defense enjoyed a successful season in 2016. After all, the Cardinals finished No. 14 nationally among the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in total defense, allowing 322.2 yards per game. The defense was also far above average in stripping the football and intercepting passes, forcing 25 turnovers,...

After moving all over the field, versatile Bonnafon finally finds a home in Louisville’s backfield

By Russ Brown Kentucky Today Throughout his career on the University of Louisville football team, Reggie Bonnafon has made more moves than Atlas Van Lines, but all signs currently point to his vagabond days finally coming to an end. His athletcism and versatility may have been his worst enemies in the failure of the coaching staff to settle Bonnafon into a permanent role. As a true freshman, he started...

After another disappointing College World Series exit, McDonnell loses cool as Cards lose to TCU

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — A College World Series appearance that began with such promise for the University of Louisville baseball team ended in the same way the Cardinals’ other trips to Omaha have: with another bitterly disappointing, frustrating loss and a 1-2 record. After opening last Friday with an 8-4 win over Texas A&M, No. 7 UofL (53-12) couldn’t...

Confident Cards seeking to bring an end to losing streak, enjoy a longer stay in College World Series

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Apparently, Logan Taylor needed some practice. Not in center field, where he excels in chasing down fly balls for the University of Louisville baseball team, but in that traditional ritual — the dog pile. A staple in college baseball meant to celebrate championship victories, it involves a scrum on or near the pitcher’s mound immediately...

With MLB Draft out of the way, McKay’s thoughts turn to helping Cards win a national title

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — The pressure of the Major League Draft has finally been lifted from two-way star Brendan McKay’s shoulders. Now he can concentrate on helping the University of Louisville baseball team earn some unprecedented success in the College World Series, beginning this weekend. When the draft started early Monday evening, McKay didn’t have...

Omaha Bound: Cards end Wildcats’ record-setting season with 6-2 victory for College World Series berth

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — The University of Louisville’s determined baseball players had waited three years for this moment, so that made it even sweeter. Easing, if not erasing, the pain and frustration of late-inning upset losses in the last two NCAA Super Regionals, the No. 7-seeded Cardinals (52-10) earned their fourth trip to the College World Series in Omaha,...

McClure draws surprising start for Cards against Wildcats, not two-time Player of the Year McKay

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Kentucky won’t see college baseball’s two-time player of the year until at least Saturday in the NCAA Super Regional — on the mound, anyway. In something of a surprise move, UofL coach Dan McDonnell announced Thursday afternoon that the Cards will start junior righthander Kade McClure (7-3, 3.63 ERA) instead of junior lefty...

McKay’s advice to Cards: Ignore MLB draft, focus on earning fifth straight NCAA Regional crown

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — After the University of Louisville’s top-seeded baseball team was unceremoniously dumped by Florida State a week ago in the ACC Tournament while handing the Cardinals their fourth loss in five games, star two-way player Brandon McKay seemed to indicate that some of his teammates were being distracted by the upcoming Major League first-year...

With new hairstyles to go with an edge, Cards hit reset button for ACC in a dry run for NCAA tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — In a show of unity heading into postseason action, most of the University of Louisville baseball players have changed their hairstyles. There’s ace pitcher Brendan McKay with dyed blonde locks. Second baseman Devin Mann with cornrows (not a good look, teammate Devin Hairston observed). Pitcher Jake Sparger sporting a red mohawk. And a...

Ellis, second-ranked Cards on a roll as momentum builds down the stretch for NCAA postseason play

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — After practice Monday afternoon, Drew Ellis hit the links for a round of golf with a few of his University of Louisville baseball teammates, one of the ways he tries to relieve the pressure of being one of the top players on one of the best college teams in America. “I try to stay relaxed, stay as loose as possible and just have fun with...

Heisman Trophy winner Jackson stars in U of L spring game; newcomer Fitzpatrick also impressive

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — After last year’s 73-7 Red romp, Bobby Petrino thought he had divided his University of Louisville football team more evenly for Saturday’s Red-White spring intrasquad game by splitting the starters to make it more competitive. But with Lamar Jackson around, there was very little Petrino could do short of surrounding his star quarterback...

Looking Ahead: Mitchell’s return could be a key for Cards as plenty of veterans, top recruits raise hopes

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Donovan Mitchell sat in front of his locker in Bankers Life Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis Sunday afternoon patiently answering questions while trying to process the fact that Louisville’s college basketball season had ended three games short of its NCAA Final Four goal. “This hurts. This sucks,” Mitchell said. “We...

Cards will try to cool off hot-shooting Michigan with a trip to the Sweet Sixteen on the line

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent The last time Louisville and Michigan met, it was for the national championship. This time the stakes aren’t quite as high, but they’re high enough, with each team needing a victory to keep this year’s title hopes alive. UofL (25-8), the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Regional, dispatched No. 15 Jacksonville State (20-15) 78-63 in Bankers Life Fieldhouse...

Pitino feeling good about Cards heading into NCAA Championship play, cites play of Mango and Adel

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE–Forget Louisville’s early exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. Never mind that the Cardinals dropped three of their last five games. None of that matters to coach Rick Pitino, who said Monday afternoon that he has seen his team make significant strides lately and is confident going into the NCAA Tournament Friday. UofL (24-8)...

UofL’s No. 2 seed in NCAA a mild surprise, Cards will meet Jacksonville State in Indianapolis

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — By almost any measure, Louisville’s basketball team got a very favorable — and somewhat surprising — path in the NCAA Tournament pairings that were announced Sunday night by the Selection Committee. After losing three of their last five games, including a one-and-done defeat against Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament...

Old problems crop up again for Cards as Duke rallies for 81-77 win in ACC tourney

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent Sure, Louisville had a difficult time trying to contain Luke Kennard, Jason Tatum and Grayson Allen. But that trio’s substantial damage aside, the No.4-seeded Cardinals were there own worst enemy in Thursday’s 81-77 loss to No. 5 Duke in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Chalk up UofL’s...

Pitino wants rematches in ACC tourney, but Cards facing a rough road in return to postseason action

By Russ Brown KyForward correspondent LOUISVILLE — Revenge of sorts was on coach Rick Pitino’s mind when his thoughts turned to the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament following Louisville’s 71-64 victory over Notre Dame Saturday afternoon. “We’d like to play some of the teams that beat us,” Pitino said before the seeds were finalized. But he will have to wait awhile...