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Stream of Consciousness Notes - Orange Bowl

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 2, 2007


It wasn't bad. The 2007 Orange Bowl wasn't a thrill-fest, but Louisville and Wake Forest played well with the Cardinals winning 24-13. Pete Fiutak gives his thoughts in his Stream of Consciousness Game Notes.



By Pete Fiutak
Welcome again to my pretentious, goofy and self-serving stream-of-consciousness thoughts and notes on the big games, the broadcasts, the ads and the teams for the attention deficit disordered. E-mail me with your own thoughts and notes and what you'd like to see. 

Pregame 

- I bombed philosophy in college, so I'm not even going to pretend to figure out the right term for this, but if the 2007 Orange Bowl is to be any good, it has to be sort of dull. If Louisville gets up by 14 early on, it'll be time to see what's on HBO. If Wake Forest can slug it out, force mistakes, and not let this be any sort of a shootout, it'll have a chance. The formula it's used all season long of playing good D, being strong in special teams, and not making any mistakes has to hold true.

-  So can the Demon Deacons actually pull this off? I don't think so, but they've done it all year long. The team really is good; this isn't a fluke. Louisville is simply better. However, funny things seem to happen to the Cardinals away from Papa John's Stadium, so I'm saying this stays close for at least a half before Louisville turns it on.

- The question isn't whether or not Wake Forest can win, it's if Nick Saban is going to pass on the Alabama job. Louisville's Bobby Petrino could be next up.

- I'm a big fan of Pat Haden. Matt Vasgersian will always be XFL to me.

- Wow, Michael Bush's leg injury really took its toll. He looks awful out there next to Arnold Palmer and Dwayne Wade at midfield.

- Must ... not ... make ... more snotty comments ... about Ali.

- At what point does every Miami cliché kick in? We've done the Miami Vice thing, the South Beach thing, and soon, Gloria Estefan has to make an appearance.

First Quarter
Wake Forest on its own 12

- Basically, the Demon Deacons have to own the time of possession and the field position game.
- Uh oh. A bad start with Kevin Marion stepping out at the 12. Wake has to be razor sharp in all phases.
- Louisville's run defense is solid; Riley Skinner has to get involved throwing it early.
- The Wake line will give Skinner time; he just has to be on.
- It helps to get a one-handed catch like Nate Morton just made for a first down.
- Oh dear lord. A fumble on a trick play and now it's 2nd and 27. Louisville is too good when it gets to pin its ears back.
- Wake isn't playing well early on. It's gotten away with two fumbles.
- 3rd and 17 ... Skinner gets time, is patient, and throws a fantastic ball to Willie Idlette. Skinner looks calm early.
- It seems like Louisville is fully prepared for the trick plays and isn't really looking for the basics. Wake should just try to pound it early on. It's O line is a big advantage.
- Skinner had his man open on third and 17 and overshot him. He has to make that throw.
- Not bad. Four minutes off the clock and Wake got out of a jam.

Louisville on its own 28

- I already miss Thom Brennaman.
- How fast will Louisville come out? Will it try to put this thing away right off the bat? Why not? The Cardinals can strike at any time from anywhere on the field, so it can afford to take some changes. They can turn the ball over; Wake Forest can't.
- Wake Forest's D line is getting blasted on the outside early on. The Wake D is daring Brian Brohm to go to the single-covered receivers.
- The linebackers are dropping back a bit too much and letting Brohm run as much as he wants to.
- Uh oh. The Cardinals are moving the ball way too easily.
- Talk about your speed quarters; this thing is half over.
- Everything appears to be open underneath. It seems like the Cardinals are running too many deep patterns when a few dinks and dunks would work just fine. Then again, the attack is moving without a problem.
- Ohhhhhhh. Brohm his Mario Urrutia right in the hands on a perfectly thrown post pattern. Wake CB Riley Swanson appeared to be running in mud compared to Urrutia.
- That's Wake Forest football. Louisville misses a big play, and on the next play it recovers a fumble that seemed to bounce around for ten minutes. It's amazing how the Demon Deacons get EVERY bounce and every break its way. It's spooky.

Wake Forest on its own 39
- There's six minutes left in the first quarter and it's not a blowout. Wake Forest has to be happy.
- The Demon Deacon receivers are getting open without much of a problem. Nate Morton is finding the holes.
- Shorten the game, shorten the game, shorten the game. Wake Forest is milking the clock as much as possible.
- Yup. Louisville has obviously been coached up to sniff out every reverse. Wake Forest is going to have to win this thing straight up.
- Amobi Okoye is going to be a very, very rich man very soon. He takes up so much attention that Malik Jackson is getting one-on-one blocking. He'll kill Wake if that continues.
- Wake's special teams are so good and so solid. It just doesn't make mistakes.

Louisville on its own 13
- Jon Abbate is in on every play. He's always around the ball.
- I'd put this game in Brohm's hands right off the bat. He has open receivers down the field; he just has to go after it.
- Three and out.
- How did Alphonso Smith miss blocking that punt? He ran right by it! He had the block with easy and blew past the ball. That was amazing. If nothing else, he forced a bad punt.

Wake Forest on the Louisville 28
- Louisville has to keep this to a field goal. Sam Swank isn't going to miss from here, but the Cardinals can't lose all the momentum right off the bat.
- Wake's offensive line is getting blown over. Why are the Demon Deacons getting away from the run? It worked early.
- Fastest first quarter ever.
Louisville 0 ... Wake Forest 0

Second Quarter
- Nothing worked on that drive. The Cardinal defense is winning the early battle.

-
Swank will be automatic from here ...
- Good. 43 yards out.
Wake Forest 3 ... Louisville 0

Louisville on its own 16
- Special teams are killing the Cardinals early on.
- Everything for the U of L offense is sort of working, and the numbers are there, but there's nothing to show for it. Welcome to Wake Forest football.
- Man, Abbate is EVERYWHERE.
- Anthony Allen fumbled before, but if he gets going, Wake's in big trouble.
- Louisville is being very, very patient. Too patient.
- Brohm is getting ten days to throw. This is fine now, but eventually Wake will have to start selling out a bit to get some sort of pressure.
- Harry Douglas is open up the middle; easy first down.
- Brohm is picking Wake apart, He's able to sit back, relax, and fire. This is a top 15 draft pick who's not having to worry about being touched.
- Wake will let Brohm run all day long.
- Wake tried to change things up by bringing Abbate, but it was a rollout.
- Ooooooh. Brohm hung up his throw, and Kevin Patterson killed the Cardinal receiver.
- Why? Third and nine and the Cardinals try to run? It might be four down territory on the Wake 35.
- Yup. Brohm gets time to go get a snack and hits Gary Barnidge for a first down.
- All of Brohm's throws are sailing a bit. He's not quite as dialed in as he normally is. He might be a tad pumped up.
- The U of L running game just isn't working.
- It's almost like the Cardinals are setting Wake up for something big and it's just not ready to unleash the fury.
- Wake is sending everyone back to on obvious pass play. A play fake and a delayed run should work.
- Art Carmody isn't missing this.
- Right down the pipe. This is a far cry from last year's missed kick fest between Penn State and Florida State.
Louisville 3 ... Wake Forest 3

Wake Forest on its own 15
- Wake can't keep being in third and long situations and it can't be in bad field position. Starting deep in its own territory isn't going to work.
- It's only 3-3 and Wake has to be happy, this has the potential to get really ugly, really fast. NONE of the misdirection plays, sweeps, or tricks are working, and Louisville's front four is killing the Wake line.
- That was way too easy a three-and-out. Wake has -20 yards rushing.
- Bad kick by Sam Swank. I'm deeply, deeply worried for the future of this game if Louisville scores here.
- Code Name: The Cleaner, or sitting through

Louisville on the Wake Forest 47
- 6:11 to play in the first half.
- Brohm has Harry Douglas open, hits him, gets big yards after the catch, and now the drive is on. It's just a matter of time.
- Louisville pulls out the trick play and it works to perfection. Brohm throws it to Patrick Carter, Carter hangs in under pressure and throws it across the field to a wide open Anthony Allen, touchdown. Wake can't win this if it doesn't out-trick the Cards.
Louisville 10 ... Wake Forest 3

Wake Forest on its own 20
- Wake has to get better field position. This isn't an offense built on going for long marches.
- The running game is working. The numbers might not support the claim, but Kenneth Moore is finding room up the middle when the Wake guards are able to hit. However ...
- ... going wide isn't going to work. Adrian Grady had no problems getting into the backfield to force third and 11.
- How cool is Skinner? He hung in under the rush and delivered a perfect strike to John Tereshinski for the first down.
- Another first down. Skinner might not have a gun, but he can hit the ten-yard out pattern without a problem.
- Finally, Wake gets something quirky to work. Kevin Marion got the ball on the move on a counter play, Louisville missed some tackles, and he tore off a big run.
- It's almost like the offensive line's manhood was challenged.
- Wake has stopped playing scared and has started to play. It shows.
- Uh, he was down. Kenneth Moore fumbled the ball and Malik Jackson picked it up, but this will be reversed. It's not even close.
- Don't make excuses for the officials, Terry Donohue. That was the worst non-reversal of the year. At least the Oklahoma-Oregon gaffe was slightly close. This was a complete miss by all the officials involved. He was down, and it wasn't even close.

Louisville on its own 28
- 1:24 to play and Louisville comes out firing.
- Brohm got too comfortable. After struggling right off the bat, the Wake secondary is doing a fantastic job. Brohm had nowhere to go with it and got sacked.

Wake Forest on its own 35
- With a weapon like Swank, Wake has to press. It can't just be happy with getting into the locker room down seven.
- Skinner is outplaying Brohm. He's been on with every key throw.
- Six seconds left and Wake is on the U of L 30.
- Here comes Swank for a 47-yard kick ... and here comes the ice.
- Awwwwwwwww. He yanked it left.
- Solid first half. Nothing special, but it's still a game.

- The bigger no-talent ass clown: me vs. Taylor Hicks. Discuss.

Third Quarter
- This has been perfect for Wake since it's short. The fewer possessions, the better.
Louisville on is own 20
- The Cardinal running game isn't going anywhere.
- Wake is sending everyone and Randolph Childress deep and forcing Brohm to hit things underneath. For some reason, the Cardinals aren't adjusting.
- Alphonso Smith is making defensive play after defensive play. Brohm had an open man by was sacked too quickly.
- Ooooh. Another just-missed blocked punt.

Wake Forest on its own 49
- Who's the first round draft pick? Skinner has been fantastic avoiding the rush and hitting Willie Idlette. Wake's getting everything on the sidelines.
- No way. What a colossal defensive breakdown. Skinner had to double clutch because Riley Skinner was so wide open. The Louisville safeties basically forgot to cover him.
- This is tied in the third quarter! I'm not rooting for either team, but I couldn't be happier this doesn't suck.

Louisville on its own 20
-
So how does Louisville fix this? It has to up the tempo. It's been sort of going through the motions letting Wake dictate the game. Get to the line, get things going a bit quicker, and get Brohm into a rhythm.
- I mentioned before that Louisville can afford turnovers. Now it can't.
- Mario Urrutia and Harry Douglas have to get the ball in their hands in some way soon.
- Brohm has sharpened up. Those high throws of before are now right in the numbers.
- Wake's on its heels. The mixed up play calling is working.
- Urrutia seems way overdue to do something.
- Well, as I write that, he does do something ... fumble.
- I thought his butt hit the ground first, but Wake is owed one after getting screwed before.
- Yup, Wake gets the break and Bobby Petrino is absolutely livid.

Wake Forest on its own 25
- Unbelievable. Wake isn't even doing anything fancy, but they're getting big plays. A little pass to Moore goes for big yards.
- Ooohhhh. Wake tried a little flea flicker and Skinner makes his first really bad throw of the night missing a wide open target.
- Skinner had Kevin Marion and just couldn't make the deep throw going to his left.
- Call is woman's intuition, or my spider sense, but Wake is going to win this. This looks like every Wake win this year, and things are working fine unless...
- ... the turnovers kick in. Skinner should've been picked off. That's a huge, huge break.
- Swank buries the Cardinals deep.
- Ack! Accccckkkk! The cartoon lady looks real, but she's a cartoon! And she's talking about investments! But she's real, right? Ahhh! Ahhhhh! I'm scared.

Louisville on its own 11
- I hate watching games on DVR when I know it's going on live. I've finally caught up to live action.
- There's just nothing there for Brohm to throw to. It's easy for me to say, but why isn't Louisville at least testing Wake with the deep ball. There's only been one downfield throw of more than 20 yards, and Urrutia dropped it. It's there all day long, but the Cardinals are keeping the stallions in the barn.
- Yet another stop. Wake's going to win this thing

Wake Forest on its own 25
- I consider it a gaping hole in my résumé that I haven't seen Jackass Number Two.
- Steve Vallos is finally starting to dominate on the line, He just opened up a huge hole for Kenneth Moore.
- No, no, no, no, no. There's no need to do reverses and quirky stuff; the regular offense is working just fine.
- Skinner is getting too much time. What happened to the Cardinal pass rush?
- I hate it when players do that. William Gay got beat, it was a dropped pass, but he was celebrating like he did something.
- Why aren't the Louisville coaches getting this? Skinner doesn't have a deep arm and he's not going to throw the 55-yard bomb, but the corners are playing like they're scared of getting beaten deep. The Wake receivers are open on EVERY PLAY at the first down marker.
- Gay actually does make a play on this one forcing a Richard Belton fumble. The officials can't screw this one up.
- They don't. Louisville football.
- For those of you who can't read lips, Belton was yelling, "fuddddddge."
- Nice line by Haden commenting on the vocabulary of the 1,400 SAT students.

Louisville on its own 12
-
It's easy for me to say, and it's easier for Louisville to do. Douglas runs an out and up, Brohm bombs away, and it's now on the Wake Forest 37. 50 yards just like that. It's there. There's no reason to not keep trying it.
- Keep pushing it. The Cardinals go back to their running game, and it sort of works, but this offense should be able to drop the hammer.
- Haden says the same thing. It seems like the Cards can turn it on, and aren't.
- What a stick by Kevin Patterson. He blew up Anthony Allen on a third and one.
- No, no, no, no, no. Go for it. You have the momentum, you have the offense. Go for it, let Brohm throw for the yard, get the touchdown. Play like you're the better team with the better offense. You have a future NFL starter; use him.
- I'm right. Art Carmody slips and misses the easy field goal attempt. Watch Wake capitalize off this. This is Demon Deacon football.

Wake Forest on its own 25
-
Wake is winning this thing. Moore rips off a 35-yard run and gives the Demon Deacons the momentum right back.
- Center Steve Justice is just erasing the Louisville tackles on every running play.
- 10-10 in the fourth quarter. No way the Demon Deacons are blowing it in the fourth.
Louisville 10 ... Wake Forest 10

Fourth Quarter
-
STICK WITH THE RUNNING GAME. Let your line keep pounding it. They're in a lather.
- Skinner gets drilled and throws it away. Smart job not giving it away.
- Wake Forest is winning this thing. It's 13-10. This would be a bigger shocker than Boise State beating Oklahoma. Boise had the defense and the playmakers; I didn't think Wake had any shot of keeping up with this Cardinal offense.
Wake Forest 17 ... Louisville 13

Louisville on its own 20
- Let me say this as calmly as I can ... THROW DEEP.
- I understand the need to do the story about honoring Jon Abbate's late brother, who died tragically in a car accident, and how Wake Forest pays tribute by holding up five fingers going into the fourth quarter. Give credit to sideline reporter Laura Okmin for handling it was class and dignity. Now watch Louisville put up 21 in the final frame.
- Brohm throws a long bullet and Douglas comes up with a big play.
- Has Brohm lost confidence in Urrutia? A dropped pass and a fumble appear to have put him on the pay no mind list.
- And there he is. No. 7 makes the catch and gets out of bounds. He needed that.
- Louisville is so much better when it ups the tempo. It needs to get this thing moving.
- Great play by Riley Swanson to win the battle in the end zone with the 6-6 Urrutia.
-
Interesting. Third down and Louisville runs. Kolby Smith powers his way close ...
- ... and Anthony Allen pounds its way in.
- No, Matt. That was obvious. He was in and it wasn't even close.
- That's Louisville football.
Louisville 17 ... Wake Forest 13

Wake Forest on its own 15
- Run, and keep running. There's lots of time left with over 12 minutes to play, and the Cardinals are frothing at the mouth. Just pound it. It's worked all second half.
- Don't panic. Don't try to get it back at once.
- No, no, no, no, no. Short passes into the flat aren't going to work right now when the defense is all amped up.
- No, no, no, no, no. Skinner drops back, gets crushed, and now it's third and ten. Wake got away from what was working.
- Belton gets ten. He needed 11.
- Barry Alvarez was great at giving a coach's viewpoint last night during the Fiesta Bowl. It was like sitting next to a head coach in a booth, and it was like he was coaching the game and describing what he saw. Terry Donohue is giving nothing. Pat Haden is pulling teeth to get something out of the third wheel. 

Louisville on its own 29
- No matter what happens, this has been far more entertaining than anyone seemed to think it would be.
- Keep the foot on the gas, Louisville. Keep pushing the ball deep.
- Brohm makes his first NFL-caliber throw of the night. He hung in the pocket and whizzed one by the the defender's ear for a perfect strike on a play that wasn't there.
- I'm shocked Louisville hasn't run this play all night long. With the way the linebackers are hanging deep, hitting Douglas on a short crossing pattern should work for five to ten yards every time out. He just got a first down.
- Brohm makes another NFL throw. It takes an arm to throw a deep crossing route in stride.
- Nine catches for 159 yards for Douglas? Really?
- Now go for the jugular to Urrutia. He's so due.
- They do, Swanson makes another brilliant play. Nice point by Haden about how Swanson's handled Calvin Johnson and Urrutia well in the last two games.
- Once again, the linebackers are hanging back ten-plus yards back. The underneath passes should be there.
- Wake's secondary is playing way too soft. Jimmy Riley was able to do jumping jacks waiting for the throw.
- 5:40 to play. Mr. Obvious time. Wake either keeps Louisville out of the end zone, or it's over.
- Swanson's stopped it twice, but on first down, I'd try one more jump ball to Urrutia.
- Douglas on a short pass for nice gain and a manageable second down. Now, it's time for the Cardinal line to shine.
- Yup ... the Cardinal right side of the line blows up the Demon Deacon front and Brock Bolen rumbles for an 18-yard score. Ball game.
Louisville 24 ... Wake Forest 13

Wake Forest on its own 20
- Louisville's defensive line is about to define what the term pin the ears back means with its pass rush.
- Yup. First play and Okoye just blows up the play with a sack.
- Third and nine, this is four down territory.
- Oh what a throw by Skinner. Idlette gets room and catches a deep out at around midfield.
- Talk about you're awful scouting reports; Louisville's secondary is giving Skinner's arm way, way, way too much credit. It's way too deep.
- Skinner threw a perfect strike to keep the chains moving. There's still plenty of time with 3:10 to go.
- Skinner hangs up a throw and Louisville finally read it right. He didn't have the arm to get the ball where it needed to go, and Gay had an easy pick.

Louisville on its own 17
- I really thought Wake had this. It was played out exactly as it needed to be, but the Cardinals finally got the offense going when needed. 
- What red-blooded American male doesn't want to give that sad Wake Forest coed a hug right now?
- First down. Now it's just a question of running this thing out.
- Interesting. Louisville not punting just to make sure there's no big mistake.

Wake Forest on the Louisville 41
- Game over. Far more interesting than expected.
Final Score: Louisville 24 ... Wake Forest 13