Looking back on USF-Louisville ...
Finally got around to watching the ESPNU broadcast of Saturday's USF-Louisville game tonight, or at least the first three hours of it. And I don't like to rip people, especially on Thanksgiving, but there was an unusually large number of mistakes made during ESPNU's broadcast.
Twice, the ESPNU crew of Dave Armstrong and Mike Gottfried told the compelling story of how Mike Ford's father, Robert, had worked in maintenance on USF's Sarasota campus, how he had been functionally illiterate as an adult but learned to read in his 40s, how Ford had overcome his own academic problems with hard work and was able to join his father at USF. I'm glad they were able to read that newspaper clip and borrow that story; unfortunately, nobody told the ESPN folks that Robert Ford passed away from a heart attack in July.
As embarrassing as that is, the crew got far too many names wrong, though I understand that USF's double-numbering makes that an easy mistake to make. Nate Allen scored the opening touchdown, and ESPN gave initial credit to A.J. Love, who also wears No. 5. On the next kickoff, when Tyller Roberts made a nice tackle, they gave credit to receiver Ed Alcin, who also wears No. 6.
The announcers had all kinds of problems with Louisville's best receiver, Harry Douglas. Through two replays, they gave Douglas credit for Bilal Powell's long kickoff return -- there are names on the jerseys for both teams, folks -- and then when Douglas scored a long touchdown, they said it was "Mitchell," confusing Douglas' No. 85 with No. 95 Maurice Mitchell, who's a 275-pound defensive lineman. They identified players from the wrong team -- when Louisville's Johnnie Burns made a kickoff return, they called him Jarriett Buie, who wears No. 90 for USF. The Big East's John Paquette was nice enough to do a guest appearance in the booth in the third quarter, and they identified him as associate commissioner of the Big 12.
-- Paquette, by the way, on the oft-discussed possibility of Big East expansion: "We don't think there's anything significant on the horizon."
-- I didn't notice this until Wednesday's practice, but kicker Delbert Alvarado has a new word shaved into the back of his head: "FAMILY." Alvarado, of course, had "FINISH STRONG" there earlier this season. I think he'll have time to grow it back out and have a new message for the bowl game -- it's like "Charlotte's Web" trying to decide what he'll decide next. "RADIANT! HUMBLE!"
-- If USF linebacker Brouce Mompremier can't go Saturday against Pittsburgh, you can give thanks to Louisville offensive lineman Danny Barlowe, who sure looked to have thrown a punch to the midsection with his right hand as he tackled Mompremier during Trae Williams' interception return for a touchdown.
-- I want to throw a link out to a story in Friday's paper on Mike Ford. The freshman has gotten 52 carries in the last two games and has helped take some of the offensive burden off quarterback Matt Grothe. Best stat I could find from Saturday's win against Louisville was that USF ran Ford 18 times on first-and-10 plays -- that's 60 percent of their first-down play calls. And Carl Franks points out that Ford could have been much better against Louisville, with 14 carries that gained 3 yards or less. Ford told me he isn't worred about cold temperatures in Pittsburgh on Saturday -- his year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia took care of that, as he actually has played games with snow on the field. How'd he do? "A hundred and something," he said. "On like seven carries." I'm thinking he'll get more carries than that on Saturday ...