Vaught's Views: Leffew believes offense can get better

September 09, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Rather than gloat after Louisville once again beat Kentucky, Travis Leffew was more worried with what went wrong with the Cardinals' offense.

"We didn't come out near the way we should have," said Leffew, a junior offensive tackle for the Cardinals. "We drove down the field on our first drive, but not being able to put the ball in from the 1-yard line was embarrassing."

Still, Louisville's offense was far, far better than Kentucky's offense in the Cardinals' easy 28-0 victory. The Cardinals had 439 total yards, including 261 rushing, to just 238 total for the Wildcats.

"It was a defensive win," the former Boyle County lineman said. "As an offense, we have to look at where we went wrong."


Went wrong? It looked like the Cardinals ran at will. The only complaint coach Bobby Petrino had was that he didn't pass more.

"We had guys blocking wrong. We had guys running wrong," Leffew said. "I think we have a lot more in us, at least the front five (linemen). We just have to pay better attention to the game and what is going on. We just weren't sharp."

The Cardinals have lofty expectations. They were one of the nation's most productive offenses last year and return almost every starter off that team. Louisville is also looking to make a move into the upper echelon of the college football rankings this year.

Of course, the Cardinals went into the 2002 season with the same high goals only to lose the first game to visiting Kentucky, a mistake the Cardinals did not make this year.

"I'll be honest, we were all thinking about what happened in 2002," Leffew said. "We knew we couldn't come out and play like the ones expected to win. We were more focused than we were two years ago. Kentucky is still a SEC team. They are good. Their defense is good. We just took advantage of what they did wrong."

What's wrong with the Cats?

So what did the Cats do wrong defensively?

"It's not wrong, maybe just the alignment," Leffew said referring to UK's defense that uses three down linemen and four linebackers. "It's a defense to run against because they only have three guys up front and two linebackers in the box. That was our green light to run. We just did what we do. It didn't turn out quite as good as we wanted, but we did win 28-0. We actually thought we could rush for a lot more yards."

Maybe Leffew was just basing that on what he saw Friday when he came home with his brother, Louisville senior defensive tackle Bobby Leffew, to watch the Danville-Boyle game that the Rebels won 37-30 in an offensive shootout.

The Leffews watched the game from the stands along with former teammate Jacob Tamme, a redshirt freshman receiver at Kentucky. They all sat behind the Boyle County Juggers, a group of fans known for their colorful hats and noise-making milk jugs.

"Sitting there was hard to do, especially right behind the Juggers," Leffew said. "My head was spinning they were making so much noise. But it was a real exciting game to watch. I give all the credit to (Danville senior running back) Kelvin Turner. The kid is the real deal. He made some unbelievable runs."

Leffew said the Boyle fans, as always, were respectful and didn't overwhelm him or his brother with college football questions. He said along with a few questions, there were a lot of pats on the back and wishes for a successful season.

"But we also had a bunch of people tell us that we had to top the weekend off by beating Kentucky," Leffew said. "I told them we would try our best to do what they wanted, and we did."

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