Unlike that other program 79.2 miles away, the Louisville Cardinals have not gotten it right the first time. The Cardinals led by once troubled HC Bobby Petrino both appear poised to bring back respectability to a once proud football program.
Although Petrino’s methods have often been criticized, no one has ever questioned his offensive genius. Last season the Cardinals offense was mired in inconsistency as one signal caller after the other was given a chance. But after Lamar Jackson‘s 200 200 performance against Texas A&M, the QB to lead the Cardinals resurgence was found. Blessed with the speed to get to the edges and the arm to make defenses pay for stacking the box, Jackson and the Cardinals are being viewed as darkhorse contenders for both the ACC as well as the Heisman Trophy. Since a QB alone won’t make the difference, consistency must be found along an offensive line that shuffled 11 different starters.
With the entire o-line back in the fold it is imperative that they improve and allow more than 2 yards before contact for running back Brandon Radcliff who rushed for an abysmal 689 yds last year. Hometown kid James Quick has one more season to finally live up to his 5* hype at wideout. If he stays out of trouble, he could lead a promising wideout corp that are 6’3″ or taller.
On defense, the reclamation project continues led by a band of once troubled but talented defenders, it seems they have all finally gotten things right under DC Todd Grantham. After having the world at his finger tips All-American Devonte Fields is back. Last season Fields led the nation in tackles for loss with 22 and if he breaks the ACC’s sack record of 19 few will be surprised. Although there were some loses along the d-line should be tough against the run. Although the Bash Brothers will be missed, Keith Kelsey and Treveon Young possess the experience to make the linebacker core remain respectable.
Few teams in the nation will have the talent the Cardinals have in the secondary. Former 5* Josh Harvey-Clemons blessed with the size of a linebacker and the athleticism of a gazelle will make opposing QBs think twice before throwing the pigskin. Thanks to an elite pass rusher cornerbacks Shaq Wiggins and Trumaine Washington will not have to cover receivers for long.
Armed with one of the best offensive minds in the nation and a quarterback whose athleticism is the envy of EVERY QB in the nation, the pieces are there to do something special in 2016. Unlike that other program, the Cardinals are not one or done. Was the Cardinals last game a testament of good things to come? Stay tuned…I know I will.
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. Listen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio Subscribe to podcast