We started doing this post last season during the week of the Spring Football game. We give you five offensive and five defensive players to watch at this Friday’s spring game. These are guys that you may have heard of, but they are not the obvious names that you surely know. For example, I did not put DeVante Parker on the list last year. Pretty sure you already knew who he was and that he was going to be a decent player for the Cards. Right?
So this is just to bring your attention to a few guys that may be under the radar, but that we expect that you will need to know by the time the season starts in September. Just as a reference, the five guys we highlighted last year on offense were:
1) Will Gardner – Was an obvious choice, but he was following Teddy. It couldn’t be ignored to watch him.
2) L.J. Scott – Had a phenomenal spring game. Didn’t see too much action during the season, but fans still knew who he was after that spring game and he should be in for a big sophomore campaign.
3) Matt Milton – Never did pan out as a big wide receiver threat in games, but I do remember him catching a touchdown in the spring game, so that made me feel good about including him.
4) Tobijah Hughley – I had never heard of him leading up to the spring game, but we included him anyway. He ended up starting 12 games at Center last season.
5) Keith Towbridge – Was only a backup in 2013, but played in all 13 games last season. Expected to be a big playmaker at tight end this season.
So what does all of that mean? Probably not much, unless you like to learn about players and then see them probably pan out as contributors during the season. You can be sitting there Friday at the game and tell your friends about these players that they don’t know about, and then you sound smart. And if these players don’t play well, then I will take the blame. Just tell them about that idiot on CardinalSportsZone.com.
So here are the five guys to watch for this Friday on offense. And the biggest one besides these five will be obvious: the Quarterback race between Reggie Bonnafon, Kyle Bolin, and Tyler Ferguson.
Right after the men’s basketball game ended on Tuesday night against Cal State Northridge, UofL twitter didn’t turn all of its attention to the Kentucky basketball game. Instead, news came out from ESPN680 radio that running back Michael Dyer would not play for the Cards in next week’s Belk Bowl. So then, the speculation started about why.
It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but it was a win. Here are three quick observations from the game yesterday.
The defense had another great game
Some things are obvious, but it has to be said. This defense picked up the slack for the offense once again this game. Gerod Holliman continues to impress as he got his 6th interception of the season and had a great return that almost went for a touchdown. He also had a huge hit on a Wake Forest player that sent him out of the game and got the crowd very energized. He is clearly one of the fan favorites on this team.
For the game, the defense only gave up 3 points, and that was after a fumble by Reggie Bonnafon around midfield. They also only gave up 100 yards of offense from Wake Forest. Lorenzo Mauldin was in the backfield all game and came away with 3 sacks. Sheldon Rankins actually had an interception on what seemed like the 30th time that the Demon Deacons tried to run that shovel pass play up the middle.
Facing a freshman QB for the 3rd time in 5 games, the defense did exactly what they should have done, shut him down.
At his weekly press conference, head coach Bobby Petrino updated the status of quarterback Will Gardner. Petrino says that Gardner is very sore and there is swelling. He is meeting with the doctors today. Right now he says he is day to day and they should have more answers possibly tomorrow. But other than that, he doesn’t know too much more than they knew on Saturday.
It wasn’t the prettiest game, or even very pretty at all, but the Louisville Cardinals went on the road and defeated Florida International 34-3. The Cards improved to 3-1 on the season, but this win was costly, as quarterback Will Gardner and running back L.J. Scott both left the game injured and did not return.
Gardner was hurt after linebacker Treyvon Williams hit him in his surgically repaired left knee. Looking at the replays, it looked like a cheap shot. Gardner had already thrown the ball and Williams dove low. It didn’t look very clean. I won’t speculate on the injury, but Gardner looked to be in pain as he was dragging himself on the turf. As someone who has also torn this ACL, I certainly hope it was just something minor and that he did not return because the game was in hand.
Bobby Petrino told the media on Thursday that running back Michael Dyer is still questionable for the Virginia game on Saturday. He has practiced the last two days, but is still sore. According to Howie Lindsey, Petrino said that Dyer wants to be back, but there is atrophy in the thigh. Livestrong.com describes atrophy in the leg: The most common reason for atrophy to occur in the legs is disuse. Lack of activity for any reason — illness, injury, seated desk job, sedentary lifestyle — can lead to loss of leg muscle.
When the depth chart was released, it showed Dyer as the backup running back. If he is unable to go for the third straight game this season, L.J. Scott will likely move into the backup role behind Dominique Brown. I think we are all comfortable with Scott as the backup, but it sure would be nice to have Michael Dyer back soon.
Louisville freshman running back L.J. Scott had a heck of a game on Saturday against Murray State. He rushed for 126 yards on 11 carries (11.5 yards per rush) and had 1 touchdown. His longest rush was for 68 yards. He also had 1 catch for 8 yards.
Because of that performance, Scott was named the ACC Rookie of the Week. The freshman came into this season with a lot of hype because of how well he has performed since the spring when he got to campus early. He definitely showed what he can do and gave Cards fans a glimpse of what the future will look like at the running back position.
During Saturday’s scrimmage, running back Michael Dyer suffered a quad contusion that has held the senior out of practice since. The injury likely occurred by a helmet hitting his thigh. Bobby Petrino met with reporters after practice on Tuesday. Asked if Dyer would be ready for the Miami game on September 1, Petrino said “I hope so.”
It’s getting to be that time where the national publications release their preseason college football polls. There will be many different ones of course. This one is from Lindy’s, who have the Cards at #31 on their countdown. I would expect this to be about where most magazines and other media outlets have the Cards, somewhere around that #25 mark. Many factors will contribute to that. Yes there is a lot of talent back, but the uncertainty of a new QB, replacing 3 first round NFL Draft picks, and everything you already know about.
Here is what Lindy’s says about the Cards in 2014…(They mention Robert Clark, but of course he has transferred to Samford.)
Friday night at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium was everything you wanted to be as a fan. Gorgeous weather, free admission, free parking, activities for the kids, $2 beers, and Louisville football with Bobby Petrino back at the helm.
I am just going to give you some quick hitters with stats or things I noticed. You also have the option of reading the full recap on UofL’s site.
*I know it is just the spring game, and you are playing against your defense, so maybe this isn’t always good…but the yards, points, and fun that you remember are back. The red team had 21 points after the 1st quarter. I remember plenty of times last year when we were in the 4th quarter with about 21-24 points hanging on for the win against teams like Memphis or Houston. The offense is back folks.
*Will Gardner looked great. He completed 32-37 passes for 542 yards and 4 touchdowns. He did throw 1 interception that clearly was a bad decision and looked forced. But other than that 1 mistake, he looked good.
With Friday’s spring football game quickly approaching, I thought it would be a good idea to give you a few players to watch. Surely, you all know about guys like DeVante Parker, Dominique Brown, Eli Rogers, and others that have made a name for themselves already. But this list will be guys who maybe haven’t gotten much playing time to this point because they were playing behind someone else, or maybe because they were in high school last year!
So while you are at the game on Friday night, and some guys are making plays and you look at your roster to see who it was, you can say “Hey I read about this guy on Cardinal Sports Zone!” Ok maybe that’s just my goal for 1 person to do that, but we will see.
We will be updating this post throughout the day as the National Letters of Intent roll in to the University of Louisville. That turns “recruits” into “signees”, making them official Louisville Cardinals.
6’7 270 lbs
6’4 225 lbs
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