The Front Paige: The Dawn of a New Era

Photo Credit: Todd Van Emst

Welcome back folks to the greatest time of year.
There’s nothing better than the first kickoff of the season. The sound of the referee’s whistles and helmets clashing. Cheers and chants from excited fans. Anticipation fills the air for the possibilities of greatness that each new season brings.

This year brings the dawn of a new era for Louisville Football.

The hype surrounding this season and this team has been mounting since Louisville’s less than stellar season ending. Changes were made, players were drafted, new players entered Bobby’s system and one player, in particular, made improvements.

While the end of last season was not favorable, Louisville still managed to grab the greatest accolade in program history: the Heisman Trophy.

Lamar Jackson. The name that should evoke fear in our opponents. The most explosive, athletic football player college football has seen in a while. The dual-threat QB that leaves defenses in shambles with one quick pivot or one giant leap. The Heisman Trophy winner is back.

“And I’m better now than I was when you saw that 22-years old undeveloped kid running from Sonny Liston. I’m experienced now, professional. Jaws been broke, been knocked down a couple of times, I’m bad.” – Muhammad Ali

In the off-season, Jackson put on seven pounds, but managed to get faster. He spent time analyzing plays in the film room, improving in the weight room.

He’s better now than when he was when we saw that undeveloped kid running from defenses. And that’s frightening.

The talking heads have been busy ringing Sam Darnold’s praises. But, in the shadows, Lamar Jackson is quietly lurking, ready to strike.

Jackson is arguably the most disrespected returning Heisman Trophy winner the game has seen.

Perhaps, the talking heads are busy analyzing the scoreboard in Louisville’s last three games. In doing so, they are overlooking Jackson’s stats.

I understand their arguments… Football is a team sport. But, their arguments fail to recognize one thing. Lamar Jackson was sacked 22 times and still managed to put up decent numbers.

In his last three games, Lamar was 46 – 90 passing for 645 yards, 3 TDs, 3 interceptions, 237 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 22 SACKS.

Bobby has made sure Louisville won’t sit at the bottom of Division I in sacks allowed again. He brought back co-offensive coordinator Mike Summers.

Summers and Petrino have spearheaded a few of college football’s most potent offensive attacks. The duo have been credited with building explosive offenses both at Louisville and Arkansas. In his second tenure, Summers has been tasked with improving an offensive line that ranked last nationally in sack yards allowed the last two seasons.

Summers first go-around with UofL saw the Cardinals go 41-9, including a BCS win over Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl. Louisville boasted the No. 1 offense in 2004 and No. 2 in 2006.

You can count on Summers to bring back that explosive offense.

We’re looking at a second Heisman campaign for Lamar Jackson. He could become only the second player in college football history to win the Heisman Trophy twice.

But, the time to talk hypotheticals is over.

It’s time to put up or shut up. It’s time to raise some serious L.

Bobby ball is back. Lamar Jackson is back.

It’s going to be a great season, CardNation.



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