Ole Miss Roundtable: Breakout Candidates


Which Louisville player are you personally looking to have a big game against Ole Miss?

If Louisville were to win, it would stand to reason that someone on the defense would have to have a big game. Maybe Yaya, Tre or Yasir. But my thought is that if the Cards pull off a W it will be keeping the Ole Miss offense off the field with slow clock eating drives. Therefore, I’m looking for the entire offensive line to step up and have a HUGE game – Jeff Nunn

I think it has to be Malik Cunningham. I have a hard time calling this a “prove it” year for Malik considering this will be his fourth season playing quarterback at Louisville, but I am looking for a reminder as to why we were collectively so high on him following 2019.  After impressing in his sophomore campaign, Cunningham came out as a junior in 2020 and took a significant step back passing the football. He threw fewer touchdowns despite 126 more attempts, while also more than doubling his turnover rate. We know what Malik is capable of with his feet, but Louisville will have to throw the ball if they plan on keeping up with Ole Miss. The Cards lost both their leading rusher and two leading receivers from a 4-win team in 2020. With a lack of proven playmakers on this offense, all eyes should be on Malik Cunningham as Louisville attempts to start a bounce back season on Monday night.- Ben Gumbel

I’m gonna have to go with Jordan Watkins. I’ll say I’ll give him 100 yards all purpose maybe doing some returns of kickoff and running jet sweeps. – Wes Brown

I’m going to go CJ Avery. He’s the leader of the Defense. I think he’s the difference maker. He’s gonna have everyone pumped up to play and get them in the right spots. I predict he will lead the team in tackles this game and may grab a scoop and score. – Jeremy Wahman
I think Yasir Abdullah is going to have a big game. I’ve liked what i’ve heard about him from fall camp. Wouldn’t shock me at all to see him raise some eyebrows on national TV against a pretty good OL that’s bringing back 4 starters.- Cards Hive
Mine is Braden Smith. He will be the difference maker at the receiver. He has the separation ability to get open for big plays that Malik will need once the run game is established to help open the passing game. Defensively I’m looking forward to seeing Kenderick Duncan. I have been watching his film & dang I wish we would got on him sooner because he reminds me a lot of Calvin Pryor with us hard hitting tackles! – Higgy
My answer is kinda basic tho. I think Malik will end up being the most impressive player. He will show why last year was just an asterisk. Im predicting at least 350 yards and 3-4 touchdowns from him. Non basic answer, Kei’trel Clark. Best player in our secondary and I think he’ll have at least 1 Int tomorrow night. – Jacob Pratt
I want to give you a position group, but I’ll refrain and only give you two. The staff has been raving about the improvements made by Malik Clark this off season. This first game is going to say a lot the work Malik’s put in, in the weight room and in the film room. Malik is the starter, but with Ole Miss’ uptempo offense, I expect Dezmond Tell to get a lot of playing time. I believe Clark’s and Tell’s success in the middle will have a direct impact on a Louisville victory. If they can hold their own in the run game and continously occupy 2 linemen, our linebackers should be able to fill the running gaps nicely. Also if they can help create a little pressure in the passing game, coach Brown doesn’t have to blitz a lot to create pressure, and there should be less holes for Matt Carroll and his wide receivers to work with. They say all games are won and loss in the trenches. I believe that if Clark and Tell are active and aggressive at the nose tackle, Louisville will give the Ole Miss offense fits. – Sam Basden
Jalen Mitchell. He’s got to be the main man. If he’s running it well, Mississippi’s offense is off the field and we are likely scoring. If he gets 150 yards, he will solidify his hold as THE number 1 back and lead Louisville to victory. – Shawn Barbour
Marshon Ford is my pick; with the wide receiving core still inexperienced, I look for Ford to leave an impact on this game in a handful of different ways. With Scott Satterfield and Gunter Brewer both confirming that Ford will be used as a wideout in certain packages, I think he’s going to have both the usage and production. – Dalton Pence

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