If anyone knows Bobby Petrino as a coach, they know he absolutely loves to use his tight ends in the passing game. Last season was a perfect example of that. Four players saw a lot of time and produced when called upon. Cole Hikutini, Charles Standberry, Micky Crum and Keith Towbridge all made big plays both in the passing game and blocking for the run. Cole Hikutini was for 4th on the team in receptions with 19 and first on the team in yards per catch with 18.3. Micky Crum had a solid freshman season with 14 receptions for an average of 11.6 yards per catch, and we can’t forget about the monster block he laid on that poor Clemson player. Keith Towbridge reeled in 10 passes and Charles Stanberry finished the season with 6 receptions. Hikutini, Crum, and Towbridge were all tied for 2nd on the team in reception touchdowns with 3. So of the 21 touchdown passes we saw thrown last season, 9 of them were caught by the tight ends.
Cole Hikutini is a freak athlete and put that on display multiple times last season. He enters his senior year as the starting tight end according to the depth chart and rightfully so. His impressive yards per catch metric speaks for itself on what the guy can do with the ball in his hands and an open field. He and Keith Towbridge enter their final season as Cardinals and the expectations couldn’t be higher. Micky Crum looks to build on a solid freshman season as he sits in the 3rd position on the depth chart. Charles Stanberry, the tight end who was utilized the least of anyone in the group had a successful spring and enters his junior season as the number 2 option at the position. Towbridge come in at 4, but don’t let the depth chart fool you, Bobby will be using all of these guys. Hikutini should and will get the most snaps but the coaching staff can put any of these guys in the game with the knowledge that they will perform and get the job done. Bobby Petrino loves to use the play action to free up the tight ends (both of Lamar’s touchdown passes in the Music City Bowl came from a play action pass to a tight end, Crum and Towbridge). Look for these guys to really anchor the passing game when things get hectic, personally I’ve never seen such a stacked group at this position but since when is that a problem? Lamar will always have safety valve with anyone of these guys on the field and look for some big plays to be made by the powerful and elusive Cole Hikutini at any point in time. The depth at tight end only adds to the arsenal of weapons Lamar Jackson will have at his disposal. We have less than a week until the wait is over.
The next installment of Get To Know is on Tight End Keith Towbridge. This is quickly becoming my favorite series from the great folks from @UofLFootball.
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The Cards took down the Aggies 27-21 in the Music City Bowl on Wednesday night. Lamar Jackson put on quite a show as he rushed for 226 yards and accounted for all four UofL touchdowns.
Coach Bobby Petrino speaks to the media following Saturday’s 38-31 win over Virginia on Senior Day at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
Felt good to see the Cards put up 41 points yesterday! Highlights of the game below…
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.
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.
Here are the main points that Petrino made…
*When asked about the status of Sharieff Rhaheed-Muhammad, Petrino said “Well we’re well aware of it. It’s something that was shocking and concerning. But you have to let the court system play out. And it’s one of those things where you don’t make a decision until you have to.”
*About DeVante Parker: “Yeah he’s really impressive. He puts a smile on my face. And the thoughts of how we can use him and utilize him and get him the ball…I think he can run all the routes. He does a great job getting in and out of his breaks. He can catch the ball away from his body. He works hard and he’s been very coach-able. That was something that I was very happy to see. Obviously we know he can elevate and go up and catch the ball when it’s high in the air. He should have a great year for us. He needs to learn and get better just like everybody else.”
Previous position breakdowns:
Today we continue the position breakdowns for the 2013 football season and focus on the Tight Ends. This should be a pretty solid and deep group on the offense. Let’s see who we have…
6’3 242 lbs
Christian comes to the Cards after transferring from the Florida Gators. He sat out last season so he is ready to go this year. Some have gone so far as to say that Christian is the 2nd best football player on the whole team behind Teddy Bridgewater! That is pretty high praise.