LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Seniors Chucky Williams and Stacy Thomas know their careers with the University of Louisville football program are coming to a close.
The duo, part of Louisville’s senior class, play their final game in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium on Saturday against Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. The group has combined for a 32-17 record and became bowl-eligible for the fourth-consecutive season.
Thomas, over the last two seasons, has been a pivotal piece to that success. The Miami, Fla., native has gradually excelled into one of the defense’s crucial components. He totaled 85 tackles a year ago and boasts 43 stops through seven games this year. He missed a string of two key games – Boston College and Florida State – with an injury, but has totaled 16 tackles, 3.5 for loss since his return.
Not only has Thomas’ production on the field been an incredible lift for the defense, but his work ethic has been a spark for the unit as well.
“He’s a very intelligent football player and recognizes routes,” Petrino said. “It was great to see him back at practice at full speed because I think that everybody else recognized that and gave us a lot of energy.” Read the rest of this entry
Cort Dennison, Drew Bailey and Stacy Thomas spoke with the media following today’s practice.
Louisville Football’s Defense Paying Extra Attention to Formations, Personnel Groups
The Cardinals hold a 3-2 series lead over the Cavaliers.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The answers from inside linebackers coach Cort Dennison and linebacker Stacy Thomas make one item clear about Saturday’s game against Virginia: pay attention to detail.
The Louisville football team has played plenty of teams this year that featured one or multiple elite athletes that could change the dynamic of a game.
When the Cardinals take on the Cavaliers in Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville’s defensive unit knows it has a bit of a different task at-hand.
“Mainly, it will be the formations,” Thomas said. “They’ll run 20 different formations. With that, you have to be dialed in on your keys and know what’s coming.”
The football season is at the halfway point. The Cards are 4-2 and still have 6 very winnable games remaining in the regular season. I think it’s time to look back at some of CSZ’s best photo’s from this season including a few from media day. Enjoy… Read the rest of this entry
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Coming off a pair of lopsided wins, the University of Louisville football team steps back into Atlantic Coast Conference play with a top-25 matchup Thursday night matchup against No. 24 NC State at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.
Improving to 4-1 overall with home victories over Kent State and Murray State, the competition will get stiffer against one of the nation’s top defensive lines.
Led by All-America candidate Bradley Chubb, who ranks second nationally in tackles for loss and ninth in sacks, the Wolfpack – winners of four straight – boast the eighth-ranked rushing defense heading into the nationally televised contest. Read the rest of this entry
On Saturday, September 30th, the Louisville Cardinals defeated the Murray State Racers 55-10 at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. Lamar Jackson led the Cards with 4 touchdowns. Here are some pictures from the victory. Read the rest of this entry
Bobby Petrino, Lamar Jackson, Stacy Thomas, Jon Greenard, Jaylen Smith, Charles Standberry all met with the media after Saturday’s loss to Clemson. You can hear the frustration in their voices as they replay the game in their minds. Take a look at what they had to say below.
Athlon Sports released their week 1 football awards. The University of Louisville Football team has the offensive player of the week with Lamar Jackson, and defensive player of the week with Stacy Thomas. Lamar finished the game with 107 rushing yards, 378 yards in the air and 2 touchdowns. Stacy Thomas had 6 stops, recovered a fumble, broke up a pass and of course had a pick 6 late in the third quarter. Congratulations to both student athletes!
PFF College Football revealed who they thought the best offensive and defensive players were in the ACC in week one. They graded each player based off of their performance. Check it out, and let us know what you think .
Here are some pictures from the Cards opening game vs Purdue at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis…. Read the rest of this entry
I can finally breathe. We pull out a win vs a team we should’ve destroyed and it is all due to overconfidence imo. The things we did wrong are very fixable. They’ve been working all summer so why do they need to be fixed? You might say. Playing against another team is different from playing against your own in practice. I sat down to write this story and I was like crap, i am not good at breakdowns, that’s Mitch &JK thing. Since my entire team went to Indianapolis for the game & are probably passed out somewhere I decide to give it a shot. I would not call it a recap though but I will call it a summary. Here are my takeaways (Honorary Tax Boy) from tonight’s game…
- Lamar picked up where he left off amassing 485 yards & 2TD
- Center struggled hearing count but all in all not a bad night from the O-Line
- You can work on the penalties we had, most were due to inexperience
- There was no rushing game except from Lamar BUT he made the right decisions/reads on when to hand off or keep
- Lamar’s accuracy looks improved
- Special teams were a few blocks away from blowing this game open, that too can be worked on
- 1-0 is 1-0
- The Tax Boys came to collect on that a** tonight, Should’ve called them the IRS instead
- Defense Wins Championships
- Hopefully J’aire is out a week max and is back for Clemson
- D-Line got little to no penetration (giggety) until Purdue fatigued, this needs to change
- Need to secure the ball better. The turnovers were preventable and this game could’ve, should’ve been out of hand
- STOP FAVORING US BY LARGE MARGINS VEGAS!!!
- Dez is gonna be a star. They keep doubling Jaylen & Dez gonna make them pay…
- For the love of God Louisville Twitter stop overreacting, that is what use to set us apart from uk fans. Use to…..
- WR made a few erroes but looked like they were seeing the ball well and making effortless catches. As a former TE I like to see that.
- We marched into a difficult city & Stadium for us to win in and turned Indianapolis into Windianapolis
That is all for my account of tonight’s game. Thanks for reading.
Go Cards, Beat The Tar Heels
P.S.-Don’t Forget to check CSZ tomorrow for Photo Galleries from the staff! Jeff Nunn was on the field for this one.
Click on more below for Stats
Last Year: Keith Kelsey and Stacy Thomas led the team with 91 and 85 tackles, respectively. Thomas, along with Jonathan Greenard, also had an interception in the NC State win last year, as well as 7.5 tackles for loss last season. Thomas ended the season on a high-note, having double-digit tackles in the final two games.
The unit captained a defense that finished 21st in FBS in tackles for loss (94), and has finished in the top 25 in total defense every year since 2010. The Cardinals will look to replace Keith Kelsey as a starter, now gone to the NFL.
Projected Starters: Stacy Thomas (ILB), Dorian Etheridge (ILB), C.J. Avery (STAR)
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
For today’s entry of The Barbour Shop, I’m going to give you all a list of Top 10 things to do and see while in Indy. However, the list comes with a puntastic UofL twist. Obviously time and dollars dictate you probably won’t be able to visit every place, but you can always pick which one or ones you want to visit. Let’s get started.
10) Hinkle Fieldhouse:
Yeah, it’s not basketball season yet, but Hinkle’s history makes it worth a visit. UofL is the unofficial owner of Hinkle as they have won their last 3 meetings with Butler there.
Etheridge Stealing the Freshman Spotlight
Press Release – LOUISVILLE, Ky. – With nine starters returning last season’s top-25 defense, a true freshman cracking the starting lineup didn’t seem likely.
However, after nine days of camp, rookie Dorian Etheridge is the front-runner for one of the starting linebacker positions.
The Charleston, W.Va., native, Etheridge has been extremely impressive on the practice field.
“Dorian is someone I’m very excited about,” inside linebackers coach Cort Dennison said after Tuesday’s practice. “He’s very natural. He has great instincts and his knowledge of the game is advanced. He’s always in his notebook and continuously asks a lot of questions. He’s very mature and will only get better.” Read the rest of this entry
The names you hear coming into this season when talking about pass rushers are James Hearns and Drew Bailey. I would to take this time to remind you that they are both phenomenal players but they will have help. Welcome back Trevon Young. Trevon sat out all of 2016 due to hip surgery but he is back and healthy. Before his injury in the Music City bowl, he had 10 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and 1 interception. Stacy Thomas is as solid as they come. He took over for James Burgess Jr after a terrible targeting call in that infamous Music City bowl. Since then he has been nothing short of amazing. Also look for guys like Chris Williams, Jonathan Greenard, Amonte Caban, De’Asian Richardson and Henry Famurewa to contribute this year. Read the rest of this entry
I attended the third and final open football practice on Tuesday afternoon. My goal was to bring you pictures from what I saw accompanied with my thoughts on how the team looked and what you might be interested in. Moments into warm-ups, I was approached and told there was no photography allowed. I tried explaining that millions of Nunnsense and Cardinal fans would be disappointed but my plea fell upon deaf ears and the no photography order remained in place. So I will just tell you what I witnessed with the promise of bringing Spring Game photos in about 10 days or so. Thanks for understanding. That’s why I love you Card family.
The first thing that stood out to me is running back Dae Williams. His size is unbelievable. He has been compared to a young Michael Bush as far as physical structure. To me, the red-shirt freshman resembles a young Marshawn Lynch. Maybe it’s just the combination of the hair hanging out the back of the helmet and the power beastmode style of running. Whatever it is, it caught my eye and I liked what I saw. Although there was basically no contact, he still hit the holes with authority and never dodged a would be tackler. I think this guy would run through a wall for you. He is the perfect fit for the Petrino pro-style offense that loves the power back. He also caught a lot of balls in this practice. I never saw him drop, or ever bobble a pass no matter if it came from Lamar of Jawon. Jeremy Smith was not on the practice field and I couldn’t get an explanation as to why, so big #40 took most of the first-team reps.
The second thing that stood out to me was the defense. It’s so hard to tell what the play or drill was supposed to be in a practice but the whole day just had the vibe that the defense was getting the better of the offense. Not sure if they were practicing short passes or defensive coverage was that good but it seemed the quarterbacks had to check down and throw a lot of short passes. The usual suspects remained at their spots but I noticed the absence of Chucky Williams. Not sure why he was not out there but P.J. Blue filled in nicely at safety. I think P.J. is going to see a lot of playing time and I am happy about that.
Stacy Thomas had a nice interception of Jawon Pass and nearly held on to a second interception. He is poised for a big year.
The receivers on this team are a dream come true for Lamar. Jaylen Smith is still out recovering from a broken foot so other receivers are getting a chance to prove themselves. Javonte Bagley continues to look good this spring.I really enjoyed watching Dez Fitzpatrick go up against Jaire Alexander. You want to be a better receiver? Go practice against the best cover corner in college football. Dez did exactly that and did it well. This kid runs such clean and precise routes and has the ability and size to go get the ball at it’s highest point. He is definitely going to be a super star before he heads to the NFL. But the receiver who looked the best was Seth Dawkins. I can’t count how many passes he caught. I didn’t see him drop a pass all day. Having Jaylen on one side with Seth on the other and Reggie in the slot will make for many sleepless nights for ACC defensive coordinators.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, C.J. Avery is a beast. This kid is an early enrolee. He should still be in high school getting ready for prom. Instead he is out there looking like he has been here for 3 years. He is a physical specimen and he just looks like he wants to hit somebody. Keep an eye out for #9 on defense this year. I’d say he end up starting at the “star” position. I think that’s great news for the good guys and terrible news for the bad guys.
I think it shows just how far this program has come and how many great prospects are on this team when you don’t even hardly notice that the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is just out there flinging balls around. Yes. Lamar looked great and you would think that most of the 200 people in attendance were there just to see him but most people came out to see the whole team. I know they lost a lot on defense and the offensive line was, well, offensive last year but I truly believe that this team has the potential to be right there on the verge of the playoffs again this year.
I hope to see all of you out at the Spring Game on Saturday, April 15th at 1:00.
As Always, GO CARDS!
Last Season: With Lorenzo Mauldin leaving for the NFL, Louisville recruited former Big XII Defensive Player of the Year Devonte Fields to replace him. While Fields struggled in the first half of the season to find some rhythm, he eventually led the team with 10.5 sacks last season, including 7.5 in the final three games against Pitt, Kentucky and Texas A&M. Keith Kelsey led all Cardinals with 106 tackles, and Louisville saw a bevvy of linebackers come in and have a major impact on the team. Louisville also saw Trevon Young have a nice spurt of 8.5 sacks in a four-game stretch, as the linebacker group became the strongest group in Louisville’s defense.
James Burgess is the lone starter gone from last season’s team, now signed as an undrafted free agent by his hometown Miami Dolphins. Keith Brown and Nick Dawson-Brents, who Louisville saw used in a reserve role last season, both transferred to Western Kentucky.
This Season: It goes without saying that this is not only Louisville’s strongest position on the entire team, but this may be the strongest linebacker group in the country.
As mentioned, Devonte Fields leads the group as the main edge rusher for Louisville. Fields has the potential to be yet another first-round pick for the Cardinals; the senior has strong hands at the point of attack, and has some great agility to sidestep pass blockers. Fields has received a lot of praise as an All-American and All-ACC candidate, and could be in for an outstanding 2016 season if he stays consistent for all 12 games.
The other edge rusher remains a mystery to most. With Trevon Young sitting out the 2016 season due to a hip injury suffered in the Music City Bowl, James Hearns will be the guy to replace him. Hearns was a highly touted prospect when he signed with the team in 2013, but hasn’t quite cracked the starting lineup due to so much talent at the position the last three seasons. He got a lot of playing time as a reserve last season and got to audition for his role, after Trevon Young was injured. Hearns has also lined up as a 3-4 defensive end, so it’ll be interesting to see if Todd Grantham will occasionally move Hearns there in certain blitz packages and get more speed from reserves like Henry Famurewa and Jonathan Greenard.
Keith Kelsey and Stacy Thomas are the starting inside linebackers, and both figure to be solid All-ACC candidates. Kelsey is an outstanding tackler, and a consistent, reliable playmaker for Louisville’s defense. Kelsey is a solid leader and has been an all-around threat for Louisville. It will be interesting to see what Kelsey does this season without his fellow “Bash Brother” Burgess, but most fans are excited to see what Stacy Thomas has to offer as his replacement. Thomas had an impressive showing in the Music City Bowl, and possibly stands as the X-factor for this defense after being a special teams ace. He was thought to miss a couple games to start the season, but he recently returned to practice and is ready to go for Thursday’s game against Charlotte.
Even if injuries and transfers left the linebacker position without more players, the team has amazing depth in their two-deep lineup that will allow them to compete. Henry Famurewa and Jonathan Greenard are two guys that could see more time as edge rushers this season; both were highly touted . Amonte Caban and Isaac Stewart are two young, impressive linebackers who could spell Kelsey and/or Thomas this season, and they figure to be the future for Louisville at the position once those two graduate.
Gary McCrae, who was featured in the Netflix hit documentary Last Chance U, signed with Louisville after failing to qualify academically for Georgia. McCrae is a guy that could see time this year as a reserve, but this is a very deep group and most of the incoming players may see a redshirt this season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – University of Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino brought his full football team together for the first time on Saturday afternoon after the team participated in split practices for the first three days.
After practicing with the rookies in the morning and the veterans in the afternoon, the whole team came together on Saturday after the team met with the media and took pictures during their Annual Media Day.
It was a little fun break for the team, who has been grinding through the first couple days of a hot and humid camp.
Football season is still over two months away but it’s on my mind everyday. I recently received an email for the University ticket office that stated my request for Clemson tickets was approved and would be mailed at the end of August. I felt like a six-year-old on Christmas morning upon reading that email. Football has always been my first love even though I have come to enjoy Cardinal softball since I started covering it for CSZ. You should really go to a softball game. It’s a great time and you will be pleasantly surprised with the product on the field. Read the rest of this entry