Louisville heads south Saturday to take on a Wolfpack, a hurricane, and the toughest foe they have faced in 2015, themselves. The Cardinals dominated Samford to capture their first victory of the season and finally, there were smiles in the locker room. Louisville's backs are still firmly against the wall, but the rebuilding process has begun and a train of positive momentum is ready to leave the station.
Coach Petrino made the smart move and settled the quarterback debate. Lamar Jackson took full advantage of his newly found job security and accounted for 400 of Louisville's 562 yards of offense. Everyone knows it was "just Samford" and the 18 year old wasn't flawless, but his ability is jaw dropping at times and his upside is endless. Jackson completed 68% of his passes and found 10 different receivers with his 15 completions. Action Jackson is the conductor of Louisville Football for the foreseeable future, climb aboard or do everyone a favor and get off the platform.
N.C. State offers the Cardinals an opportunity to even their conference record at 1-1, and fortunately for Louisville, the 12:30 kickoff and horrendous weather forecast should washout a usually hostile home field advantage.
The Wolfpack are an unknown entity thus far in 2015. Their record reads an impressive 4-0, but their schedule tells a different story. Cupcake is a kind word to use when describing N.C. State's four opponents. These four teams have been outscored 310-60 in their losses in 2015... I rest my case. The one constant about the Wolfpack is their quarterback, Jacoby Brissett. Brissett is a senior in his second full year as starter and is currently completing 78% of his passes. The senior takes excellent care of the football and has only thrown nine interceptions to this point in his career. The Cardinals are once again leading the nation in interceptions and if Harvey-Clemons, Wiggins, Williams, and Washington make a few plays Saturday afternoon Louisville should escape Raleigh, and hurricane Joaquin, with a victory.
With the national weather service calling for torrential rain that would make wet season on the plains of Africa jealous, Louisville's in-flux and questionable offensive line will be vital. The Cardinals will have to run the ball, someone other than just Lamar Jackson that is. Louisville ranks 92nd in the country in rushing offense, and Lamar Jackson is the leading rusher at 314 total yards followed by Radcliffe at 200 total yards. No other player has eclipsed 50 total rushing yards. Coach Petrino has implemented new looks in the backfield with both Reggie Bonnafon and Jackson and hopefully this slight twist will leave the defense guessing just enough to open some holes. Coach Petrino wants to move fast and limit any negative impact the o-line can have, let us pray it works.
Louisville Football chose a new face, the future, and continuity this past Saturday. The new mixed well with the old and a tiny bit confidence has creeped into the Cardinal locker room. Louisville will have to overcome the elements and a solid conference rival Saturday afternoon to keep hope alive in 2015. Confidence and momentum is everything in college sports, watch out if the Cardinals claim victory in Raleigh. Louisville's train of victories is ready to depart, all aboard!
All Hail UofL !!