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The Cardinal Countdown: 95 Days Until Kickoff

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#95 Kyle Shortridge

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-2/305

Position: Defensive Tackle

Hometown: Loxahatchee, FL

Twitter: @shortdog99

Thoughts: Shortridge has the size to be a major factor along the line, but he’s been playing the waiting game the last couple years as an experienced front continued to dominate and provided little opportunity for Kyle to get some PT. I think things start to shift this year and Kyle builds on his four game, two tackle effort from a season ago. Shortridge will still be a second team player, but backing up Rankins or Pio is nothing to be ashamed of as both have proven to be excellent ends and experienced at their position. You could argue one or both will continue the tradition of defensive lineman getting drafted out of Louisville (i.e. Stanley, Dumervil, Okoye, Scruggs, Marcus Smith, Dubose) I think Kyle is a great example of the upward swing of our program. A Top 40 tackle out of High School is looking to get some quality playing time as a RS Sophomore BECAUSE the talent level in front of him was that good. While it may not be the best of news for Kyle personally, a player of his caliber steps on the field Day 1 at UofL just a few years ago without question, where as now he learns from those in front of him, waits for his opportunity and hopefully makes the most of what he gets this year. (See: Sample, James and Holliman, Gerod) I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to assume he could even be our starting defensive end next season if he shows out. (I know I’m doing a preseason countdown in which we’re 95 days away from the 2015 season so it sounds a little absurd to talk about 2016…but since when has absurd commentary been frowned upon at CC?)

Sweet Tweet:

You ask Kyle, and you shall receive. How about some new rules for the 2015 college football season! [groans] What, doesn’t everyone love more rules? Let’s take a peek at some of the bigger changes being made this year.

1. New Rule: An 8 man officiating crew will be allowed if a conference or school chooses.

My Take: Not sure why any school would not want to take advantage of this. Other than maybe the additional expense of the extra official I see little downside. Last season a few games used an eight man team with the extra man as a “center judge” who helped in spotting the ball and detecting penalties along the line (i.e. holding, face mask, illegal chop block, etc). While I can hear the defectors yelling about more penalties and slowing down the game I think the benefits outweigh the concerns in this situation.

2. A 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty will be given to any player who pushes or pulls on opponent off a pile up.

My Take: Probably a good idea, considering most large altercations begin with someone getting yanked off a pile, getting their feelings hurt, crying to their coach, their coach calling the other players coach to express his frustrations, the two coaches sitting down with both kids in a room to discuss how they plan to behave in the future, the player getting his bike taken away and his Nintendo privileges removed for the week…and he better not even THINK about going to Nick’s birthday party on Saturday afternoon! Additional 10 yard penalty can be added if said player responds with “but, he started it”. Vacuum and/or dish washing penalty is strictly at the discretion of the official.

3. If helmet comes off defensive player in the last minute of the half a 10 second runoff option will be presented to offensive team, and the play clock reset to 40 seconds. Defensive team can also take a timeout to avoid the 10 second runoff

My Take: The general concept is preventing stoppage of play. Stay with me here…Let’s say Team A has the ball on the 3, looking to punch it in with about 1:05 left in the half. They get stopped at the line but the clock keeps ticking. The play clock is reset to 40 seconds and with no timeouts Team B sees the clock run all the way down to around :20 seconds. Team A scores on the next play and Team B only has around 13-15 seconds left to respond. Previously, the defender on Team B could lose his helmet with 1:05 on the clock, forcing the officials to stop the clock. The defender has to leave the field, but the play clock was only pushed up to 25 seconds instead of 40. The next play is now snapped at about 40 seconds instead of 20. Now the same scenario as above results in Team B getting the ball back with about 35 seconds instead of 15. Somewhat confusing but it was an area where an equipment malfunction could be used as an advantage. (There’s a joke in there somewhere about equipment malfunctions and 20 seconds but I would never bring that low brow humor to this website)

4. Instant replay can be used to determine if a kicking team player blocked an opposing player prior to ball advancing 10 yards

My Take: While I’m general opposed to more instant replay this one should go pretty quick and will only occur during an onside attempt, where there is a questionable block. Got to think the frequency of needing to go to the monitor for this should be fairly small.

5. Non-standard or overbuilt facemasks will be prohibited. Player must leave the field and can only return with standard facemask.

My Take: I guess the theory is that a smaller facemask is less intimidating or could potentially cause less harm. I’ll refer to the expert…