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The Cardinal Countdown: 27 Days Until Kickoff

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#27 L.J. Scott

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-0/225

Position: Running back

Hometown: Marion, OH


Thoughts: Spoiler alert, back on Day 34 when I asked you who you thought the ‘Top Dog’ running back would end up being, I voted for L.J. Scott.  Not because I don’t like Bad Rad or question his ability, I just think Scott has the ‘intangibles’ to become an amazing back. Maybe that transition begins this season and then he takes over next year, or maybe he has his foot on the gas from Day 1 this year and Petrino can’t keep him off the field. Either way…I’ll be right. And really, that’s all that matters. (Even though he’s a Belieber)

Last season Scott was part of the running back trio that many expected would help the offense make that year two Petrino leap. As we’ve already covered when discussing Jeremy Smith and Malin Jones, a few different roadblocks inhibited the group from becoming “what we thought they were” (RIP Denny Green) but I think 2016 is setting the table for a couple of these guys to have impressive seasons, and LJ is my pick for the one who benefits most. Scott was the team’s third leading rusher (from RB group) behind both Smith and Radcliff in attempts and yardage, but he did lead the group in yards per attempt (4.62). The other bright spot for Scott was that he lead the RB group in receptions (7) and had four times the receiving yardage (95) of the next highest back (Radcliff: 20yds), setting himself apart from the others as a player who could be relied on to catch the ball out of the backfield. If those stats don’t twist your arm about Scott making a leap, maybe the Spring game will help, where Scott led the ‘Red’ team in rushing and finished with an 8.5yd/att average, getting some Coach P love afterward for his hardnosed attack where he “did a nice job of hitting holes and breaking tackles”. Can Scott continue that performance into the Fall? A couple days in and it appears he hasn’t lost focus.

We all know that unless the O-line improves Scott, Radlciff, Smith, and others will just spin their wheels and we’ll be back in 2015 with Lamar having to make quick reads or take off to avoid getting pummeled. Personally, I think the line will show just how much difference a year can make. Back in the Spring Scott said the O-line was “considerably better than this time last year” and that was over 4 months ago and we still have another month before the games start to count. I’m starting to repeat myself from prior posts but I really do believe the line, and the passing threat from Lamar, will open the run game up significantly this year…and Scott and Company will reap the rewards.

Sweet Tweet:

You hear that ‘Jimbo’? You hear that ‘Dabo’. Hope you’re ready because you’re about to be ‘Jimb 0-1’ and ‘Dab 0-1’ against those Murderbirds in 2016.

(That sounded cooler in my head……screw it, we’ll roll with it)