Can Louisville's Offensive Line Continue To Dominate?
The focus around Louisville football has been on Lamar Jackson which makes sense but the offensive line is the biggest reason that the offense is killing people so far. The line is not only providing Lamar Jackson time to go through his progressions when needed, they're also opening gaping holes on traditional run plays. That's the major difference in the offense this year. Players have gotten better and the scheme is working extremely well but the execution by the offensive line has been outstanding.
Marshall's defense has done well with utilizing their speed to beat blockers to the spot and cause disruptions behind the line of scrimmage. While I don't think that Marshall will cause problems for UofL's line, I do think they could make it harder to get the big play yardage we've seen from the traditional run game. I also think they will penetrate better on long developing pass plays. If the Herd can make a few plays early they could rattle a Louisville offensive line that has been playing with a ton of confidence and swagger.
Will Marshall Block A Kick?
Marshall takes great pride in their special teams and specifically so when it comes to blocking kicks. When you look at their game notes for their depth chart you're greeted with a list of every blocked kick they've had since 1996. Clemson has blocked 23 kicks over the last 5 years and they already have one this year. Teams that put a premium on special teams always seem to get a big play in the big games so it's definitely something to keep an eye on with Marshall.
Louisville has a new punter and snapper this season and all it takes is a slight slow down in the timing to give the block team a chance. Louisville has done well covering as well as getting the ball off pretty quickly this season. It is somewhat worrisome that Mason King hasn't been booming the ball down the field and it could lead to some shakiness on his part. It's also important that Louisville doesn't make it any easier for an offense that can move the ball pretty well.
Louisville's Outside Receivers Should Have A Big Day.
Louisville is going into their biggest and most important game of the season next weekend with Clemson on the road. So, this week I think that Louisville could look to run the ball less with Lamar Jackson and open up the passing game. Marshall didn't look bad at all against the run last week against Akron, but the Zips had two receivers go for 115+ yards. They also had a third go for 88 yards and a score. While the final score was misleading from a defensive standpoint, it got that lopsided in part because Marshall couldn't match up with Akron's size and speed outside and the Marshall safeties weren't over top to provide assistance. If that was by design I don't see their corners having a much easier time with the speedy Louisville wide outs.