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The Cardinal Countdown: 75 Days Until Kickoff

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NCAA Football: Houston at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#75 Robbie Bell

Class: RS Freshman

Ht/Wt: 6-5/300

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Hoschton, GA

Twitter: @thatguy_robbie1

Thoughts: There has been lots of chatter about Mr. Bell the last two years (going back into his recruitment) and we may finally get to see what Robbie can do much sooner than some expected. While the center position has been consistent in terms of personnel, it has been somewhat inconsistent in terms of production. Tobijah Hughley was a great story of a walk-on turned starter, turned captain…but, there was no shortage of expletives intertwined with Hughleys name the last two years as we saw a few “walk-on like” actions in key situations. How a center can have so many false start penalties is a freaking myster-…I digress.

Now, the truth of the matter is that Hughley actually played some damn good football at times, and we saw on occasion why Petrino named him an offensive captain last season. So, can we really expect a redshirt freshman to slide right in and play as a well as an experienced team captain in year one? Maybe. Bell has been getting the high praise of the fanbase and the coaching staff for awhile now and he was deep in a battle with Nate Scheler this spring for the starting spot at center, a job which I think he will eventually win. He has decent size already but has shown he can put on some weight if necessary, adding 10lb+ since arriving on campus. Bell, if he can win the spot at center, will get the benefit of being surrounded up front by some experienced players and learning under the tutelage (I love that word) of a coach who has put a few Cardinals in the NFL in years past.

Hate to place the Mike Marra type expectations on a freshman but I honestly think Bell could be the beginning of the next chapter for the Cards up front. As we lose McNeil, Christian, Thomas, etc in the next year or two I think Bell will be the mainstay to help anchor the next crop of lineman into the fold.

***

Game 4: Kent State Golden Flashes

Key Player: Nick Holley, Senior, Quarterback

Tough to name someone a key player when you’re not 100% sure they’ll even be the starter but, here we are. Holley was productive for the Golden Flashes last year but relied heavily on his legs, actually finishing 7th in the MAC in rushing yards (920yds) and 3rd in the MAC with 10 rushing TDs. The Golden Flashes have a decent defensive core that has the potential to slow down the Cards offense, some, but Kent State won’t have a shot unless they score many, many, many, points and that will require Holley to improve his passing attack significantly over his performance last season (79yds/g). Without a viable threat in the air I’d expect Sirmon to go “full Grantham” and let the defense loose into the backfield most of the game. By Game 4 we should be able to tell if Holley has grown as a passer….or it will be a long afternoon for the Golden Flashes.

Sweet Tweet:

Robbie doesn’t tweet, only retweets, so as we welcome him, a freshman, into the fold this year it’s only proper to post a retweet of his to honor a few of the guys who earned that paper back in May. Congrats fellas!