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The Cardinal Countdown: 68 Days Until Kickoff

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Middle Tennessee v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

#68 Danny Burns

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-6/321

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Hamilton, OH

Twitter: N/A

Thoughts: Danny Burns is a name that has stood out for me personally the last few seasons as I thought he was a solid pickup on the recruiting trail and with his size he may be able to fight for some PT fairly early into his career at UofL. After a taking a redshirt in 2015 Burns failed to see any action last season and heads into 2017 looking to try and crack the offensive line rotation. We’ve covered it ad nausea the last few day so we all know that the offensive line is still a work in progress, but in my opinion, players like Burns can push those first level guys to either perform or be replaced. The problem when Bobby 2.0 began was not only was the offensive line thin on “talent” but also very thin in general, both metaphorically (depth chart) and physically. I hit on this last season but now that we have a new class in the fold I thought I’d reexamine how the Cards O-line stacks up against the defending National Champion. This year, that comparison will be against the orange team east of us that enjoys crotch grabs and fills their Gatordade coolers with Heisman tears, the Clemson Tigers.

Somewhat surprising to me, the projected Louisville roster for 2017 is actually slightly bigger than the Championship line from Clemson. As I mentioned above, when I did a similar exercise back in 2015 we averaged around 6’5”, 296lb compared to the Championship FSU team from the prior year sitting at 6’5” 317. The Cards are getting bigger for sure as that number didn’t include the reserves which were much smaller two seasons ago. Now, hopefully this is an obvious statement for the intelligent reader you are, but size isn’t everything (get you’re chuckle out, ok ,now regain focus). We know with the Petrino offense the line is sometimes asked to do alot of work downfield, which means we can’t have five 6’6” 350lb lineman back there, or else the offense won’t work. We know we need some athleticism and some quick feet so they continually fight the size vs. quickness battle up front in recruiting and in their fitness plan once they arrive on campus. You have to respect Klenakis for the talent he has brought in the last few years but I think the rehire of Coach Summers will do wonders up front and we see a “championship caliber” performance with more consistency moving forward.

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Game 9: Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Key Player: The playbook

Yes, it’s mostly a joke, but there is some truth to the fact that one year later the whole ‘Wakey Leaks’ story will be front and center once these teams meet again, and the entire week leading up to it. For someone scanning through boxscores ten years from now this is 100% a nonstory as the final score last year (44-12) makes it appear the Cards had it well in hand from kickoff, but we know that wasn’t the case. I for one was chewing fingernails late into the 4th quarter where it seemed as if the Cards finally overpowered the Deacs with a couple late TDs and quick turnovers. While no one can say definitively how impactful the information UofL received was the week leading up to the game, it appeared that for three plus quarters they matched up pretty well. Wake returns 17 starters this year and looks to best their third ranked scoring defense in the ACC from last season. While I’m not going to call out an upset the Cards certainly need to be prepared for a decent team, in their building, a week after an emotional win or loss against FSU, but we know preparation is key to Petrino’s prolonged success. You could say it’s a big part of his….playbook.

Sweet Tweet: No twitter for Danny which gives me the perfect opportunity to throw a quick shout out to Mrs. CardinalStrong who is finishing up a very big chapter of her professional career today and I could not be more proud to call her my wife.

I’m very excited about our future, and for those of you who read the “100 Days” post, you knew at some point this summer we were packing our bags and heading back to Louisville…well, that time is now. The truck gets loaded tomorrow and it’s eastbound and down!

Sorry for the slight detour down the personal path but this Countdown has been a big chunk of my personal time for six years now. (I was typing a post about Titus Teague in the hospital the night before my daughter was born for pete’s sake, you can handle a quick sidenote). Glad to continue the journey with you all from a much closer location.

Thanks as always for reading…Louisville, we’re coming home.