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The Cardinal Countdown: 67 Days Until Kickoff

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Florida International v Louisville Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images

#67 Thomas Nauert

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 6-2/305

Position: Offensive Line

Hometown: Louisville, KY (Product of DeSales High School)

Twitter: N/A

Thoughts: Nauert is a local practice squad player from the southside of Louisville who appears to have played the majority of his reps in high school at the center position. On most teams, a player like Thomas is a high commodity because he has the knowledge and understanding of directing the offense, and can be a real asset to helping the practice squad get in a few more reps instead of coaches just throwing another lineman in that spot to fill the void. No offense to the other lineman but the center position is usually held by one of the “smartest players” up front because they have to know what to do in numerous situations, and react quickly with that knowledge.

Big thanks to Thomas on his daily contributions to the squad and glad to see another local kid play for his hometown team.

***

Game 10: Virginia Cavaliers

Key Player: Jordan Ellis, Junior, Running back

When the Cards made the move to the ACC and Virginia was announced as it permanent rival I was actually a little happy. I knew the Clemson and FSU battles would be brutal every year (and I heard NC State was about to have a breakout season!) so have an easier opponent from the Coastal Division was a welcome sight. Three years in, I was completely wrong. For some reason the Hoos have been an absolute battle every single season, even if though they play poorly against everyone else. Year one the Cavaliers welcomed the Cards into Charlottesville with a loss, but finished the season 5-7. Year two a late turnover (thanks Quick) saved the Cardinals and they pulled out a 7 point win in PJCS even though UVA only managed a 4-8 season. Last year, we all know the last minute theatrics between Lamar and Jaylen that saved the Cards Top 5 ranking and their playoff hopes at the time, and Virginia limped to a 2-10 record. I think Bronco Mendenhall will get the ship righted but it may take another season or two, and this year he will rely heavily on whoever replaces the highly productive RB Taquan Mizzell. I think that guy will be Jordan Ellis…

Mizzell was a dual threat out of the backfield and lead the team in rushing yards and receptions; in fact he finished his career with the most receptions for a running back in the history of the ACC. For UVA to make a push towards four or five wins Ellis will have to step up big and help QB Kurt Benkert get an offense going that finished 12th in conference and 112th nationally last year. Without a consistent run threat UVA may be staring another 2 or 3 win season in the face as they play nine teams this year who made a bowl last season. One thing is for sure, the game against the Cards is gonna be close.

Sweet Tweet:

No twitter for Nauert so I’ll piggyback off of yesterday‘s post and use this as an opportunity to put some feelers out about the city of Louisville (being that I’m a new resident once again). For those out of towners who read the countdown or those folks who plan on making the trip during football season, what are the “must not miss” places in town nowadays? Let’s assume everyone is aware of the Slugger Museum, Churchill Downs, and the Ali Musuem. I’m talking food, bars, tailgates, etc.

Lay it on us…