The mailbag continues its streak of positive content and I couldn’t be happier. We all remember last year and each week seemed like an exercise in masochism. It’s been good to have some fun things to talk about and this week was very fun. I got to talk a bit about the future without ignoring the current and I got to nerd out about how this new staff has changed the way this program feels as a whole.
As always send me your questions via Twitter (@keith_wynne) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Miami (2.77) gives up fewer yards per rush than Clemson (2.96) or UVA (3.34). Do we pass to set up the run?— Aaron (@SpiralPilot) November 3, 2019
Also, Williams was benched for throwing interceptions vs. Va Tech and FSU dropped a few interceptions last week. What does UofL do take advantage of that?
I don’t want to take anything away from Miami’s defense because they are very good but they’ve been lucky enough to play some bad running teams. Central Michigan might be the only team they’ve played that has a “good” rushing offense. A couple of others might be “solid”. Diaz’s defenses have been pretty good at stopping the run in the past but nowhere near this good. That doesn’t make a lot of sense with them losing good run stoppers up front from he last few years.
You also have to keep in mind that FSU and Clemson are the only two teams that kept Louisville in check running the ball. FSU did so at the expense of making themselves vulnerable to UofL’s passing game that hadn’t yet formed. Clemson is just Clemson so there’s not much to learn there. So, I think that even if Miami were to shut down Louisville’s running game, it would be by bringing an extra guy in the box and everyone selling out against the outside zone runs. FSU did that and so did Wake. I think that Louisville would be able to throw the ball with success if that were to happen.
And when it comes to Williams, I talked a bit about his turnovers in the #W2W4 this week.
Louisville will have a nice stable of QB’s on the roster beginning next season. Look into your crystal ball and tell us who starts. Also, is Puma still on the roster in 2020 or does he transfer. Hypothetically speaking of course.— LJ tha Fiasco™️ (@LJthaFiasc0) November 3, 2019
My assumption right now is that unless Micale Cunningham or Evan Conley take a big step forward to show that they can be completely reliable, the position will be up for grabs. I think both guys have played well and probably have a big head start on the freshmen coming in, but neither will be the “presumed starter” without some improvements in their play.
This offense will always be run heavy but I think we’ve already seen that the success running the ball opens up a lot for the passing game. Imagine what that looks like with a quarterback who has complete control of the offense and can make every throw consistently. I don’t know if Conley or Cunningham can be that guy but I do think that the improvement all of the quarterbacks showed this year suggests that this staff can get them there.
As for the freshmen, I’ve like what I’ve seen from both of them when watching their high school games. Chubba Purdy has the running ability that I think this staff wants and that is what gives him the most potential to win the starting job next year. He can throw the ball well but they can run everything they want to with him in the game. Tee Webb is being slept on in my opinion. He really looks good slinging the ball around. They don’t play a lot of good competition so he doesn’t play full games a lot but when he’s out there he’s super accurate and he has really good arm strength. Getting here in the spring will help him a lot.
I don’t know that Jawon Pass will transfer as expected. If he graduates this winter I could see it but I don’t know if that’s the case. He would also have to find a spot that would take a chance on a quarterback that doesn’t have much to show for himself. If he had started this year on fire and then got hurt, it would be different. As of right now he’s an inaccurate quarterback with no good film which is unfortunate. So, I think it will come down to whether he wants to risk not finding a team or maybe stick around and fight for the job. Maybe he even considers a position change. Stranger things have happened.
What 4 star/high 3 star recruits do you see us landing, or at least having a chance to land? Any new names to look out for?— TLuck (@JukeJointTony) November 4, 2019
I came up with the bright idea of doing a recruiting board type of thing this year but I haven’t kept up with it like I planned. So I guess this would be a good spot to post how I think the staff will finish out the class. There are still 3-4 spots left in the class and I think they will fill them with these guys:
Greedy Vance - CB
Yaya Diaby - DE (JUCO)
Thomas Shrader - OL
Josh Griffis - DE
I feel pretty good about the first two guys but I’m taking a slightly educated guess on the other two guys who are FSU commits right now. Thomas Shrader said back before he committed that he was choosing between Louisville and FSU. The staff has continued to recruit him so they should have a big head start on everyone else. Griffis has also been a guy they’ve stayed on after he committed. He has been in contact with the staff since Willie Taggart was fired and he’s looking to set a date to take an official visit. None of those guys are four stars, but all of them would raise UofL’s average player rating per 247’s composite. It’s a metric that I like to use because it factors in the sie of your class. Adding those guys would put this class closer to the 2011 and 2017 classes which rank the highest since 2010.
As for the 2021 class, here are some guys they’re in on early that they seem to have good footing with:
Jantzen Dunn - DB
Travion Ford - DE
Corey Kiner - RB
Jordan Dingle - TE
They’ve been able to get a couple of highly rated players on campus and some have been more than once. The staff will still put a premium on guys that fit more than just highly rated kids. I’ve seen that in the early offers they’ve given out. It’s a good sign for the future as they won’t ever be able to bring in classes flooded with four stars. But as we’ve seen already, getting guys that can excel at what they need them to do is very important.
If you could add a new wrinkle(s) to either the offense or/and the defense, what would it/they be?— MarriedOnlineMan (@MadOnline247) November 4, 2019
I would love to see Bryan Brown get more speed on the field in his “money” package he uses on third downs. The back end is fine but right now they use G.G. Robinson and Jared Goldwire as part of the three man front. They got Thurman Geathers on the field some last week but I think it could be beneficial to see Ty Tyler, Gary McRae, or Tabarius Peterson out there. Hell, maybe get Robert Hicks some playing time by putting him on the edge. With them using Monty Montgomery as an edge rusher more often, getting another guy that can rush the passer off the other edge could be beneficial.
On offense I just want to see them throw the ball to Dez more often. I’ve said it before but this offense is at their best when they spread the ball around to the receivers. The Boston College and Wake Forest games were perfect examples. It’s not really a wrinkle but it’s something that would essentially be a change.
They also need to get the running backs involved with screens and throws to the flat. I expected to see it last week with Virginia being so aggressive but Miami and UK provide another opportunity for us to see some screens.
Is it possible to name another coaching staff that had a better more collaborative bye week? I already know the answer, but I think this opens the discussion about the importance of relationships within a staff.— Mary Robinson (@CardChick) November 4, 2019
As a pure fan of this team I can’t say enough about how cool it is to see this staff’s apparent bond. Social media only tells you so much but between the coaches/staff and their significant others we’re all getting a good view of how they interact with each other. Plenty of people have brought up the potential of losing coaches as the program becomes more successful but it should be pointed out that the off the field aspect of working for Scott Satterfield appear to be very important to his coaches and what they’ve said themselves has not been hyperbole.
It stood out to me when Bryan Brown was hired that he enjoyed being able to pick up his kids from school. I figured that was just a selling point quote that sounded good but when you look up from your own steering wheel and see Brown walking down the sidewalk with his kid, you realize these guys really get to have a unique experience as college football assistants. Add in the coaches all posting pictures of the first day of school with their kids even though they had morning practice that day and you start to believe that maybe these guys will choose to stick around as opposed to going somewhere where things like that don’t happen.
Seeing the coaching staff attend a concert as a group with their wives and girlfriends is cool. The recruiting and support staff dressing up as coaches for Halloween is cool. Hearing the head football coach’s wife talk about the head basketball coach picking up her daughter from school is cool. It’s very much college sports to me and it’s a breath of fresh air. Enjoying everything that comes with being a college coach is important, in my opinion. When you take a college job you become a part of the community. Our coaches seem to get that. So does our athletic director.
Vince Tyra is playing cornhole with tailgaters each home game and tossing out swag to fans. Chris Mack has had his team out by the Card March each week after hosting an open gym. There’s been a change that I think has been great. These guys act like they are a part of the programs as opposed to the guys that are tasked with creating/maintaining the programs. They're accessible and it’s refreshing. It’s not that the other way didn’t work, we all know it accomplished the goals. It’s that this way is more fun. It’s more “college” to me.
I won’t ever get tired of this coaching staff coming off as a group that feels lucky to be here. That doesn’t mean they won’t leave. They’ll do what’s best for them. But they’ll leave with a blessing from fans that know that they wanted to be here in the first place.