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Louisville Football Mailbag: Part 2

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Louisville v Kentucky Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

I got a ton of questions this time around so this will be three part mailbag at least. I’ll answer any other questions in the comments if you have them.

With the new revelation that the team was blamed for the FSU loss by Bobby Petrino, I tend to think they would have probably won 4 games last year. The Virginia game is the one I’m hung up on. UVA had a great year last season but they also squeaked by everyone outside of their bowl game. The defense didn’t play well in that game but I think holding UVA to 27 would have been enough to win the game.

The game that I think would have started the free fall even with Lamar is the Georgia Tech game. It would have been a much more of a shootout but the defense didn’t do a single thing to stop GT and Louisville’s offense was always good for a handful of drives that they just couldn’t do anything. After the GT game they had three straight games against teams that they lost to the year before. I don’t see any reason they would have won those games with a checked out coaching staff and a much worse defense. I also think that Clemson would have still drove the last nail into the coffin on the season.

The key factor in this question is if Petrino still mails it in if Lamar comes back. Personally, I think he does and he also has BVG as his defensive coordinator either way. Lamar was great but he would’ve had to be Superman to overcome all of the issues from last year.

I believe Rivals and 247 have reported that Ja’Darien Boykin and Jamel Starks both failed to qualify. Ty Tyler will reportedly join the team on Sunday so that’s one positive out of the annual wait to see if everyone makes it in. Tyler will definitely be a part of the rotation on the defensive line and could find himself in the starting lineup if he plays well.

My hope with Boykin and Starks is that they could maybe take the prep school route like Gerod Holliman. That would allow them to spend a year playing at that level before coming to Louisville as freshmen. They would also be able to be on campus for spring ball if everything went as planned. On the other hand, Louisville could chose to move on from both players or they could chose to go the JUCO route and could look to go elsewhere once they were ready to go to a four year school. My hope is that they somehow stay in the fold as they were two of my favorite players in the class.

A few years back when Louisville dropped the new uniforms before the Auburn game, Mike sent a text asking if I could throw up a quick post on the new uniforms and I just figured it would be a throwaway post that no one would care about. It turned out to be the most viewed post I had had at that point and I was completely blown away by how much people cared about something so boring to me. People are absolutely obsessed with new uniforms and it will never not be weird to me.

On the other hand, players love it and I think that’s all that matters in the long run. When it comes to Dae Williams, I don’t see him having that big year that some folks have been waiting for. Hassan Hall will be the number one running back and should get the lion’s share of carries. Behind him I think that Javian Hawkins will be the second guy in line. One possibility for Williams could be as a guy that could be used late in games if they have the lead. Having a big back is helpful when defenders are tired and don’t want to tackle anymore.

I wrote up some breakdowns of App State’s games from last year but I’m the least tech savvy blogger on earth so some of the gifs don’t work anymore. If you search “App State Film Review” on the home page you can take a look at what I’ve posted and hope that most of the gifs work.

To answer your question, the offense is more run heavy but I tend to think that some of those stats are skewed by the fact that they beat the hell out of most of the teams they played and naturally ran the ball more. The offense last year was a “wide zone” offense that Dwayne Ledford specializes in and the LA Rams also run. Here’s a good look at how the blocking scheme works. They will run a lot of play action off of the looks that you can see in the video. That will open up some very easy passes for the quarterback which should lead to some big plays for UofL’s very good wide receivers.

There will also be plenty of misdirection plays in this offense where the slot receiver will go in “orbit” motion behind the quarterback. They ran option plays off of that motion as well as different passing plays. There are also plays that had the slot receiver throwing the football. In my opinion, there aren’t as many plays that I would label as “trick plays” as much as I would just call them misdirection plays or plays that are designed to confuse the defense.