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The Cardinal Countdown: 3 Days Until Kickoff

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NCAA Football: Western Kentucky at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

#3 Malik Cunningham

Class: RS Sophomore

Ht/Wt: 6-1/192

Position: Quarterback

Hometown: Montgomery, AL

Twitter: @MalikMalikc10

Thoughts: Malik Cunningham in 2018 was one of the few bright spots in an offense that could just never get rolling. Cunningham finished 2018 with the best completion % (59.7), best QB rating (120.94), most yards per attempt (7.1), the most rushing yards on the entire team (497), and the most rushing touchdowns (5). The man had some highlights...

You certainly saw some good quarterback play at times above, but the majority of the 12 minutes was an athlete just out there making plays. Coming into the season, due to the stats I listed above, and some of what we saw in the clip, many felt as if Cunningham and Pass would be neck and neck for QB1 heading into fall camp. While whispers leaked during the Spring that Pass was pulling away a bit I think Malik still had an outside shot to win the job in the fall. Unfortunately a knee injury sidelined Cunningham a few weeks ago and he is still working to get back to 100%.

I say all this because Malik is much too talented to play backup for 12 games this year, and Satterfield agrees. He has made it known that Cunningham has to get on the field, even if he isn’t lined up behind center. While the possibilities for a player like Cunningham are nearly endless I can see him in some “wildcat” formations, maybe as a secondary option in the backfield, or even lining up in the slot. Cunningham is still listed as the #2 right now, and the cliché is true, you’re only one play away from being the man. You can’t throw him out there in crazy situations and risk injury knowing that Conley would have to be ready to go immediately, but I understand that playing clipboard jockey is a big waste in talent.

While I certainly don’t want to force a position change on Malik I will point out that more than a handful of former QBs have had pretty solid success moving to another spot here at Louisville. I’ll be interested to see how 2019 and beyond pans out for Malik. I believe he can be a big part of the Satterfield offense in way or another for the next 3 years.

Sweet Tweet:

My man has been counting down with me the whole time. Almost there MC, almost there.

***

#3 Russ Yeast

Class: Junior

Ht/Wt: 5-11/196

Position: Defensive Back

Hometown: Greenwood, IN

Twitter: @russ_yeast03

Thoughts: Russ was here, then he was gone, then he was a corner, now he’s a safety….

For those who forgot Russ entered his name into the transfer portal towards the end of last season when the dumpster fire was fully engulfed. Once Satterfield was brought in, signed some new coaches, and made it known that things were about to change, Russ was back in. Not long after Satterfield let us know that the physical Yeast was sliding back to safety, freeing up a spot at corner. I liked the move back then since we’ve seen for a couple seasons now that Russ does have some difficulty in one on one, man to man coverage. Letting him play an “area” should help with that and allow him to show off some of that ‘pop’ in his two bill frame.

Not to be forgotten is Yeast’s ability to contribute on special teams. Yeast was usually the #2 kick returner last year and was able to return 3 balls for a nearly 20 yard average. The hidden benefit of having him back there is that if he doesn’t field the return, you now have a safety leading the charge for the return man and he is looking to lay a hit. Glad to have Russ back, and I think he is a highlight in a secondary I want to see some improvement in.

Sweet Tweet:

Yeast takes down Coach Thomas in a plate holding competition. I can also hold plates, usually more so around Thanksgiving, but basically the same.