HOW DOES LOUISVILLE CONTAIN D’ERIQ KING?
Louisville has a big test this week with D’Eriq King and his ability to scramble and run. The UofL defense has struggled with running Quarterbacks in this new scheme with a few instances of guys leaking out of the backfield after the pass rush gets behind them. We also saw last week that even when the pass rush gets there, Quarterbacks have been able to avoid the rush and complete passes or take off and run.
King is all of those Quarterbacks we saw last year on steroids. He’s elusive in the pocket as well as in the open field. He can also run away from people when he gets loose. The other big issue is that he is an accurate thrower and keeps his eyes up the field when he scrambles. Louisville will have to spy him with someone. That could be Monty Montgomery or possibly Russ Yeast if they decide to play an extra Defensive Back. That would put stress on the rest of the secondary as they would have to be able to defend some speedy receivers with less help.
NESTA JADE SILVERA WILL BE A PROBLEM
Louisville needs to be able to run the ball in order to have their offense run as efficiently as they would like it to. That means that they have to control the line of scrimmage and Nesta Jade Silvera makes that really hard to do. Silvera is the exact type of Defensive Tackle that all coaches dream of having. He has great size at 6-2/305 and he has an absurd motor. I look at him as a poor man’s Marvin Wilson because he plays so hard and disrupts so many plays.
The Louisville Offensive Line had a strong game last week, overall, but they did get pushed around a bit early on. DeAngelo Malone got penetration in between the gaps which could be a problem with Quincy Roche and Jaelan Phillips being so quick. The big concern is the interior, though, and Silvera could blow up the blocking scheme and cause some real issues for the running game.
LOUISVILLE SHOULD USE CONDENSED FORMATIONS OFTEN
I’ll openly admit that I somewhat stole this from Richard Johnson who is one of my favorite college football writers. He posted a tweet of Ean Pfiefer’s touchdown catch and pointed out UofL’s condensed formation. It got me thinking about how that effects a defense and here we are.
My thinking is that condensed formations help to mitigate the speed of a defense and ends up making them think more. It’s similar to pre-snap motion in the way that you force the defense to adjust and potentially get confused. You can also get a read on what coverage the defense may be in. With these tighter formations, it gives you built in misdirection because you have to account for bunched receivers on top of the motion that UofL uses so often.
With Miami priding themselves on team speed on defense, the tighter formations allow Louisville to run crossers and other routes that will help the receivers gain separation. It should also lead to what we saw on the Pfiefer touchdown which was confusion on who the biggest threat is. Dez Fitzpatrick ran the underneath crossing route we usually see Tutu run while Tutu ran a backside post out of a slot split. The corner keyed on Dez while the Safety was held by Tutu. That left Pfiefer wide open.
SPECIAL TEAMS HAS TO BE MUCH BETTER THIS WEEK
This is obvious but it has to be pointed out because Special Teams was a nightmare in this game last year. Miami got a partial block on a punt and Mason King had a rough time with hang time which led to a big return in the first half. Those issues put Louisville’s defense in an an adverse situation to defend a short field which probably didn’t matter with the way they played, but it definitely didn’t help.
The two issues with the punt team last week are what stand out but we also saw Hassan Hall take a return out of the endzone when he shouldn’t have. He compounded his error by trying to run sideways to outrun the coverage. There were multiple issues with Stu Holt’s group but I do feel like he’ll get them in line. It could be the difference in the game if they give up field position to Miami.