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The Wynnedbag: Week One

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NCAA Football: Louisville at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back with the first #Wynnedbag of the season and it’s a good one. We get a little bit of smoked meat talk mixed in with football this week and I couldn’t be happier for it.

As always, shoot me your questions on Twitter (@keith_wynne), email (keithwynne2@gmail.com), or the Card chronicle Facebook page DMs.

Louisville will have a 1,000-yard rusher for sure. Who that person is remains to be seen but I think it will be Jalen Mitchell. He has the size to handle the workload and I think they will really look to run the ball a lot if the Offensive Line is playing up to their potential. Scott Satterfield typically has a guy over 1,000 yards in his offense and I don’t see that changing this year.

One thing that will be interesting is how much they use the backups. Lousiville hasn’t really gone three-deep at Running Back over the last two years but I would be very surprised if Trevion Cooley doesn’t get a good amount of carries this season.

I currently have Louisville at 8 wins if they don’t have any major injuries at Quarterback or Safety. I think they’re deep enough everywhere else to handle a loss to a starter. To me, they should get 5 or 6 conference wins this year alone. That leaves EKU and one of the out-of-conference games to get to 7 or 8.

I should also point out that Bill is a big proponent of “Turnover Luck”. He truly feels that turnovers are our mostly luck and that they typically regress to the mean year-over-year. He’s not alone in that thinking as David Hale points out the same type of thinking pretty regularly. That likely factors into Bill having them at 7 wins in his system and hale having them at 8 wins.

I’ll put it this way. I’m putting all of my faith in this team behind this actually happening. If Louisville can’t stop the run, and force teams into third and long consistently they will have a hard time truly improving as a defense.

I think the strength of the defense is the secondary but they need the pass rush to get home more often this year. With guys like Yasir Abdullah, Yaya Diaby, Ashton Gillotte, and Monty Montgomery, they have the bodies to rush the passer from different angles and different personnel groupings. The excuses don’t really hold water anymore.

The thing is, the staff hasn’t made any excuses this year. They have had no issue with pointing out the lack of depth and size before this year. They haven’t said anything about depth outside of the Safety position and they really haven’t said it as much as people have questioned it. This staff has talked up the defense for months. They get to own that either way it goes.

I said this on Mike’s show last week but if Louisville starts the season with Bryan Hudson on the bench, they better be better on the Offensive Line. I know that guy can play and if the other guys have been deemed better than him, we should see real improvement. They also have the type of depth that will allow them to substitute to keep guys fresh or bench guys that aren’t playing at the level they expect. They just haven’t been able to do that up until now.

Also, like I pointed out above, the excuses are gone at this point. Covid was a huge factor on the Defensive Line last year so I think the added talent they’ve brought in along with the veterans and young guys that got to play last year should help them this season. It’s one of the things I thought helped NC State last season and something that will help Syracuse this year. Having to play young guys only helps them once you actually need real snaps from them. Even a guy like Jared Dawson getting a handful of meaningful snaps last year should give the coaches the confidence to play him more this year.

The new smoker is awesome. I ended up getting a Pit Boss Pro Series and it has all the room I could ever need. One of my biggest issues was that I could only make one thing at a time and I hated it. Now I can fit just about everything I’m making on it at the same time. I’m actually going to go crazy and do a brisket with a pork shoulder and some sides this weekend when we have family over to meet our daughter. Why? Because I don’t have to work for a few weeks and I can.

As for Bobby’s question, I would say a pork shoulder is the easiest thing to learn on. It doesn’t take a lot of skill and it’s one of the cheaper options in case you screw it up. I would buy an 8-pound shoulder and keep it simple with how you smoke it. You can get a store-bought dry rub or grab a bottle from a restaurant you like. I personally like the rub from Momma’s Mustard and Pickles. Rub down the shoulder liberally and put it on the smoker at 225 or 250. It should take about 10 hours or so and make sure you don’t freak out when you hit the stall at about 160 degrees. The meat will seemingly stop cooking but you just have to stick with it and it will start rising in temp again after a while. Once it hits 190 you can take it off the smoker and you should be good.

I like the fact that the Defensive Line got all the questions this week. It’s such a huge factor in how this defense performs and it’s really the only spot on the team that is a real unknown. Wide Reciever is a concern because there is no “go-to guy” but there are still guys that have shown flashes and they have veterans who you can at least feel good about.

This Defensive Line needs some guys who can make plays and as of this moment, no one has shown the ability to do that consistently. But I’m buying the hype for two reasons. Mark Ivey has been a straight shooter since he got here and he has really talked up this group because of the talent of Diaby and Gillote as well as the depth of the group, especially up the middle.

I also just really buy into the potential of the pass rush. Diaby missed time last year and they just didn’t have another option outside of him. The line has to either make the plays or open things up for others to make the play. They did the latter at times but they have to be able to do both if this defense is going to reach their potential.

This has been the talk since the spring and I can say that I saw it as an obvious focus in the open practice they had to start camp. And when I say it was a focus I mean it was something the Quarterbacks did non-stop when things weren’t open. It was really nice to see Malik take the underneath throw or just throw it out of bounds, as well. We all know he can run when things aren’t open but he has to broaden his game to live for the next play.

While I don’t know if we will see screens in the offense I do think we will see more short passes that will help to slow down the pass rush. when you get the ball out quickly you force the Defensive Line to stop rushing and look to bat the ball down. That should help the offense avoid the sacks we saw last season.