USF’S OFFENSE IS ALL ABOUT SPEED IN SPACE
South Florida is coming off an impressive performance against Florida last weekend. In that game, they showcased an offense that found creative ways to get their fastest players the ball in space. One of Brian Battie’s biggest runs was on a fake run to the right where they pitched it to him to the left where he just had to outrun the defense. Xavier Weaver got a couple of passes on quick screens where he got the ball with a blocker and space to make guys miss.
This offense is very fast and Gerry Bohanon can’t be ignored as a runner as they dialed up multiple designed runs after not being used as a runner much in their first two games. USF ran “QB Power” a few times which is something UofL does with Malik Cunningham, for context. It allows you to add an extra player as the quarterback is not typically accounted for as a runner. Bohannon runs hard and the play picked up yardage each time they ran it.
My concern coming into this game is not just guys like Weaver and Battie who have been very productive but others like Jimmy Horn. USF has no shortage of fast players who can score in an instant. UofL’s defense has had issues giving up big plays for years now so it’s a little unnerving to face an offense that has these types of explosive players.
LOUISVILLE HAS TO TACKLE BETTER OR MAKE CHANGES
It may be an argument to say that this staff is coaching for their jobs. One thing that is not debatable is that this is the most important season in recent program history. This staff needs to win games with the expectation that the current recruiting class signing in a couple of months. Bringing in more talent could (I stress this word) turn things around for the program and get it to the point where it can compete for the division and hopefully more.
I point these things out because, at some point, you have to have accountability in your program for things that happen on the field and not just off the field. Per PFF, Kenderick Duncan missed six tackles last Friday. He leads the nation in missed tackles. Monty Montgomery isn’t all that far behind. Coaches are paid to put players in a position to succeed and we watched Duncan and others meet runners in the hole only to whiff on tackles.
If the veteran players on this team can’t execute their assignments, the staff has to look to others to get snaps. Even if those other players aren’t a major improvement, you have to hope that seeing the bench more often will force these veteran players to step up their game and perform at a level that we’ve seen them perform before.
UOFL’S OFFENSE WILL BE MORE RELIANT ON THE RUN GAME
Coming into the season, the wide receiver position was a clear question mark with a reliance on transfers who were unknowns as well as some uncertainty with injuries. Depth was also a concern and that lack of depth will likely hurt an already anemic passing game with Dee Wiggins being lost for the season to injury.
This development leads me to believe that UofL will rely on running the ball more than they already do. Malik will have to be utilized more as a runner but they will also look to be dominant up front and impose their will with the run.
Here’s my hope: Louisville will finally utilize some of the wide receiver runs that we’ve seen in the past. You can’t expect to just run the traditional run plays we’ve seen so much this season as teams will just stack the box and dare you to throw the ball deep. Without that deep threat, UofL will likely have some reservations about taking advantage of the situation. That’s where they can attack the edges with speed and try to create big plays that way.
THE OFFENSE HAS TO SCORE TO WIN GAMES
This seems obvious but it needs to be pointed out because the focus on UofL’s issues this season has been all over the place. Football is simple and the team that scores the most points wins the game. The Cards had a top-10 offense last season but they were much closer to the middle-of-the-pack when it came to scoring as they finished ranked 40th in the country. The Cards are trending the same way this year as their scoring average is ranked 52 spots lower than their yardage per play.
In 3 games this season Louisville's defense has had the below stretches in consecutive stops (includes going into the half)— Keith Wynne (@Keith_Wynne) September 19, 2022
Cuse - 4
UCF - 10
FSU - 5
The offense has scored twenty (20) total points off of those 19 stops.
The above stat pretty much sums up the reason why this team is 1-2 instead of at least sitting at 2-1. UofL’s defense is far from perfect but they have given the office plenty of opportunity to put the opposition away. Even in the UCF game where the defense was essentially lights out for nearly three quarters, the offense only managed three scores.
This team is built on offense and it’s led by a veteran quarterback and offensive line. Finding a way to utilize the talent and experience is on the staff and at this point, it seems like the lack of scoring is a feature and not a bug.