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Opponent Breakdown: Louisville Cardinals Offense

Wasabi Fenway Bowl - Louisville v Cincinnati Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

I decided to do something a little different this year and go through the week of the spring game as if UofL were playing an actual opponent. So, we’re going to breakdown the offense and defense as if they were a real opponent and hopefully it provides some insight into the team under a new staff.

Jack Plummer will be the starter for Louisville after transferring in from Cal. He has experience in Jeff Brohm’s system from his time at Purdue where he was a starter for an extended period of time. After playing a year at Cal, he comes to Louisville with a pedigree of being a strong game manager with the potential to excel with a solid group of skill position players around him.

The second group will be headed by a rotation of quarterbacks as the staff looks to land on a backup quarterback. Brock Domann will likely get the first snaps with Evan Conley, Khalib Johnson, and Pierce Clarkson following him in some order.

Domann has the experience after starting a couple of games last year but Clarkson is the guy that comes in with the highest pedigree. He is the son of a quarterback coach and he comes in as the highest-rated quarterback recruit Louisville has signed since Teddy Bridgewater.

Running back is the one position on offense that returns the top player from last season. Jawhar Jordan returns after taking over the starting role late in the season and breaking out for 111 yards per game and 7.4 yards per carry over the last five games of the season. Jordan had shown fans that he was a tough runner who finished off his carries with power but he finally had a few breakout runs last year that showed his ability to make people miss and then run away from them.

Maurice Turner has had a strong spring and he should be the next man up in the rotation. A huge bowl game seems to have been a nice springboard for Turner as he has shown off impressive speed and elusiveness over the last month. He will team with Isaic Guerundo to spell Jordan and provide the potential for big plays in the run game. Guerundo transferred in from Wisconsin after being buried a bit on the depth chart. However, his time on the field was impressive as a running back, pass catcher out of the backfield, and return man.

Louisville was in need of a revamp of the wide receiver room before Scott Satterfield left for Cincinnati but the prospect of playing for Jeff Brohm’s offense seems to have really helped the staff improve the position group in a serious way. Jamari Thrash is the crown jewel of the transfer class and he has looked the part during spring practices. I would expect him to be the player that could cause the defense the most issues.

The depth at receiver will likely be on full display this weekend as guys like Kevin Coleman and Jimmy Calloway will step into the spots opened by Tyler Hudson and Braden Smith moving on. Jadon Thompson (if healthy enough to play) and Ahmari Huggins-Bruce will also be in the mix with the first group. Add in William Fowles, the highly touted true freshman and UofL has more options than they’ve had in a few years. Keep an eye out for Cataurus Hicks who is a speedy slot receiver in the mold of Tutu Atwell.

Jeff Brohm has an easy sell to tight end recruits because he can just point to all of the guys who are in the NFL right now. The current Louisville group doesn’t have a proven commodity but the potential is there for a couple of young guys. Francis Sherman will be the likely starter but I would look for Jamari Johnson to get a lot of snaps this weekend. Nate Kurisky is another guy to keep an eye on.

A position of concern for Louisville when it comes to depth is the offensive line. The Cards have to replace two starters on the interior but each of the linemen. Quarterbacks aren’t live during the scrimmage but how this group handles a very good defensive front when it comes to clearing up space for the running backs to work with.