(Louisville Offensive Line Photo, Virginia Defensive Line: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As the 2021 season approaches, it’s safe to say that there are quite a few question marks regarding Louisville’s football schedule. Can they improve their appalling sales margin? How will the offensive behave after the loss of Atwell, Fitzpatrick and Hawkins? Will Malik Cunningham get back in shape?
During the Cardinals’ 2020 campaign, another area of concern was their play on the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Not only did the Louisville offense allow 2.73 sacks and 8.45 tackles for a loss per game, its defense was able to muster just 2.00 sacks and 5.7 tackles for a loss.
While the entire roster has had its fair share of upheaval, the offensive and defensive lines have been relatively intact compared to other positions. The only players Louisville lost who had playing time under their belt were Robbie Bell and Cam DeGeorge in attack, then Jared Goldwire in defense.
“We know where it all starts, in the trenches,” said head coach Scott Satterfield. “For me it will be the best we’ve been since we’ve been here, on both sides.”
With Louisville losing the number of offensive skill players, the line has generally been seen as their strength on this side of the ball. Not only are they returning almost their entire offensive lineup, but many players may play multiple positions due to the cross-training that took place during COVID.
“Renato Brown, Adonis Boone, Brian Hudson can play both (left and right sides). Cole Bentley can play both, Luke Kandra can play both. I’m really excited about our offensive line this coming season,” said Satterfield.
“It’s more depth than we’ve ever had, probably the greatest depth I’ve ever had in general in terms of the team I’ve been in. You envision eight, nine guys who can come out. and play, and play at a high level. “
Across the line of scrimmage, the defensive line is one that has been rejuvenated by a multitude of young newcomers. Combine that with a handful of veterans to guide them, and the Cardinals believe they will be much better at lobbying in 2021.
“It’s just a lot of bodies there that I think are going to give us a lot of good minutes, and that is going to help our defense. I think our defense will be the best we’ve had since we’ve been here,” said Satterfield.
“Our pass defense is one of the best of last year, our run defense will be better this year, then we need to create more sacks and get more turnovers. We had some interception opportunities and we’ve dropped several of them, but I think they’ll be there this year with the push we can get from the D-line. “
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