Louisville Preview 2006
Louisville has to be considered a living, breathing college football superpower under fourth year head coach Bobby Petrino, and now it has to start acting and playing like it.
| Depth Chart |
least it does outside of Louisville.
After taking baby steps in Petrino's first season, the Cardinals
have grown into one of college football's most dangerous home teams
averaging a silly 53 points per game in Papa John's Stadium over the
last two years. With 19 starters and a second team that would
likely finish in the top four of the Big East, it's time to take yet
another step and be in the chase for the national title. Considering
they went 11-1 two years ago and were a late stop against Miami away
from being unbeaten, that shows just how good this year's team can
Future NFL starter Brian Brohm returns from a torn ACL to lead a
dangerous attack that would've been fine had scoring machine running
back Michael Bush left early for the NFL and should be unstoppable
now that he's back. The defense was better than it got credit for
last year and has the potential to be even better despite losing
all-stars Elvis Dumervil and Montavious Stanley off the line. The
kicking game is rock-solid, and the schedule is favorable enough to
go on a run for the national championship. But there are things to
Head coach: Bobby Petrino
4th year (29-8)
Off. 20, Def. 24, ST 4
Lettermen Lost: 14
Best Cardinal Players
1. QB Brian Brohm, Jr.
2. RB Michael Bush, Sr.
3. WR Mario Urrutia, Soph.
4. OG Kurt Quarterman, Sr.
5. RB Kolby Smith, Sr.
6. CB William Gay, Sr.
7. DT Amobe Okoye, Sr.
8. LB Nate Harris, Sr.
9. DE Zach Anderson, Sr.
10. PK Arthur Carmody, Jr.
at Kansas State
2005 Record: 9-3
2005 predicted wins
at South Florida
at West Va
L 46-44 3OT
Pitt W 42-20
at Connecticut W
Virginia Tech L 35-24
Replacing both starting offensive tackles isn't a positive
considering Brohm won't be all that mobile coming off his surgically
repaired knee. The receiving corps has to potential to be among the best
in school history, but that might be down the road with last year's top
two receivers, Joshua Tinch and Montrell Jones, gone. And then there's
the road schedule. Louisville can score a bazillion points again at
home, but the season will be another disappointment like last year if
the team can't be consistent on the road.
It might have been a rivalry game, but Kentucky gave Louisville too many
problems in the opener. The Cardinals lost back-to-back road games
getting whacked by South Florida and getting tagged by a young West
Virginia team, and they struggled at Connecticut late in the year.
Playing at Temple and MTSU won't be a problem, but trips to Kansas
State, Syracuse, Rutgers and Pitt will be dangerous. But if you think
you're good enough to play for the national title, you need to win those
games in a walk.
So the question becomes whether or not an unbeaten UL team could get the
respect from the pollsters needed to play for all the marbles. A win
over Miami on September 16th would open everyone's eyes, and a
nationally televised win over West Virginia could be enough to make it
happen. Is that putting the cart before the horse? Yes, but this team is
good enough to dream big.
There are only four games against bowl teams from last year with only
two teams, Miami and West Virginia, good enough talent-wise to beat the
Cards. Both of those games are in Papa John's. The road games are spread
out so there aren't two in a row, but a trip to Kansas State could be
dangerous coming after the battle against the Hurricanes. If the Cards
beat the Canes, the Wildcat game could be a letdown. A loss to Miami
might be too deflating. There's a welcome open date before the showdown
against the Mountaineers.
Junior QB Brian Brohm. Michael Bush is just as good a college player,
but there are good backup running backs if the star goes down. Brohm is
the difference between another good season and something epic. He's an
All-America talent, but he has to be 100% after his knee injury.
Senior CB William Gay. There isn't one obvious star on the Cardinal
defense with DT Amobi Okoye, LB Nate Harris and DE Zach Anderson all
good enough to eventually grow into the team's best defender. Gay is the
most experienced defensive back on the team and the top coverman.
to a successful season: Offensive tackles Marcel Benson, Marcus
Gordon, Breno Giacomini and Renardo Foster. The machine will break down
if franchise quarterback Brian Brohm consistently has a dirty jersey.
Replacing Travis Leffew and Jeremy Darveau might not be as easy as it
will be a success if ... Louisville wins the Big East title and goes 11-1. Getting to
the BCS is a positive no matter what. Yeah, there might be national
title talk early in the season, but that requires as much luck as
anything else. Take care of the conference title first, and then hope
everything else falls into place.
Nov. 2 vs. West Virginia. Could this be a battle of two unbeaten
teams? The Miami game might set the tone, but the Cardinals can't win
the Big East title if they don't beat the Mountaineers.
The Last Time Louisville…
- Louisville scoring
by quarter: 1st - 109, 2nd - 156, 3rd - 132, 4th - 104
- Rushing touchdowns: Louisville 41 - Opponents 16
- Third down conversions: Louisville 71 of 148 (48%) - Opponents 63 of
…played in a bowl game… 2005 (Gator Bowl vs. Virginia Tech)
…missed a bowl game…1997
…pitched a shutout…2004 (Kentucky)
…was shutout…2000 (Florida State)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Rutgers)
…won a conference title…2004 (C-USA)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2003 (Stefan LeFors)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Michael Bush)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (J.R. Russell)
…had a first-round draft choice…1994 (DE Joe Johnson)