Publish date:

15 LOUISVILLE

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OPPOSING COACH'S TAKE

"If you're going to win a championship, you'd better have a good quarterback. And they do in Lamar Jackson, one of 18 starters back from a year ago. He can throw it, and he can beat you with his feet. He's dangerous because he creates so many issues for opposing defenses, especially when he gets out of the pocket. You've always got to account for him with an extra defender in the box, which puts even more pressure on your secondary. Bobby Petrino's a great offensive coach, and while you may think he's going to throw it all over the place, he's got a very physical team, one that's going to run the ball first.

They've got tons of athletes defensively. Their team speed is tremendous, and they're very physical up front. Their secondary does a really good job in coverage and in taking away the easy-access throws. [Senior] safety Josh Harvey-Clemons is so big at 6'5" that he looks like he should be lining up at end. Their defensive backs dare you to beat them one-on-one.

That's just the nature of coordinator Todd Grantham. He's an aggressive guy who likes to blitz. But it's imperative that you don't let his high-pressure tactics make you one-dimensional offensively. That's what he wants."

FAST FACTS

6

Wins in their final seven games of 2015, lifting them to 8--5.

3

Consecutive years the Cardinals have ranked in the Top 25 in total defense.

960

Rushing yards last season for Lamar Jackson as a freshman, breaking the school's career record for a quarterback.

27

Minimum point total for Louisville in each of its final five games, raising its scoring average from 24.4 points to 28.7.

638

Receiving yards in '15 for then junior Jamari Staples, a UAB transfer, which led the team.

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

5 YEAR TREND

GAMES

WINS

15

12

9

6

3

7-6 (BIG EAST CHAMPS)

11--2 (BIG EAST CHAMPS)

12--1

9--4

8--5

YEAR

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

FREAKIEST ATHLETE

At 6'4" and 242 pounds, senior outside linebacker DEVONTE FIELDS has been timed at 4.62 in the 40, which explains how the TCU transfer was able to collect 11 sacks and 22½ tackles for loss last season. With added strength and a year under his belt in Todd Grantham's defense, he'll put up even more staggering numbers.

2016 SCHEDULE

THURSDAY 9/1

CHARLOTTE

FRIDAY 9/9

AT SYRACUSE

SATURDAY 9/17

FLORIDA STATE [KEY MATCHUP]

SATURDAY 9/24

AT MARSHALL

SATURDAY 10/1

AT CLEMSON [BIGGEST GAME]

BYE

FRIDAY 10/14

DUKE

SATURDAY 10/22

N.C. STATE

SATURDAY 10/29

AT VIRGINIA

SATURDAY 11/5

AT BOSTON COLLEGE

SATURDAY 11/12

WAKE FOREST

THURSDAY 11/17

AT HOUSTON [KEY MATCHUP]

SATURDAY 11/26

KENTUCKY

KEY MATCHUP

BIGGEST GAME