For the first two years of the Charlie Strong era at the University of Louisville, the Cardinals defense has not given up a lot of big plays. They have ranked in the top 25 nationally the last two seasons, and if that reign is going to continue, the Cardinals can’t give up big plays like they did in Saturday’s first scrimmage of the spring.
The Cardinals gave up a pair of 60-yard pass plays and weren’t very sound on third and long. Wide receiver Andrell Smith hurt the Cardinals on third and long, while DeVante Parker and Eli Rogers had long receptions. The defense did just give up two scores, an eight-yard run by Jeremy Wright and a 13-yard reception by Ryan Hubbell.
Despite the amount of starters coming back on defense, the Cardinals played a lot of freshmen last year so this defense is still very young.
“People don’t realize how young this football team is going to be,” said defensive coordinator Vance Bedford. “We are going to have a lot of true sophomores playing and incoming freshmen playing. I think we have only two seniors on defense so people don’t realize, with all the guys coming back, that we are still young. They are sophomores. Expectations are a lot higher, but you don’t know what to expect from young kids.”
With young players, there are going to be a lot of mistakes, and that’s what happened today. The Cardinals were victimized by critical mistakes.
“We had third and longs today, and we had no one step up and make a play,” said Bedford. “We had a post thrown on us for a big play. We have a corner that doesn’t make a play and a safety who is out of position. We gave up three big plays, and that is how you lose ball games.”