Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky 2020-09-10 06:36:28 –
By now, most people in the college football world know about how dynamic Louisville’s offense is heading into the 2020 season.
Last year in Scott Satterfield’s first year as the head coach, the Cardinals sported an offense that racked up 447.3 yards of offense and scored 33.1 points per game – both of which were top 30 marks in FBS. It was the primary catalyst for an 8-5 season that culminated in a 38-28 victory over Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl.
As productive as they were on that side of the ball in 2019, offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford believes the Cards can be even more so in 2020 due to the continuity from the season prior.
“It’s another year of all of us being back together, it’s guys understanding the scheme even better,” Ledford said Tuesday in a teleconference after practice. “The expectation for us is that it needs to be better.”
Louisville returns eight starters from last year, including their three top playmakers. Quarterback Micale Cunningham’s passing efficiency of 194.79 would have placed second in the nation had it qualified, running back Javian Hawkins’ 1,525 rushing yards placed seventh nationally and wide receiver Tutu Atwell’s 1,276 receiving yards was good for eighth in the nation. All three were single-season Louisville records.
But it was an offense that was occasionally marred by miscues. They allowed 7.15 penalties, 3.00 sacks and 9.85 tackles for loss per game – marks that all rank outside the top 100 and the latter of which ranks dead last out of 130 FBS teams.
The talent was obviously there across the board, but at times the execution was not. Fortunately that is something that the team has worked on since the end of the bowl, which includes players taking ownership of what they need to contribute to the offense.
“To improve (the negative plays), understand what we’re asking the guys to do and be more sound fundamentally in order to do the things that we’re asking them to do,” Ledford said. “That is what we’re working on, and that is what you’re seeing.”
Cunningham also agrees with Ledford that his unit needed to do a better job of executing. The leader of the offense notes that it has been the biggest aspect of that side of the ball that they’ve worked on over the offseason, and that they are in a much better position.
“I feel like we’ve been doing a good job this whole summer – this whole quarantine up to this time,” Cunningham said. “We’re ready.”
Louisville is set to kickoff the season against the Hilltoppers at home on Saturday, Sept. 12 at 8:00pm on the ACC Network.
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