By Spencer Laws

Louisville football comes into this season riding quite a bit of momentum from the offseason recruiting cycle. However, head coach Scott Satterfield and company have some work to do before the season gets into full swing. Last season the Cards finished with a losing record of 6-7. They lost their final two games. 

First up on Offense

Redshirt Senior Malik Cunningham is back. A lot of analysts have Cunningham as a dark horse in the Heisman conversation if he can put it all together. Cunningham threw for just under 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns, with only six interceptions, along with rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2021 alone.

On top of Cunningham’s return, Louisville has a deep running back crew that will be able to share the carries in different situations. Jalen Mitchell, a redshirt sophomore, and Trevion Cooley, a sophomore, both give needed experience to the Cardinals, who add Tennesee transfer Tiyon Evans, a junior, and redshirt sophomore Jawhar Jordan, who arrives from Syracuse.

Louisville also has a high level of experience on the offensive line to block for backs, protecting Cunningham with a clean pocket. Preseason All-American Senior Caleb Chandler leads the offensive line.

With the loss of deep-ball threat Tyler Harrel to the transfer portal this offseason, the Cards added transfers Tyler Hudson and Dee Wiggins, who Satterfield has praised in camp. Amari Huggins-Bruce looks to build upon his performance as a slot receiver last year. Also returning is leading receiver Marshon Ford from last year.

Next up, the Defense

On the defensive side of the ball, Louisville looks to patch up issues from last season. In the final two games of the season, the defense gave up a combined total of 83 points, including a 52-point beat down from rival Kentucky.

The defense has worked to fix those lackluster performances this off-season, including the announcement that Wesley McGriff will co-coordinate the defense with Bryan Brown to provide another voice. 

On top of new leadership, the transfer portal has once again helped to change the faces of Louisville’s defense heading into this season.

Senior transfer Jermayne Lole looks to help anchor the defensive line by providing needed pressure to opposing quarterbacks. In addition, Yaya Diaby and Ashton Gillote return to work on the outside of Lole to complete the front three. 

To finish off the front seven, the linebackers will consist of senior Yasir Abdullah, opposite of redshirt freshmen Ben Perry. Monty Montgomery looks to return after his season ended three games in with an ACL tear. Lastly, Ole Miss transfer senior Momo Sanogo is another interior linebacker to watch for. 

The secondary has an interesting mix of players with experience. Kei’Trel Clark, a redshirt junior, is the top cornerback, twice receiving All-ACC honors. Sophomore Josh Minkins fills in the strong safety role, with Ballard High grad joining Georgia Southern transfer Kendrick Duncan, who’s set to start at the free safety position. Lastly, senior Chandler Jones will line up opposite of Clark in the other cornerback position. 

The Cards open on the road against Syracuse at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. You can view their schedule here.

File Photo // GoCards.com //

The post Louisville Football looks to ride recruiting momentum into season appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.