Preview 2018: Louisville Cardinals. Is There Life After Lamar Jackson?

Preview 2018: Louisville Cardinals. Is There Life After Lamar Jackson?

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: Louisville Cardinals. Is There Life After Lamar Jackson?

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What You Need To Know About The Louisville Offense

– Jawon Pass isn’t going to be Lamar Jackson. However, he’s a Bobby Petrino-approved starting quarterback with two years in the system – everything is going to be okay. At least, everything will be great with the passing game.

Pass is an NFL-sized bomber with the skills to grow into something special. He’ll have the targets to work with, too, in Jalyen Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Seth Dawkins forming the nucleus for one of the ACC’s best receiving corps. The top four receivers are back, and a whole lot of young talents are waiting in the wings. The passing attack had better be amazing since …

The running backs might be a problem. Pass can run, but he’s not taking off for 1,601 yards like Mr. Jackson did. With the top three rushers from last year gone – taking with them almost 2,700 yards and 29 touchdowns worth of production – someone has to step up. There’s a ton of talent, but there are also a ton of injuries.

Dae Williams is the best and most experienced back on the lot, but he hurt his knee last year and had a foot problem this offseason. Colin Wilson is coming off a knee injury, and the other options were banged up at times, too.

The offensive line did its job throughout last season, even though Jackson did his part to scramble his way out of jams and make everyone look better at times. Even so, the front five will grow into a major positive.

With the emergence of guard Cole Bentley as the likely starting center, this is a veteran, versatile group that should be just fine despite the early departure of Geron Christian to the NFL. Other than Christian, the entire bowl game two-deep is back.

Biggest Key To The Louisville Offense

The running backs have to be healthy. There actually was life before Lamar, with running backs handling the workload in Bobby Petrino’s first season in 2014. And then came Jackson, and then came over 4,000 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns in his three seasons.

Louisville ran for just 1,855 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2014, and cranked up 3,186 yards and 33 scores last year. There’s a whole lot of missing production coming into the season, and it could be a lot worse.

With all of the injured running backs this offseason, the spring game was a showcase for the bench guys. When healthy again, the backs should be able to operate behind the strong line.

At least, they should after facing Alabama to start the season.

NEXT: Defense Breakdown, Top Players, Final Prediction & What Will Happen

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