4. College Football News Preview 2020: Louisville Cardinals Defense 3 Things To Know
– Grade the 2019 Louisville defense on a curve. The group that allowed 529 points – including 77 to Clemson and 52 or more in each of the last five games and in six of the last seven – still wasn’t great last year, but allowed 434 points and found things that started to work.
The scoring D was still the worst in the ACC, the defense was 102nd in the nation, and the run defense was hammered on way too often, but …
– The talent is there in the linebacking corps. Nine of the top 11 tacklers are back overall, but it’s the linebackers who are the stars all of the parts back. The outside linebackers are built like safeties, but they can move. Veteran big-tackler Dorian Etheridge is a tackling machine in the middle.
There have to be a whole lot more plays made by this group against the run, and they’ll put up massive numbers behind a front three that needs a lot of work and doesn’t have a ton of bulk. In this defense, the linebackers are the ones expected to get into the backfield.
– The secondary can tackle, and it gets plenty of opportunities. No one came up with more than one interception – the team picked off seven passes – and they gave up a whole lot of deep plays and too many third down conversions. With plenty of depth and lots of options, the coaching staff can get creative after patching things together following the 2018 disaster.