Louisville Cardinals: CFN College Football Preview 2021

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Cardinals: CFN College Football Preview 2021


Louisville Cardinals: CFN College Football Preview 2021


College Football News Preview 2021: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Louisville season with what you need to know.

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– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
Top Players | Keys To The Season
What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
Louisville Schedule Analysis
– Louisville Cardinals Previews
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

2020 Record: 4-7 overall, 3-7 in ACC
Head Coach: Scott Satterfield, 3rd year, 12-13 (59-29)
2020 CFN Final Ranking: 69
2020 CFN Preview Ranking: 32
2019 CFN Final Ranking: 37

Louisville Cardinals College Football Preview 2021: Offense

The offense worked. It was fourth in the ACC averaging 444 yards and 30 points per game, the ground game was strong, thee passing attack was efficient, and it was all undone time and again by a whole lot to turnovers – more on that in the Keys To The Season section.

Eight starters are expected to be back, there are a whole lot of good playmakers, and the explosion should be in place to do a whole lot more starting with …

Malik Cunningham is the quarterback. It wasn’t a sure thing going into last year that there wouldn’t be a rotation, and then he threw for over 2,600 yards and 12 touchdowns and ran for seven scores. However, he had a MASSIVE turnover problem – he gave it away 15 times – to go along with all of his positives.

Jawon Pass left for Towson, and in came Luke McCaffrey from Nebraska – and then he left for Rice. That leaves Evan Conley for the backup job and not be in the mix to knock out Cunningham.

Also potentially being used as a curveball is Georgia Southern option wizard quarterback Shai Werts, but he’s going to work at receiver. The Cardinals lost a killer 1-2 punch in Dez Fitzpatrick and Tutu Atwell, putting the pressure on Braden Smith to do more after finishing third on the team with 27 grabs and promising prospect Jordan Watkins.

There corps should be fine in time, and there’s a nice tight end in six-TD Marshon Ford to be used as a go-to-guy.

– The numbers for the ground game are there thanks to Cunningham, but leading rusher Javian Hawkins is now an Atlanta Falcon. That opens the door for Jalen Mitchell and Hassan Hall to do even more after they took over the rushing duties late last year.

The offensive line that’s been hit-or-miss over the last few years – and was awful at allowing tackles for loss and sacks – should be the strongest yet in the Scott Satterfield era. At least it’ll be the most experienced and deepest line yet with a little shuffling among the four returning starting parts to get the right fit.

NEXT: Louisville Cardinals College Football Preview 2021: Defense


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