2018 Football Preview – ACC – Cardinals
Looking for 2018 Louisville Cardinals predictions? Louisville will be without they’re Heisman winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, now Bobby Petrino’s offense will be ran by four-star sophomore Jawon Pass. The Cardinals still have the cogs on offense to help Pass excel, but questions loom for a defense that ranked 62nd in total defense a year ago and will have a completely new secondary to train.
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2018-18 College Football Preview – Louisville Cardinals
Head Coach: Bobby Petrino
2017 Record: 8-5
Louisville Cardinals Odds to win the 2018 FBS Championship: +40000
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Petrino’s offense could be a well-oiled machine, but the Cardinal’s defense may be a liability.
2018 Louisville Cardinals Predictions: Team Strengths
Easing Pass Into A Good Situation:
Despite being without their prolific quarterback, this offense is still loaded with talent, which will allow Pass to have an easier transition.
Petrino loves his pocket-passer type quarterbacks and Pass fits the mold, but don’t expect to see the Lamar-explosive runs.
The Cardinals are returning their top-three receivers from last year each of whom averaged at least 9.1 yards per reception.
The trio of Jaylen Smith, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Seth Dawkins all combined for a total of 147 catches last year to go with 2,321 yards and 20 touchdowns.
A Bruising Run Game:
The run game may be underrated at first, but once the opposing teams have to pay more attention to the pass, they could gash teams mercilessly.
Returning running backs include Dae Williams, Colin Wilson, and Trey Smith who each at least measure 6′ and weigh 220 pounds.
They have been efficient despite their small sample sizes as the three of them have combined to average 6.6 yards per carry.
Probably the best thing about their offense is that they are returning four starters on the offensive line who have all combined for 77 starts, which will be a blessing for Pass.
2018 Louisville Cardinals Predictions: Team Weaknesses
Defense Is A Liability:
Louisville’s defense wasn’t much of help last season, and all they really had to do was get a couple stops here-and-there because the offense was going to score points.
Unfortunately, the defense just couldn’t make much progress as they ended up ranking 10th overall in defense in the ACC.
Add to it, the passing defense is going to need a miracle after having to replace NFL cornerbacks Jaire Alexander and Truman Washington.
They are also going to have to replace Chucky Williams and Zykiesis Cannon, two of Louisville’s top-three tacklers from a year ago.
The real test is going to be if the defense can take opposing offenses off the field more often than not because teams were converting third-down conversions 41% of the time.
This defense has a lot to prove, but the more possessions they can give their offense, the better chance they have to just outscore opposing teams.
Louisville Cardinals Prediction: 7-5
The Cardinal’s offense will keep them competitive this year, but their questionable defense is going to be the driving factor behind most of their losses.
Opening up against Alabama is brutal, just ask Florida State, so that game should be taken as a great learning experience.
This team will be battling mediocrity all season unless this defense can prove everyone wrong, but I doubt they will.
2018 Louisville Cardinals Football Schedule
- 9/1/18 8:00 PM ET @ALA
- 9/8/18 7:00 PM ET INST
- 9/15/18 7:30 PM ET WKU
- 9/22/18 TBD @UVA
- 9/29/18 TBD FSU
- 10/5/18 7:00 PM ET GT
- 10/13/18 TBD @BC
- 10/27/18 TBD WAKE
- 11/3/18 TBD @CLEM
- 11/9/18 7:00 PM ET @SYR
- 11/17/18 TBD NCST
- 11/24/18 TBD UK
What do you think about our 2018 Louisville Cardinals predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2018!
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