As UofL heads into week two of the college football season there are several things to keep an eye out for Saturday when the Cards take on Missouri St.
#1. Will the defense step up?
Last week, while Louisville as a whole played very well, the one disappointing aspect of the game according to Charlie Strong was the defense. His main concern was how the team couldn’t get off the field on 3rd down. I would have expected that this be addressed first and foremost in the week following the 32-14 win over rival Kentucky. Look for the defense to come out with something to prove.
#2. Building depth
Last week against Kentucky, UofL kept to a pretty tight rotation at positions such as offensive line, linebackers, and defensive backs. It will be interesting to see what type of depth develops at these and other positions as backups should get plenty of playing time if things go as planned against Missouri State. I would expect players such as Keith Brown, Nick Dawson, Gerod Holliman, and Kevin Houchins to be mixed in the rotation to get some in game experience on the defense and add even more speed, size, and talent to the defense.
#3. Addition of playmakers
This week Charles Gaines (suspension) and Corvin Lamb (injury) are expected to return to an already stacked offense. It is hard to imagine the offense even being able to get much better but I believe the return of these two players will do just that. Being one of the fastest players on the team, Gaines will bring a big play threat to the offense every time he touches the ball. While being considered the fourth string running back, Lamb provides yet another speedy back to push the starters for minutes. At one point before the injury, Lamb was solidly in the mix for the starting running back job and might have one of the highest upsides at that position.