2019 Louisville Cardinals Team Preview

Louisville’s collapse, from winning eight or more games six years in a row to a 2-10 record and a 111th place finish in the CSD Prime Rankings, was borderline unprecedented. Almost needless to say, Bobby Petrino, who had failed to meet the highs Louisville reached under Charlie Strong to begin with, was fired.

The new head coach is an awesome hire, App State head man Scott Satterfield, probably my favorite coach at the G5 level over the past couple years. The roster is seriously lacking in talent after a demoralizing year where their defense allowed 1.3 more yards per play. That’s a really, really big step back, but somehow the offense one-upped it, picking up OVER TWO fewer yards a play, an almost unprecedented drop. If anyone can right the ship though, it might by Satterfield.

Offense

The offense was hopelessly doomed last year. Starting QB Jawon Pass was, well, bad, throwing 12 interception to just eight interceptions. Malik Cunningham was marginally better because of his prowess in the run game but ended up throwing just one touchdown in three starts. The line struggled with underclassmen playing big roles.

Whoever wins the QB job, this will probably be a run-first offense if you look back at App State over the past few years. The only RB with meaningful experience returning in Hassan Hall, who was actually the #1 running back on the team last year with just 303 yards.

The line, which already struggled, loses three starters, but they do add Florida grad transfer TJ McCoy and a couple of JUCOs in a group led by guard Ronald Rudd. This will be an offense that will struggle but may improve at the margins.

Defense

Satterfield brought in 2018 App State DC Bryan Brown as the DC, which is an awesome hire, as the two made App State into one of the best defenses in the G5 last year with Sun Belt talent.

Pretty much everyone is back from what was a really bad defense, there’s gotta be talent somewhere on there though, right? Colgate grad transfer TJ Holl was honestly the first guy that stood out to me looking at the roster. Holl shone at the FCS level, we’ll see if his talent transfers to the next level.

There are some highly touted guys throughout the D, but none were that incredibly productive last year. Ends Tabarius Peterson and Amonte Caban (combined four sacks, 9.5 TFL) and MLB Dorian Etheridge (3.5 TFL, four PBUs) are the guys that showed some potential to me last year, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Brown just blows up the defense. Things couldn’t get much worse.

2019 Outlook

The Cards should progress to the mean a little on both sides of the ball after being really young last year. The team was so young that they’ll return pretty much everyone next year too.

I wouldn’t expect too much this year. 2019 is just about laying the groundwork, but I have faith in Satterfield to turn this team around in due time. Taking care of business against the directional Kentucky schools and pulling an upset or two in conference play would probably be enough to say they’re on track.

Schedule

DateOpponentopp. rankProj. Margin
2-SepNotre Dame10-13.3
7-SepEastern KentuckyNRn/a
14-Sepvs. Western Kentucky (Nashville, TN)1053.4
21-Sepat Florida State34-10.9
5-OctBoston College64-0.8
12-Octat Wake Forest55-8.1
19-OctClemson3-25.4
26-OctVirginia45-3.7
9-Novat Miami18-14.6
16-Novat NC State35-10.8
23-NovSyracuse46-3.6
30-Novat Kentucky36-10.7

Average Projected Record: 4.1 wins, 7.9 losses (2.0 wins, 6.0 losses)