By Noah Allison–
Big East champions, Big East Offensive Player of the Year in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, Sugar Bowl Champions and all with only a handful of seniors. The 2012-2013 Louisville Cardinals football team was special; the 2013-2014 squad will be scary.
Last year’s squad came into the season with expectations of a Bowl Championship Series game appearance. They more than met those expectations with an 11-2 record and a 33-23 victory over the University of Florida in the biggest BCS bowl upset in Las Vegas odds making history.
Led by now junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater who threw for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns. Returning is almost the whole receiving core including leading receivers Damian Copeland, Eli Rogers and DeVante Parker who combined for 1,458 yards and 16 touchdowns. Coming to join the rotation is local talent out of Trinity High School James Quick who is ESPN’s 79th overall rated player in the country and the No. 10 receiver.
While leading rusher Jeremy Wright has graduated the big bruising senior running back Dominique Brown returns to the field for the first time in over a year and accompanied by red shirt freshman Brandon Radcliff. The duo will wear down and punish defenses while senior Senorise Perry recovers from last year’s season ending torn ACL. He went down in week 10 while leading the team in rushing with 739 yards and 11 touchdowns.
The defense returns 10 of the 11 starters from last year’s squad including the leader in tackles senior middle linebacker Preston Brown who had 109. Free safety Calvin Pryor III and strong safety Hakeem Smith return, the tandem combined for 173 tackles and every player to record a sack returns as well.
Head Coach Charlie Strong turned down offers from Tennessee and Auburn to sign an extension with U of L that will keep him head coach of the University of Louisville football team until 2020.
Photo by AUstin Lassell/The Louisville Cardinal