By Dalton Ray–
Despite the 52-7 score, fans shouldn’t pass the spring game as a solid outing from their Cardinals. Anyone who watched the game could see that it was aesthetically unpleasing for most of the game.
Fumbles and dropped balls
This is nothing new for the Cardinals as both of these issues plagued Louisville last season. Coaches preached all off-season that the team has worked relentlessly to shore up football security issues in the air and on the ground. In their first time in front of a crowd, Louisville had four fumbles and seven dropped balls.
Coach Bobby Petrino pointed to the timing being the issue on some dropped balls.
“Some balls were thrown perfectly on time but were dropped. We had a couple other balls that should have been caught but were they weren’t ready for them out of their break,” Petrino said.
While that may excuse a few dropped passes, it doesn’t give an okay for the rest of the balls that should’ve been easily hauled in.
As for the fumbles, there were no comments made from Petrino. Two fumbles came at the mesh point between quarterback and running back, one came just after a hand-off and the final came on run after the catch.
It’s still spring, so there’s a long way before the season. Regardless, this should be an alarm for fans that 2016’s concerns may creep into 2017.
Offensive and defensive line serve lackluster showing
Like the previous three seasons, the offensive line is followed by question marks. The biggest position battle of the summer will be the center position between Robbie Bell and Nathan Scheler.
Neither separated themselves as both had misplaced snaps. Bell nearly had two fumbled snaps to Jackson. The pair’s misplaced snaps caused some uncomfortable hand-offs and footwork in the backfield.
The most alarming part of the centers’ spotty performances is they didn’t face a nose tackle or exotic blitzes. Even with the vanilla defense in front of them, the two still had their woes.
On the opposite side of the ball, the defensive lines didn’t stand out in any fashion. Going against a below average offensive line, one would expect a player to have a strong showing, but that didn’t happen. The Cardinals don’t appear to have a stud on the defensive front and that make come back on them.
Jawon Pass isn’t ready just yet
Pass will be given the keys to the Cardinal offense once Jackson moves to the next level. Many people want to see the redshirt freshman play now in a similar fashion Petrino did with Stefon LeFors and Brian Brohm. After seeing the spring game, fans may want to bump the breaks.
Pass finished the game with four interceptions and didn’t have many complex reads or progressions. Most of Pass’ reads were one step, one read throws, which is common for someone as inexperienced as he is.
Pass’ big arm gives him an itch to throw down field, but that showed to back fire today and led to a pick and missing open receivers on different occasions.
In Pass’ defense, he was going against the starting defense and some picks came off tips. That doesn’t take away from his misplaced balls or misreads in the secondary, but it needs to be noted.
The 6-foot-5 quarterback will improve over time and there’s no reason to write him off, but just know he’s not ready yet.
Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinals