By Jeff Milby —
It wasn’t the close game some expected after seeing the rosters for the 2017 football spring game, but there are plenty of things to take away from the red team’s 52-7 victory.
Lamar Jackson impresses, per usual
The 2016 Heisman winner put his usual array of skills on display in the spring game, finishing 19-for-32 passing, for 342 yards and three touchdowns, before being taken out of the game in the third quarter. With the focus on improving his passing game, Jackson wasn’t able to unleash his full running ability, but still managed to rush four times for 33 yards and a touchdown. If there are area’s for improvement, intermediate accuracy and timing are the biggest issues for Bobby Petrino.
Dez Fitzpatrick looks like the real deal
The redshirt freshman dazzled for the red team, catching nine balls for 176 yards and two touchdowns. The Mich. made the play of the game on an 80-yard touchdown catch that saw.
Stacy Thomas and Jaire Alexander to lead the defense
Reading into spring games game be a foolish folly, but after this spring game it appears Jaire Alexander and Stacy Thomas will be the stars of this Louisville defense. Thomas made was shooting the gaps in the red team offensive line in defending the run game. Alexander, as he is wont to do, took an interception 87 yards for a touchdown and broke up a pass.
Jawon Pass is very much a freshman
The heralded redshirt freshman out of Columbus, Ga. struggled as the field general for the white team, 14-for-30 passing, for 162 yards and four interceptions. Pass struggled with his timing, and often threw behind his receivers. After Jackson went to the bench, Pass switched sides and found some success for the red team, going 6-for-7 for 61 yards. The former four-star recruit has the physical tools, but is going through the growing pains of learning Petrino’s offense.
It was no secret in 2016 that Louisville struggled with holding onto the ball. The Cardinals finished the season with 22 lost fumbles, the most in the Football Bowl Subdivision. If cutting back on fumbling was a priority in the spring, it didn’t show in the spring game. The Red and White teams combined for four fumbles, including two that came from hand-off situations.
Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal