Grading U of L football through seven games

By on October 15, 2017

By Staff —

Football is more than halfway through their season, sitting at 4-3. The Cardinals have dropped back-to-back games and head to Florida State for their next matchup.

Starting the year off as a ranked team with a the reigning Heisman trophy winner, U of L’s stock has only nose dived since the season’s opening kick-off. Our staff grades the season thus far.

Dalton Ray, F

Remember when U of L football was supposed to be good? Simpler times.

Louisville has two wins this year where they flexed their muscle — Kent State and Murray State. Aside from that, U of L has been one of the most underwhelming teams in the nation alongside Florida State. At least FSU can point to their starting quarterback going down in week one.

Louisville can only point to the person in the mirror. No running game, stagnant offense when games matter, struggling offensive line and a defense that hasn’t shown up against a Power Five team since November of 2016. Their biggest problem isn’t the players, but the coaches on the sidelines.

Even in the wins against Purdue and North Carolina, Louisville hung around with the over-matched teams. Lamar Jackson is playing one on 22 every Saturday.

Matt Bradshaw, C-

With a 4-3 record and two straight losses, football has certainly failed to live up to the hype this season. Jackson has not been able to carry the team like last year, and a first-year defensively cooordonator has left the Cardinals with a deplorable defense. Tough teams like Florida State and Syracuse remain on the schedule for Louisville to prove themselves, but if their play continues to stagnate then things are not looking good for them at all.

Jeff Milby, 

It is one of the great shames in the history of the University of Louisville football program that Jackson, the most accomplished player in school history, has to play on such under-performing teams. Chucky Williams’ attempted fourth quarter take-down of B.C. running-back A.J. Dillon is a microcosm of the Cardinal season to this point. The victories over Purdue and North Carolina are the saving graces that make this a passing grade.

Conner Farrell, C

Falling short of any preseason expectations, its clear that the U of L football team has been below average in their play to the midpoint of the season.

Following a meltdown at home against Boston College, who had yet to win an ACC game, it is clear this team may be lucky to make a bowl game.

Jackson can only do so much to propel the team and most of the blame should be shouldered by the defensive side of the ball, which has been abysmal in conference play.

Jordan Shim, D-

Can anyone tell me who thought it’d be a good idea to replace Todd Grantham with Mr. Swiss Cheese defense himself Peter Sirmon? Five games against Power Five conference teams, 38.8 points allowed average. Syracuse scored more points against Clemson than Louisville did.

Micah Brown, D-

The harsh reality is this team has a once-in-a-lifetime talent at quarterback, but will be fortunate to finish the season at 7-5. The fundamental mistakes on the defense is enough to make defensive coordinator get nervous.

While the losses to Clemson and NC State were tough, it was the style of which they lost that made fans question whether any improvements have been made since the 2015 season. If that was not enough, Boston College went into PJCS and hung 45 points on the Cards’ defense .

Wes Payne, D

The theme of the Louisville Cardinals 2018 season has been inconsistency — well except in Jackson’s case. The former Heisman winner is the only player on the roster that can be relied on to show up, game-in and game-out.

Photo by Nancy Hanner / The Louisville Cardinal

You can follow us on Twitter @TheCardSports.

About Dalton Ray

Sports editor (2016-18) that is technically award winning.Email: dray@louisvillecardinal.com

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