1.What is the biggest question mark for the Louisville team heading into the opener?
Who is going to be the quarterback and it’s something we likely won’t learn until just before kickoff. Reggie Bonnafon started the later part of last season after Will Gardner was injured but then Bonnafon was replaced by Kyle Bolin. All three won games and all three are battling for the position with true freshman - and dynamic player - Lamar Jackson also in the mix. Bobby Petrino has said it’s been close the entire fall camp, which means no one player stepped up and grabbed the position - like the coaches were hoping. We feel like it will be Bonnafon but don’t be shocked to see multiple QBs in the game.
2.What do you feel like the team strength will be this year?
Once again it’s defense. The U of L defense lost seven guys to the NFL Draft after last season when they were ranked in the top 10 much of the year but the Cardinals feel like they could be better this go around. Todd Grantham is the former coordinator at Georgia and has the defense stacked with talent. Linebackers Keith Kelsey and James Burgess are as good as it comes in the middle, while defensive end Sheldon Rankins is one of the top defensive players in the ACC. Louisville has a ton of talent on defense and it will be the team’s strong suit.
3.What newcomers will have a big impact on Saturday?
Louisville is likely to play 11 true freshmen with Jaire Alexander perhaps playing the biggest role as a cornerback and the team’s punt returner. But the newcomers with the biggest impact will be the three transfers on defense. Georgia transfers Shaq Wiggins and Josh Harvey-Clemons sat out last season, while Devonte Fields was at a JUCO last season after he was dismissed from TCU. Harvey-Clemons and Fields might be the two best defenders on a defense that is perhaps better than what U of L had last season.
4.Who is the player the opponent better keep a close eye on in game one?
James Quick is the only experienced wide receiver returning and has turned in a sensational spring and fall camp. He was moved to the inside receiver spot and will get a lot of targets from the QB. Quick is the highest-ranked recruit the program has ever signed but has never fully lived up to his billing. The staff thinks this game is the start of something big for Quick.
5.What is the key to victory for Auburn?
The Tigers need to disrupt and handle the young and inexperienced offensive line. Louisville could start two freshmen on the offensive line and will certainly have four new starters from last season. Aaron Epps is the only experienced guy returning and he only started six games last season. if the Tigers can control the line of scrimmage it could be a long day for the Louisville offense.