Louisville offense counting on Bellamy

Louisville's offense showed significant improvement against Oregon State and Doug Beaumont played a key role against the Beavers. But with the senior wide receiver out with injury, the Cardinals will count on junior college transfer Josh Bellamy to keep the offense soaring against Arkansas State.

Louisville's offense showed clear improvement in a 35-28 loss at Oregon State two weeks ago.

After struggling the first two games this season against Kentucky and Eastern Kentucky, the Cardinals started to execute offensive coordinator Mike Sanford's spread offense the way it's intended against the Beavers.

Louisville scored a season-high 28 points against Oregon State despite not scoring twice inside the Beavers five-yard line – once stopped on downs, the other a fumble on the goal line by quarterback Adam Froman.

The Cardinals posted a season-high 453 yards of total offense, with Froman throwing for 288 yards, his best passing performance of the young season. Louisville also rushed for 165 yards and averaged nearly six yards per play.

Louisville will miss Doug Beaumont's leadership.
Louisville also received a big boost from senior wide receiver Doug Beaumont, who caught nine passes for 121 yards against Oregon State. Beaumont, however, won't play against Arkansas State after undergoing knee surgery last week and replacing his production and leadership on the field won't be easy for the Cards.

"It is big for our offense to lose him," senior tight end Cameron Graham said. "We need to have people step up. Injuries happen, so we have to step up as an offense. We have to keep going and getting better as an offense."

Who will step up with Beaumont out of commission? Charlie Strong is counting on Josh Bellamy, a 6'0, 200-pound junior college transfer who caught three passes for 65 yards against Oregon State.

"You look at Bellamy," Strong said. "Bellamy played well in the Oregon State game and can make plays for us. He made some plays in the Oregon State game and it allows him to play with confidence."

Bellamy, one of the top juco receivers in the nation at Butte (CA) CC, was expected to make a big impact for the Cards this season. He suffered a concussion early in the season opener and was a non-factor against Kentucky. He returned the following week to make his first two catches against EKU, before his coming out party against the Beavers. Now, Louisville needs Bellamy to build on his performance two weeks ago, and step up his production with Beaumont inactive.

"Josh is a big part of our offense," Graham said. "He comes out each day with the mindset that he's going to make a play. Josh was big last game on critical plays and that helped a lot."

Regarded as one of the most vocal – and confident – players on the squad, Bellamy will get his chance to be Louisville's go-to 'man' in the passing game this Saturday.

"Josh is a very funny character," Graham said. "He is very loud on the field and backs it up with his play. He is not a person who just talks a lot and then doesn't produce. He is very productive on the field and makes plays. He makes the wide receiver group and offense better. He came in ready to go and he really showed that during camp and practice every day."

Bellamy, who averages 17.4 yards per reception, has caught five passes for 87 yards.

"We were in camp and he caught a ball and scored. He looked at us and was teasing us for not stopping him," said defensive lineman Will Savoy. "The offense was hyped up. He brings a lot of energy to the game and talks a lot, but he backs it up with his play."

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