Strong 'overall pleased' by Cards scrimmage

The University of Louisville football team held a closed scrimmage on Saturday morning at the practice facility. It was the second scrimmage of the fall camp for the Cardinals and Cardinal Authority has this report.

The University of Louisville football team didn't keep score for a Saturday morning controlled scrimmage on the practice fields.

But it appears both sides of the ball had a winner.

U of L coach Charlie Strong said after the scrimmage that he was "Overall very pleased" with the effort of his entire team.

From the sounds of it, the first team offense and the first team defense – who didn't go against each other – dominated the two-hour scrimmage.

"The first team defense pretty much stopped the (second-team) offense most of the time," defensive end Lorenzo Mauldin said.

But the second-team defense had a tough time stopping the first-team offense, led by quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

"It was a good day," Bridgewater said. "We can always get better."

DeVante Parker had three touchdowns, including one where Strong said he "went up over a guy and made the catch." Strong pointed out Parker as a standout on offense and said on defense that Calvin Pryor had "some really big hits," and was a standout on that side of the ball.

Perhaps the biggest question mark with this team is the offensive line where Nacho Garcia was back today after missing a few days with an injury. He and Ryan Mack are battling for the right tackle spot.

Jamon Brown is the left tackle and John Miller the left guard, while Jake Smith plays center. Kam Joyer is slated as the right guard but is out with a leg injury and was replaced in the scrimmage by Chris Acosta.

"Our first team offensive line did a great job protecting, but our front four on the defensive line dominated against the second team line," Strong said. "But we do have some injuries there and have some guys we're trying to plug in.

"We just have to find some depth there on the line."

Strong said Senorise Perry was held out of the scrimmage on purpose and didn't have a setback with his knee injury. He noted Dominique Brown, Michael Dyer and Corvin Lamb all received reps with the first team.

Strong said Dyer is "still learning and still picking it up," but he looked solid, while Bridgewater said Brown looked "phenomenal."

Bridgewater said he feels like the offense is on track but now "we're just trying to find our identity" and he called Parker an "X-factor."

Here are a few other nuggets of interest:

Bridgewater lauded freshman James Quick for how fast he has picked up the offense and called him "just one of those guys," who learns fast. He said Quick knows what he's doing and is also doing it when he gets a shot. Quick did participate in the scrimmage after a slight shoulder injury early in the week.

* Strong said backup quarterback Will Gardner has made "giant improvement" since the spring game and has "total command of the offense."

*Defensive back Charles Gaines was sidelined for the scrimmage with a minor injury and is expected back this week.

Strong said De'Asian Richardson and Kyle Shortridge received a bunch of reps with the second team defense during the scrimmage.

*Strong said kicker John Wallace has been solid in camp so far, while Ryan Johnson continues to handle the punting duties.

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