Cards offensive line has a solid start

One of the biggest questions heading into the college football season for the University of Louisville was the strength of the offensive line. After one week, the line looked like a strong suit for the Cardinals.

So, the University of Louisville football team's biggest question mark heading into last week's opener against was the strength of the offensive line.

Many wondered how a line without two veteran starters from last season – Mario Benavides and Alex Kupper – would hold up in competition.

But so far, the line has been so good.

With center Jake Smith leading the charge, the U of L line allowed just one sack and opened holes for the rushing attack to gain 199 yards last week as the Cardinals blew out Ohio University 49-7 in the season-opener.

"The holes were there," running back Senorise Perry said after the game. "The line did a great job, especially for the first game."

Added running back Dominique Brown: "The line was great."

Smith moved over from right guard and played the center position on the line, while John Miller was again at left guard and Jamon Brown moved from right tackle to the left tackle – Teddy Bridgewater's blindside.

Chris Acosta started at right guard and while he did have a holding penalty was "solid," according to Miller. Nacho Garcia started at right tackle, while Ryan Mack also saw some time at that position.

"The line did a good job," Bridgewater said.

But Miller, a three-year starter, said there's still plenty of things for the Cardinals offensive line to "clean up on."

"Fundamentally and technique-wise we can get better and we have to get better," Miller said. "We just have to get better overall from the left tackle all the way to the right tackle. We have a lot of stuff to clean up."

U of L's offense had five false start and two holding penalties and running back coach Kenny Carter said there was about "80 yards left on the field in the running game," because of penalties and such.

"You don't try to do it intentionally," Miller said. "But you just have to make sure to correct yourself. The false starts are not being mentally locked in.

"We have areas we have to improve on and that's the biggest."

With four running backs in the fold, including Perry, Brown, Michael Dyer and Brandon Radcliff, the Cardinals can throw a lot of looks at opponents.

And Miller said that's why the line must do their jobs.

"We can hit them with speed, power or hit them with both," Miller said. "Our job up front just stays the same. No matter who is in there running, we're going to block the same and we have to do a better job each game."


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