U of L offensive line showing improvement

The University of Louisville's big question coming into the football season was the play of the offensive line. Heading into the fourth game, offensive line coach Dave Borbely believes the line is hitting its stride. The Cardinals have made some tweaks and were aided by the return of an injured starter.

After three games, the University of Louisville football team has had a few struggles with the running game.

The Cardinals only managed 78 yards rushing in a win over Eastern Kentucky University and looked sluggish in the first part of a win over Kentucky.

But overall the running game is averaging 173 yard per contest, including 242 yards last week against Kentucky, and line coach Dave Borbely said the Cardinals are "starting to make some real progress."

"The whole process of (the line) becoming one unit is an on-going process the entire year," Borbely said. "It's so important that everybody is on the same page. They're coming along as a unit. It just takes time."

The Cardinals, who ran for 199 yards in the opener against Ohio University, average 4.8 yards a carry. Borbely and offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said the first quarter and a half of the UK game shouldn't be judged.

"What they did was something completely different than what they had shown," Borbely said. "We got those adjustments made by the end of the first quarter, going into the second quarter. At halftime, the adjustments were already in but we just had to reinforce them and then we were on task."

Watson said having right tackle Kam Joyer, who missed most of fall camp with an injury but played against UK, "helped out a ton."

"He brings that experience, so having him back on a full-time basis is huge," Watson said. "Everybody is finally on the same page. One thing we are starting to see, we're starting to get the relationship and chemistry built with Kam back in there now – between Ryan (Mack), Kam and Nacho (Garcia).

"That's helped out and is only going to make things better."

Borbely said he's been pleased with the play of Jamon Brown and John Miller on the left side of the line and Jake Smith has been "a great leader" at center.

Chris Acosta played in the two game at right guard that Joyer missed, while Garcia and Mack have been rotating time at right tackle.

"I feel good about the seven," Borbely said. "It was great to get Chris Acosta in the first two games and he played relatively well. I feel like we can put some guys into the game that can win for us."

Borbely said he would continue to play Mack and Garcia at right tackle because both have "been solid in there for us."

"We have some guys that are giving us a chance to win," he said.

Cardinal Authority Top Stories