The Louisville football team showed a ton of improvement and there were plenty of big plays on Saturday during a two-hour scrimmage.
The Cardinals went at it at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium with officials and full pads and much of the time it being starters on starters.
U of L head coach Bobby Petrino said the team is "still not where we need to be," but he was happy with the improvement in a week's time.
"We are making strides," Petrino said. "I liked some of the big plays from the offense."
It was a big-play type of day for the offense with Dominique Brown making the biggest of them all when he broke off a 65-yard touchdown run down the left sideline. He used his speed to get away from the defense.
Keith Towbridge scored the first TD of the game on a pass from Will Gardner, while DeVante Parker added a short TD catch. Eli Rogers also scored a touchdown, while L.J. Scott ran for one and Dominique Brown added two more TDs.
Scott continued his strong running, while Michael Dyer came in late and had some big runs including a touchdown. James Quick was also a guy who made two big plays, including one long run after a catch from Kyle Bolin.
U of L's defense gave up some big plays but did show a lot of improvement from last week's scrimmage. The Cardinals are still without two key defenders - Lorenzo Mauldin and Keith Brown - who are recovering from injuries.
On this day, it has to be Dominique Brown.
There were no numbers being kept but he had three touchdown runs and several other long runs where he plowed over defenders.
Petrino said he was "really pleased" with the way Brown ran the ball and noted on the long run he "showed he was faster than I thought he was," breaking away from Gerod Holliman and Charles Gaines on the play.
Brown has the speed to get outside but also showed he will take it up the middle and try to run over defenders, making him so versatile.
He's being pushed by L.J. Scott and Michael Dyer right now, but he's clearly the featured back in this offense and should thrive.
The offense had a good day but on plays that didn't work it was mainly because of the defensive line and its work.
Sheldon Rankins and B.J. Dubose had solid days, while DeAngelo Brown was also very good.
It appears the defensive line made huge strides this week and Rankins said it's mainly because now the scheme is coming easier to those guys up front and they're not as confused.
"It's a great defense," he said. "It's a lot to learn but I feel like we're more comfortable."
It's still a work in progress with the new scheme, but the D-line should be a strength.
NEW NAME TO WATCH
With Jake Smith back at the guard position for now, the center spot is being filled by redshirt sophomore Tobiah Hughley.
The former walk-on from Lexington Lafayette is a good size - 6-foot-3, 291 pounds - and has really sound technique.
Hughley will be challenged in the fall with the addition of some newcomers on the line but for now he's performed very well.
Brown said the offense seems to be better with Smith back at the guard position, while Petrino said the entire line "has really improved."
A FEW LEFTOVERS
***Running back Brandon Radcliff is sidelined with an undisclosed injury.
***Defensive lineman Jamine Brooks did not practice this week with the Cardinals and Petrino said the team doesn't discuss with the media when players opt not to practice.
***Marcus Smith, George Durant, Josh Chichester, William Gay, Bilal Powell and Victor Anderson were among the former players in attendance at the scrimmage.
***The Cardinals have two more practices - Tuesday and Wednesday at 4 p.m. - and then the Wendy's Wonderful Kids Spring Game will be held on Friday at 7:30 p.m. All admission is free.