Louisville must slow Georgia's rushing attack

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The University of Louisville football team needs to slow the Georgia rushing attack in the Belk Bowl on Tuesday. The Cardinals have a lot of keys to the game, but several players said the run game is what they must focus on.

The University of Louisville defense ranks No. 3 nationally in rush defense, allowing just 93.7 yards a game to opponents this season.

But the Cardinals will get a major test on Tuesday night in the Belk Bowl.

U of L will face Georgia and standout running back Nick Chubb, who replaced Heisman candidate Todd Gurley during his suspension and later his injury, and the Cardinals must slow Chubb's roll at Bank of America Stadium.

"They're very good at running the ball," linebacker Keith Kelsey said. "But that's why we have to play our assignments, do what we are told and then make the plays.

"(Chubb) is a good back, but we have to play our assignments and not worry about whose in there or what they are doing, just listen to coach (Todd) Grantham."

Chubb was the second-string guy to start the season before Gurley - who rushed for 911 yards and nine touchdowns in six games - was given a four-game suspension in October after the NCAA determined that he accepted improper benefits from autograph signings. He came back against Auburn in November but tore a ligament in his knee.

With Chubb in the lineup, Georgia hasn't missed a beat. He ran for 1,281 yards and 12 TDs, averaging 6.9 yards per carry for the Bulldogs.

"They're big, thick, can run through guys, can make the first guy miss and they can really hurt you if you don't take good angles," said Grantham, U of L's defensive coordinator after being in the same position at Georgia the previous four seasons. "You have to set the edge to the defense, build a wall inside and don't create seams.

"We understand that and we know we have to tackle."

U of L lineman Sheldon Rankins has been a key player all season and will be again, going up against center David Andrews. The 6-foot-2, 295-pound Andrews has started 40 straight games as the center position for the Bulldogs.

"He is a great player, along with the rest of their offensive line," Rankins said. "It's going to take our best foot forward. We consider ourselves a very good group as a defensive line and we know what we have to do for our team."


Cardinal Authority Top Stories