A new game week feature, Cardinal Authority collects questions, selecting five, from our premium subscribers regarding the upcoming contest and attempts to answer them for a regular Tuesday feature.
Here's the five questions for Louisville v Houston:
How much of a threat is Houston? The Cougars are certainly an opponent to take seriously. Lead by first-year head coach Tom Herman, who spent the past three seasons as offensive coordinator at Ohio State, Houston features a high-powered scheme that racked up over 600 yards in its season-opening win over Tennessee Tech.
The Cougars feature a balanced attack offensively and have a quick defensive front that is strongest against the run. Look for junior quarterback Greg Ward, who completed 67 percent of his passes in 2014, to use both his arm and legs to create opportunities for the Houston offense. The Cardinals secondary will be tested even more so than it was in the opener.
What does Louisville do with its offensive sets with Jackson at quarterback? multiple After watching Lamar Jackson become just the third U of L quarterback (first since Jim Wagner ran for 162 yards against Drake in 1974) to rush for more than 100 yards in a game during his debut against Auburn, the first reaction to believe that Bobby Petrino's offense will shift from a pro-style into more of a read-zone look moving forward.
A mixture of the two is what to expect with Jackson running the offense. His performance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, where he averaged 6.6 yards per carry, proved that his legs will provide another dangerous threat. Petrino has also repeatedly stated how well Jackson throws the ball and that the rookies desire is to become a better passer. With that said, Petrino's 'feed the studs' philosophy often leads to him shaping schemes or particular plays based on the strengths of those on the field, so look for the Cardinals to have a bit of mix as the offense continues to find its full identity.
How will the Cardinals overcome the loss of James Quick? Losing Quick, the Cardinals most experienced wide receiver, is certainly a significant loss to the receiving corps and passing attack. With Quick out, U of L will rely completely on an inexperienced group. Quick led the team with four catches against Auburn, but the youth-filled depth chart helped ease concerns about the rebuilt unit. Of the eight Cardinals that caught a pass against Auburn, only Charles Standberry and Brandon Radcliff have ever played a game for Louisville and nearly 50 percent of the receptions were grabbed by true freshmen.
Did the Auburn running success create any depth chart changes? The Tigers are a team that lives by the run and, as they did last season, they'll average over 200 yards rushing per game this season. While they didn't reach that total against Louisville, they did have success running against a Cardinals defense that was expected to be a bit more stingy. Auburn is also one of the better ground attacks that the U of L squad will face this season, so there's no need to push the panic button just yet.
Are tickets still available for Saturday's game? There were still 800 tickets remaining as of Tuesday evening, making the home-opener a likely sell-out. The Cardinals ACC opener on Thursday, Sept. 17 against Clemson is already sold-out.