University of Louisville wide receiver James Quick went down late in the season-opener against Auburn and many feared the most expeirenced pass catcher on the Cardinals' team might be lost for an extended period of time.
On Saturday, Quick proved those folks wrong and his coach is elated to have him back.
Quick responded from the ankle injury to catch three passes for 69 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown pass, as the Cardinals won their first game of the season with a 45-3 victory over Samford.
"It was really nice to have James back," U of L coach Bobby Petrino said. "Not just tonight, but all week in practice. He certainly is the mature one of the bunch. He really gives the whole group a lift."
Quick, who had 566 yards receiving and three touchdowns last season, took a crossing route from Lamar Jackson and turned it into a touchdown. It was one of the plays Petrino said last week the team was missing without Quick.
"He showed his explosiveness," Petrino said. "He certainly is the mature one in the bunch and understands what you need to do to prepare. He really helped us all week in practice."
Jackson said Quick "opens it up for everbody else," while quarterback Reggie Bonnafon said it was "nice to have him back. He's experienced and he can make the plays."
Louisville finished with 12 players catching a pass, including tight end Cole Hikutini's first career catch, but it was Quick who had the most with three. Hikutini was also returning from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for two games. Another tight end, Keith Towbridge, had a catch for 19 yards after coming back from an injury that has slowed him so far this season.
"I feel better about our depth and keeping our guys fresher and playing harder," Petrino said. "That's what we have really been trying to do with the different personnel group."