University of Louisville football coach Bobby Petrino was all smiles on Saturday afternoon.
Petrino met with the media following a two-hour scrimmage with his team where he said they performed well, including sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was 21-for-25 in passing.
"I was impressed with a lot of things that I saw," Petrino said. "I think we were able to run the ball and Lamar did a really good job of distributing the ball. He had a good day, I think he only threw four incompletions. We were able to get all the receivers involved.
"I was really happy with some of the things I saw out there."
When asked if his team was farther along after less than three weeks from the opener compared to last season, Petrino responded with "Oh yeah," noting the team now has some experienced players in key roles.
"I just keep going back to last year and these guys were out there and they might have had coaches telling them what the play was - 80 means runs a curl," Petrino said. "Now, they know that so they can concentrate on running the route the right way and reacting to the defense instead of trying to know what the play is."
Petrino said Jackson was solid with the exception of two sacks. He did run a couple of times on QB-designed runs and Petrino said overall it was a big step in the right direction for Jackson.
The coach said tight end Cole Hikutini led the team in receiving, while James Quick had two touchdowns off "very good runs after the catch" and that Jaylen Smith also had a big scrimmage. Brandon Radcliff was the top running back.
The scrimmage was a "game like" situation with special teams and a clock. He was it was 1s vs. 2s with alternating possessions, while the third team ended the scrimmage with a series of plays.
On defense, Petrino said the front line is "going to be really good," and noted that Dee Smith and Jaire Alexander stood out in the secondary for the Cardinals. He said Alexander and Traveon Samuel were solid in the return game.
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