Spring Notebook: Sunday Scrimmage

U of L head coach Bobby Petrino spoke with the media following the Cardinals first scrimmage of the spring practice season...

After conducting three days of practice with no tackling, U of L head coach Bobby Petrino mixed things up a bit on Sunday when the Cardinals conducted a controlled live scrimmage.

The scrimmage went to the Cardinal offense, as a host of players made impressive runs, catches and throws. Among those making impressive plays on Sunday morning were Hunter Cantwell, Kolby Smith, Mario Urrutia, while a number of others including Corey Thompson, Sergio Spencer, Brock Bolen and Pat Carter were among those that reached the end zone.

"Some of the offensive players had an opportunity to make plays and they made them. That's what we have to do. In practice the last three days we have missed some of those plays and the defensive guys made the plays, so the offense probably got the better of the defense today."

Senior running back Kolby Smith highlighted the strong running attack.

"Kolby ran the ball real well," said Petrino. "I thought Michael got lathered up as we went and got better the longer it went and the more carries that he got."

Continuing to receive the majority of the reps behind center, quarterback Hunter Cantwell had his strongest outing of the young spring season.

"He does a nice job when he can stand there and throw the ball," Petrino said of the sophomore quarterback. "He's very accurate and has a good arm. We have been really on him about decision making and his ability to feel the rush and get the ball out."

The Cardinals rebuilt offensive line, which is being forced to replace three starters from a year ago, provided good protection and running lanes during the scrimmage.

"I'm anxious to see the o-line on the video and see exactly how we did there and see who stepped up. I thought we had pretty good timing and I thought we protected the quarterback really well."

While the Cardinal defense played well at times during the fourth day of spring ball, the Cardinals head coach says that there is still plenty of room for improvement.

"We have a lot of improvement to do," said Petrino. "I thought that they ran hard to the ball. We did miss some tackles, but those are some pretty good backs to tackle. It was good to see the live work."

With the offense getting the better of the Cardinal defense on Sunday, Petrino said that it is a matter of the youthful defensive line gaining more experience and improving their presence on the field.

"They are pretty young, but I like them," Petrino said of the d-line. "I think Amobi is doing a great job of leading them and Adrian Grady has been real hard to block. I like Willie Williams inside. Earl has done a great job – he's so much bigger and stronger then he was and L.D. Scott is a young guy that is starting to get bigger and stronger. We'll have five guys there and I think Willie needs to step it up and help us because he has the experience, the size and the strength already."

"On the end Zach is doing a good job and I think Maurice Mitchell is doing a nice job. Brandon Cox has to get off the ball – whenever he comes off the ball he does good, but sometimes he gets hesitant. The other young guys are going to have to grow up fast, because we are going to need them to contribute early."

The Cardinals will take Monday off from the practice fields, but will return on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m.

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