After getting the better of the defense last Saturday in the team's first scrimmage of the spring, Hunter Cantwell and the Louisville offense are expecting heavy defensive pressure Saturday morning.
"We didn't see a lot of blitzing in the first scrimmage," Cantwell said. "That's going to be a big part of any offense is defeating the blitz. Saturday we're going to work on that and making the right checks, the line making their calls and not letting it affect us. So the big thing will be defeating pressure and continue to build on what we've already developed this spring."
from the defense during Saturday's
With three new starters working on the offensive line this spring, Cantwell knows he can count on leadership from veterans Eric Wood and George Bussey. Last Saturday, the first team line did an excellent job opening holes for the running game and giving Cantwell plenty of time to sit back in the pocket and find his receivers.
"We've got great senior leadership in Eric Wood and George Bussey," Cantwell said. "We've got a lot of great guys on the line – Abdul Kuyateh, Brian Roche and a whole bunch of other guys – Mark Wetterer. They are all very nasty, aggressive guys and that's what you like to see as a quarterback. And they're smart, too. They know how to make their checks and pass guys off to one another. They're playing real well together right now and I think they're going to be a solid group."
The first team offensive line consists of Wood at center, Bussey and sophomore Jeff Adams at tackle and Wetterer and Abdul Kuyateh at guard. The No. 2 O-Line consists of Nick Borgelt at center, Brian Roche and Josh Byrum at guard and Ryan Kessling and Greg Tomcyzk at tackle.
"The last scrimmage we played really physical up front and that's something we really wanted to work on," Wood said. "It's a point of emphasis of Coach Brohm. We really take pride in that now and we're going to try and get back to our running days of football and I thought we ran the ball well in the scrimmage."
Spring Practice Notebook
The highlight of the day was Hunter Cantwell's 99 yard touchdown to wide receiver Scott Long. Working off their own one-yard line, Cantwell connected with Long, who had beaten coverage, on a post-route and Long out-ran two defenders the length of the field for the touchdown.
Warming up for Saturday's scrimmage, the defense spent the early part of Thursday's practice working on tackling fundamentals.
James McKinney returned to practice Thursday after missing Louisville's last three practices to concentrate on academics. McKinney saw action with the No. 2 defense during the 11 on 11 ‘live' portion of practice.
Cornerback Johnny Patrick and linebacker James Bryant, two starters, were both in yellow jerseys and did not practice Thursday. Patrick was injured during last Saturday's scrimmage, while Bryant tweaked an ankle in practice Tuesday.
Nick Borgelt has reclaimed his spot as the No. 2 center. Borgelt was slowed with a virus the past few practices and true freshman Mario Benavides stepped in. However, O-Line coach Brent Myers told InsideTheVille.com after practice that he has high hopes for Benavides as Eric Wood's eventual replacement. Myers said the Cardinals hope to redshirt Benavides.
Myers also told InsideTheVille.com that Abdul Kuyateh has moved in front of Brian Roche on the depth chart at guard, citing that Kuyateh gives the Cardinals a bit more athleticism at the right guard position.
Running back Dale Martin returned to practice Thursday after missing drills for the past week. Martin ran and cut well and showed no ill effects from his injury.
Chaz Thompson had his bell rung hard by tight end Johnny Burns. Thompson, the second team cornerback, tried to tackle Burns, a physical tight end, in the flat and lost the battle. Thompson was dazed for several minutes on the sideline but seemed fine by the end of practice.
Cody Ledford, a 6-0, 200-pound linebacker from Tallahassee, Florida, made an unofficial visit to Louisville on Thursday. Ledford, who holds offers from South Carolina and UCF, visited Cincinnati yesterday.
Defensive Depth Chart
No. 1 DL: T – Adrian Grady, Earl Heyman; E – L.D. Scott, Rashad Roberts
No. 1 DL: T – L.T. Walker, Tyler Jessen; E – Rodney Gnat, William Savoy
No. 1 LB: Brandon Heath, Chris Campa, Mozell Axson
No. 2 LB: Stephen Garr, Chris Campa, Chase Floyd
No. 1 DB: CB – Woodney Turenne, Marcus Folmar; S – Richard Raglin, Bobby Buchanan
No. 2 DB: CB – Marcus Folmar, Chaz Thompson; S – C.J. Peake, Josh Wiley