Anderson expects bigger role

Victor Anderson might not be the biggest running back in the Big East, but the talented sophomore runs like it. The Big East Rookie of the Year played a key role last season for the Cardinals – a role that figures to increase in '09. (Photo Gallery Included)

Though Victor Anderson arrived at UofL weighing only 168-pounds, the talented running back appears bigger and stronger this spring.

"I don't play (small)," Anderson said. "I've got a big heart and just go out and run like the bigger guys. Guys don't respect you when you're little. They think you're just going to try to beat them outside. So you've got to go out with the mentality that you're 210 and try to punish the defenders because they try to punish you."

Anderson doesn't run away from contact. Despite his relatively small size, the Big East Rookie of the Year runs with a physical style and isn't afraid to mix it up with bigger defenders.

"I'm small but I'm big in heart," Anderson said.

As a redshirt freshman last season, Anderson emerged as Louisville's best running back. After breaking out with a big performance on ESPN against Kansas State, Anderson went on to finish fifth in the Big East in rushing (87.2 yards per game). Anderson rushed for 1,047 yards and eight touchdowns with five 100-yard games, earning second team All-Big East honors.

With Brock Bolen, Louisville's second leading rusher last season, gone, Anderson could see his workload increase as a sophomore.

"From my understanding, Coach (Kragthorpe) mentioned that he would like me to take more carries," Anderson said. "I would take more of a beating so he wants me to get my weight up a little more."

Anderson also proved a reliable pass receiver out of the backfield as a freshman, catching 18 passes for 101 yards and one score.

"I like to catch the ball out of the backfield because you can see the field a lot more and have a better understanding where the (defense) is coming from," Anderson said. "It's harder on defenses when you can catch the ball out of the backfield. So that's a big upside for our team."

With Steve Kragthorpe calling plays next season, Anderson could see more passes thrown his way if spring practice is an indication.

"I think that's going to be a decent part of this offense," Anderson said.

After starting out 5-2 last season, Louisville finished the season on a five-game losing streak and missed out on a bowl game for a second consecutive season. With several key skill-players returning on offense, Anderson has high hopes for the coming season.

"It's going to be a fun season and we're going to win games and make it to a bowl game," said Anderson. "So I'm excited for us and the fans."

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