Cards close to naming QB after scrimmage

Louisville opens the 2009 football season against Indiana State two weeks from today. The Cardinals conducted a major scrimmage Saturday evening at PJCS and Steve Kragthorpe said afterward that he's close to naming a starting quarterback.

Steve Kragthorpe --

Adam Froman didn't participate in Louisville's scrimmage at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium Saturday evening. Does that mean Justin Burke will get the starting nod for the season opener against Indiana State on September 5? The announcement is coming soon.

"We're getting closer," Kragthorpe said. "I think we'll know something early in the week. I want to watch this film a couple times and then make a decision."

Burke took all the reps with the first team offense in the scrimmage and threw for 185 yards, including a 65-yard TD pass to Troy Pascley. Burke also connected with Trent Guy for a 16-yard touchdown.

"I thought Burke did some good things," said Kragthorpe. "He threw the ball crisply at times. He missed a couple of reads but I thought for the most part his feet were pretty good in the pocket and he did a good job scrambling a couple times. He found Trent Guy for a touchdown and kept a drive alive with his feet."

Asked about Burke's decision-making during the scrimmage, Kragthorpe said, "He did OK. We tell our quarterbacks before they can win the game you can't give it to them. And so we've got to continue to do a better job of that."

Froman's status remains uncertain. He appeared the frontrunner at the start of camp but a shoulder strain has cost him valuable practice time this week.

"We're going to have to see," Kragthorpe said. "We're going to talk to the doctors tonight and see when he's going to be back and make a decision from there. He's missed a couple days of practice where he didn't get practice repetitions.

With just two weeks before the season opener, Kragthorpe wanted to get some serious work accomplished in his team's scrimmage.

"I was trying to get a certain amount plays in with some situations scripted in there," Kragthorpe said. "I wanted to get some red zone work and some two minute. And we wanted to get some coming out work from the shadows of our own end zone."

What did Kragthorpe think about his team's performance?

"There were some good things but a lot of things we've got to get corrected," Kragthorpe said. "I thought the defense stepped up and made some plays. And Justin did a nice job throwing the ball a couple times. We've got to make more catches than we did. We had a couple drops today that we've got to get fixed but Troy (Pascley) did make one big play on the post route."

Louisville's offense was without wide receiver Scott Long, who was held out of the scrimmage as a precautionary measure. "I held him today," Kragthorpe said. "He's doing great and his recovery is going great. I think he'll be back to pretty close to 100 percent two weeks from today."

The Cards will take Sunday and Monday off before returning to practice Tuesday to begin game preparation for the season-opener against the Sycamores.

"Overall, we've had a good camp," Kragthorpe said. "I'm pleased with the effort. Now we've got to put everything together starting on Tuesday and get ready for Indiana State."

Cards looking for second corner
Johnny Patrick is a lock at one cornerback spot. But there's a pretty good battle going on to determine the other starter between sophomore Kardell Dunning and junior college transfer Preston Pace.

"Johnny has stepped up and had a great camp," Kragthorpe said. "Terence Simien has had a good camp for us and Chaz (Thompson) has done some good things for us. But we've got to find a second corner. Kardell Dunning has done some good things and Preston Pace has done some good things. Overall we've got more depth there but we've got to find the right combinations out there."

Kragthorpe pleased with JUCO's
Louisville will count on several junior college transfers on defense this season, particularly on the defensive line and in the secondary. Kragthorpe said he was pleased with the performance of his transfers during camp.

"Tim High is doing a good job. He's a big run stuffer and he's actually a little better pass rusher than people would give him credit for," Kragthorpe said. "Malcolm Tatum is getting some quality snaps for us. So overall I think those guy are starting to catch on."

Cards still working on the O-line
Steve Kragthorpe said the addition of junior college transfer Joe Evinger will help Louisville's depth on the offense line. Evinger joined the team Thursday and will be able to practice in pads next week.

"He should be out here ready to go next week," Kragthorpe said. "It's good to have him out here. It's going to help us. We've got to get more guys in that front unit on the offensive and defensive lines."

Kragthorpe was also pleased with true freshman offensive lineman Kamran Joyer. "I'm really impressed with him as a true freshman," said Kragthorpe. "If you asked me who's had a great camp that you don't know about it would be Kamran Joyer. I think he's going to be a really good player here."

Kragthorpe said he hasn't made a decision on a starting unit upfront. "We're going to look at the tape tonight and tomorrow and make some determinations about the five guys we want to put out there," Kragthorpe said. "Stingly is playing left tackle for us and he's done a good job for us. He's continued to improve his overall understanding of the game of football and he's been very solid for us."

Has Stingily earned a starting job at left tackle? "To be determined," Kragthorpe said. "I think he's certainly got a chance with the way he's played. He's been very consistent."


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