A great day to visit the site of Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium where construction continues full speed ahead, with less than a month and a half before the opening of the University of Louisville’s 2009 football season. From the observer’s unprofessional eye, the steel framework appears to be in place for all but one section of the east side of the stadium. For a larger view and possibly a computer wallpaper, click here.
The expansion will take seating capacity up to 55,000 more or less and will be ready for the 2010 season.
A lot of truth in the old saying that the more we know about something, the more questions we have about it. What we do know about the University of Louisville offensive line is that Eric Wood and George Bussey will not be a part of it this season.
From that fact onward, a lot of questions still need to be answered. Fall practice will answer a few of the them, undoubtedly…but we might need to get Jeff Foxworthy and a few fifth graders down on campus to figure out the rest.
'Offensive linemen are the Rodney Dangerfields of college football. When things are going well for an offense, they're ignored and taken for granted.'
Depth charts are subject to change. The dilemma posed by the offensive line depth chart is that names are popping up in more than one position. In the situations of Greg Tomczyk and Jeff Adams at tackle, we find that Byron Stingily is backing up both of them. Byron’s going to be a busy young man. Mark Wetterer and Abdul Kuyateh are listed as the starting guards. Mario Benevides at center.
Names you’re not familiar with? Tell me about it.Â You’ve got to love the Stingily name, however.
Offensive linemen are the Rodney Dangerfields of college football.Â When things are going well for an offense, they’re ignored and taken for granted. When things implode, fingers start getting pointed about horrible pass protection and inabilities to open holes. Ex-UofL lineman Will Rabatin once told me that offensive linemen could be compared to pawns in the game of chess. Always the first to engage, no big deal if one goes down, and limited in their movements.
The size is there, if you look at the depth charts. The numbers bolstered by jucos and red shirts.Â The talent and skill have yet to be rated or tested.
The bottom line is this: If Victor Anderson, Doug Beaumont, Scott Long and the quarterbacks have success this year, the line will go unnoticed. If they don’t, then the lineman will get the blame.
The University of Louisville will host a Cardinal Fan Fest on Friday night, Aug. 7 at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
The football team will open with a two-hour open practice, starting at 6 p.m. and followed by an autograph session. The event will include music, food and drink specials, as well as inflatables for kids.
Other fall sports teams will also be in attendance to sign autographs, and free posters can be had.
What’s going on here? Luke Woodley, a highly regarded quarterback prospect from Texas, has committed to play with Steve Kragthorpe and the University of Louisville football team.
From all indications, Woodley’s verbal is a nice recruiting get for Kragthorpe. The quarterback from Highland Park High in Dallas put up some phenomenal numbers during his junior season last year, completing 265 of 409 passes for a 64.8 percentile, good for 41 touchdowns. His longest scoring pass play was 76 yards.
They play real football in Texas, and he led his team to an 11-2 won-lost record. Hey, he even seems to have good speed, too. Been a while.
You can have the best quarterback in the conference but if there’s no oneÂ to throw to, your passing game will suffer — as it did during Hunter Cantwell’s frustrating senior year in the spotlight.Â With a little luck, whoever wins the University of Louisville football’s QB battle will have some decent options.
Doug Beaumont, the sophomore receiver from Male who dazzled with his catches and moves, returns as one of the major threats in the slot. Beaumont had 62 receptions and 750 yards in 2008. Beaumont performed admirably in the absence of an injury-plagued receiving unit but he failed to make it into the end zone. He’s too good a player to have that happen much longer.
Scott Long was U of L’s No. 1 receiver going into last season. Â If Long has fully recovered from some serious injuries, he will be a clutch, go-to receiver. The senior was on the field in only three games but pulled in 11 catches while scoring two touchdowns.
How well Trent Guy will do after recovering from injuries on the heels of his recuperation from gunshot wounds is another huge factor. The senior missed five games last year, but has shown the speed and skills to make defenses second-guess themselves. He’s the heart and soul of this team.
Troy Pascley came on late in the year for 12 receptioand 252 yards, reaching the end zone four times. He has the speed and the moves … all he has to do is catch the ball.
If the Cards want to go tall, sophomore Josh Chichester, at 6-foot-8, is the ideal target. The big guy from Ohio had 30 grabs for 341 yards and four touchdowns.
Damien Dixon and Andrew Robinson are waiting in the wings for duty if the injury bug returns. Robinson has world-class speed and good hands but had only seven handles in 2008.
Tight end appears to be well fortified.Â Senior Pete Noctha, out of Lexington Tates Creek caught nine throws and tallied two touchdowns despite only playing six games. Former defensive standout Johnny Burns looked in 18 tosses and one touchdown. Nate Nord and Mike Fennerty could compete for time as well.
With depth at all receiving positions, the Cards will have the potential to be dangerous. But they must avoid the injury bug and have a quarterback who can deliver if they are to enjoy a productive season.