By Tom Stosberg

In today’s style of college football, is it even possible to win a league championship or, for that matter, a single Big East game without a major, big time running back? Not just a fast back, but a durable one who can deliver 20-25 carries, get short yardage when needed and take a pounding weekly.

Does the University of Louisville have that durable back?

Victor Anderson? Great speed, exceptional moves, remarkable balance, excellent instincts and terrific work ethic.

Darius Ashley? Best running back in Ohio as a high school senior two years ago. A Victor Anderson clone?

Bilal Powell? Great freshman start, coming off an injury season, good attitude, excellent athletic ability, questionable durability.

Joe Tronzo? Big. Good blocking back. Big. Not much speed. Big. Great attitude. Big. Very hard worker. Big.

Hey, wait a minute. Tronzo,Victor, Pass, Pass, Victor, Tronzo, Ashley, Pass, Pass, Powell, Anderson …

Hmmm. You thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’?  Naw. But maybe … Naw … Ya think?

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By Tom Stosberg

Tom Stosberg and his wife, Linda, also an active participant on this site, have been U of L fans for nearly 40 years. Tom is self-employed by MarketFit, Inc., an outsource marketing advisory. Tom worked in radio, television and advertising for 35+ years. His web site is located at

9 thoughts on “Louisville Running Backs May Be Key”
  1. You sound like Kragthorpe over the past two years….two runs and then throw?
    We’ll be 1-5 to start with this philosophy. Gotta keep ’em from packing it in.
    No harm in throwing to a Long, Guy, Chicester or other wideout on first. No one will be expecting it.
    You use your backs to seal one late. Let’s hope we have the chance to against someone besides ISU.

  2. Tim Tebow might disagree with tht philosophy. Sam Bradford at Oklahoma may raise a dissenting hand. It was the lack of an effective passing attack that stymied the Cards last year. With key receivers back in the lineup, and three equally talented quarterbacks, let’s hope Kragthorpe can develop a offensive line to give them a chance. The run will always be there. They’ll get theirs, but like Paul said. You have to spread them out. Keep them honest on defense.

  3. We had no wide receivers last season, with Scott Long and Trent Guy injured and Troy Pascley just learning the system. This appears to be one of our strengths this year. Let’s just hope they stay healthy.

  4. Who’s to say those pass, pass are not long passes? That said we could use a Ray Rice type guy. Tronzo caught a couple of pretty nice catches the day I was out there. Haven’t seen him run much, though.

  5. The Cards first opponent, ISU, was 9th in the NCAA in pass defense last year. Three guys in that defensive secondary are back, including NFL probable Donye McCleskey. All-Conference linebacker C.J. Cook return, too. People simply wouldn’t throw at McCleskey last year and he still managed 98 tackles, two picks and three fumle recoveries.

    Of course, it is ISU. A good showing by the UofL QB’s against the ISU pass defense can only be a psotive lead-in to the UK game. They’ll probably get McCleskey to try and shut down Scott Long, so plenty of opportunities should be there for the other UofL wideouts. Beaumont and Guy could be huge in this one.

  6. Paul,

    I always appreciate your input but you are making it sound like ISU is a good football team. Their defense was ranked in 1AA, and they didn’t win a game last year. If UofL doesn’t put up 50+ on this team, it will be a very long season. As is my prediction if ISU scores more than once, then UofL’s defense is in lots of trouble. Every team worth a damn crushed Indiana State, even mediocre 1AA teams crushed them. Lets hope its not a reapet of Krags first ever game under the helm, if so UofL may only win a couple of games and underachieve.

  7. That’s a bit harsh cardfan4life. This is not the same team on either side of the ball. Indiana State, like most teams, is always trying to get better. To deny that’s possible doesn’t say much about the human race.

    1. Yeah they won like 4 games the last five years. They are terrible, ok maybe not terrible but a quality BCS program should beat them by 60 points. If UofL struggles at all with the Sycamores then I will fear the worst. This could a mute point, UofL could win by 50 and no one will ever talk again about ISU, I promise the Syc’s win less than 4 games this year.

  8. Cardfan4life,

    It is ISU, and they’re not ready for prime time, for sure…but they should be better than last year. The interesting matchups for me are our passing game against their secondary and if they can do anything against our running when it gets late in the game.

    I still expect us to win by 30+, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think they’ll come in here and lay down for us.

    It is ISU, after all.

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