After having some time to digest and analyze what happened on Saturday in Kentucky, Louisville Cardinals fans have to feel really good after what they saw from quarterback Lamar Jackson. Following his bowl performance last year, fans were excited about the coming year. Following this most recent version of the Louisville Spring Game, the energy level has got to be off the charts.
Yes, it’s April and we’re talking about a scrimmage game that doesn’t count, but throwing for 519 yards and eight touchdowns is impressive regardless of the circumstances. His performance was highlighted by three touchdown passes of over 40 yards in the first half including two of 85 and 54 yards.
Every coin has two sides, and every team has two sides of the ball. As much as you want to get excited about what happened on offense, you have to be equally concerned about what was seen from the defense. As if giving up numbers that most only see in a video game to a sophomore quarterback isn’t embarrassing enough, the defense also got gashed time and time again by the Louisville running backs as Jeremy Smith and Malin Jones combined for 125 yards on 12 carries.
Playmakers and defensive standouts abound on a team that finished in the top 2o nationally in that category a year ago, but aside from a play here or there, you have to come away with some concerns about the defensive scheme. That’s going to have to improve if the Cardinals expect to compete in an ACC that figures to do so as well.
The Cardinals don’t look like they’re ready to upset the Florida State Seminoles or the Clemson Tigers, but they have to like what they see so far from their signal-caller. If he continues to improve, he may be good enough to be responsible for an extra victory or two by himself.