What do the Louisville Cardinals expect from Auburn on Saturday?
09/04/2015 11:30 AM
Game day is almost here, as Louisville’s season opening match-up vs Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff classic is a little more than 24 hours away. In the weeks leading up to the game, there has been a lot of discussion about how Louisville will fare, but very little about what Auburn will do on the field against the Cards.
At first glance it’s easy to look at what the Tigers don’t have, after losing 18 players from last season’s squad to graduation and the NFL. Most notably quarterback Nick Marshall, running back Cameron Artis-Payne, wide receiver Quan Bray and tight end C.J. Uzomah; who accounted for a large portion of the Tigers’ offense in 2014.
Despite those losses Auburn’s 2015 offense looks solid on paper. Jeremy Johnson will take over for Marshall at QB. Despite limited playing time as Marshall’s back up last year, Johnson was 28-37 for 436 yards and two touchdowns.
A talented receiving corps led by seniors Duke Williams, Ricardo Louis and Melvin Ray (combined for 74 catches and nine TDs in 2014) will be a comfort for Johnson in the passing game, while the running game will be anchored by sophomore running back Racean ‘Roc’ Thomas; who averaged five yards per carry in 2014 and finished the season with two scores playing behind Artis-Payne.
Louisville Defensive Coordinator Todd Grantham says the Tigers’ offense is physical up front with talented skill players.
On defense Auburn lost tackles Gabe Wright and Angelo Blackson (41 tackles combined in 2014), senior safeties Jermaine Whitehead, Robenson Therezie and Brandon King as well as senior cornerbacks Jonathan Mincy and Trovon Reed.
In light of those absences senior linebackers Kris Frost and Cassanova McKinzy will be counted on to stop the run, while senior cornerback Jonathan Jones and safeties Josh Holsey and Rudy Ford (senior and junior, respectively) will anchor the defensive backfield.
Louisville Offensive Coordinator Garrick McGee expects a “war” facing the Auburn defense on Saturday.
Kickoff for the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic is set for 3:30 PM EST