--By Mike Gilpatrick
--File photo by Seth Spalding
Happy New Year, Louisville Football fans...
While kickoff is still a month and a half away, ACC Football Media Day signifies the start of a new year. Every team is 0-0, and Fans are excited for what the season will have in store; and how the conference will shape up at the end of November.
Though most of the spotlight shines on aspects like new Florida State Head Coach Willie Taggart, Clemson's starting quarterback, or whether Miami can repeat last season; there are plenty of storylines from Bobby Petrino and Co.
2018 marks a new era in Louisville Football. No more Lamar Jackson under center. Jawon Pass takes over the offense. Standing at 6-4, Pass is a redshirt dual-threat QB that showed promise in limited action last year. In six games, he completed 23 of 33 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 13 times for 62 yards and one score.
Pass is a more typical Petrino QB. He has a good arm, and can scramble out of the pocket if need be.
On the other side of the ball, Louisville lost defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon. They replaced him with Brian VanGorder; Petrino's linebackers coach from the 2007 Atlanta Falcons. VanGorder worked for 10 different college programs and three NFL teams. His most recent stint as DC was with Notre Dame, when he was fired four games into his third season, after allowing 33.5 points per game.
His hire was intriguing to say the least. One clear advantage he has over Sirmon is experience. VanGorder has been in football for 37 years. He transformed the Falcons defense into the 11th best defense in points allowed in 2008, with 20.3. He also allowed 31 points in Georgia's final seven games. VanGorder also won the Broyles Award, the top trophy an assistant coach can obtain.
It will be intriguing to see what defense he runs. He ran the 4-3 for many seasons, and stated that Louisville's personnel best fits the formation, but still hasn't decided what the final formation will be.
Regardless, most Louisville fans are wondering whether the Cards will finally break through, and defeat ranked opponents. They rolled over against Clemson last year, after narrowly losing to the Tigers in 2016. Louisville was trounced by NC State last season. Then, they lost to Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl (which was the first of many losses to the Bulldogs in 2017-18).
It seemed as though Louisville hasn't kept up with ranked teams since Petrino came back. Despite this, 2018 is a new year; and Louisville may compete in the ACC Atlantic.
The Cards take on Alabama Week one, in Orlando. The game kicks off Saturday, September 1st, at 8pm; at Camping World Stadium. Louisville opens their home schedule the next Saturday, September 8th, at 7pm. The game will be at Cardinal Stadium.
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