--By Mike Gilpatrick
--File photo by Jared Anderson
While Saturday’s lopsided loss to Alabama did not go as desired, a few Louisville football players stood above the rest. These players will likely have a decent impact in Week two, as the Louisville Cardinals take on Indiana State:
Offense: TE Kemari Averett
Jawon Pass’s top target in Week one was the offensive player of the game. Averett had both Louisville touchdowns against Alabama, and proved to be a good short-yardage target. Averett caught four of five for 30 yards. His longest reception was 12.
In limited action last year, Averett succeeded in receiving. He caught seven for 79 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 11.3.
The sophomore was a three-star recruit, and the No. 2 tight end in the state of Georgia by Scout.com.
Defense: CB PJ Mbanasor
After bringing down nine players, and six solo tackles, PJ Mbanasor proved to be a decent cornerback in his Louisville debut. It was his first action since 2015, when he started two games for Oklahoma. He redshirted in 2016, and sat out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
Mbanasor, along with former Ohio State buckeye Rodjay Burns, will try to lock down the secondary next week against the Sycamores.
Mbanasor was the No. 103 prospect as a high school Senior, and was the No. 20 prospect from Texas. He was a four-star when recruited.
Special Teams: P Mason King
King was brought on eight times to boot the ball away for Louisville. He had 346 yards, with a long of 58. His performance was still slightly under-average for him. In 2017, King punted in all 13 games, averaging 43.9 yards. His average was 43.2 on Saturday.
King owns the school record for punting average, with 43.9. He is consistent, as that was his average for both 2016 and 2017.
Overall: QB Jawon Pass
In Pass’s first career start, against one of the toughest defenses in the nation, Pass did well. He went 20 for 39, for 252 yards, two touchdowns and two picks. He finished with a rating of 112.2. On the ground, Pass rushed eight times, and while he didn’t net any yardage, he had an 11-yard rush; proving he could turn on the jets.
He will have more opportunities to open the ground game against Indiana State. Alabama was incredibly tough, and dominated the trenches.