--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Jared Anderson
It’s game week, Louisville Cardinals fans. The Louisville football team breaks from Summer and will face off against Notre Dame on Monday, September 2nd. When they face off against the Irish, there will be a new-look team, and coaching staff led by Scott Satterfield.
Louisville released its depth chart for the first game earlier this week. It gives fans a closer look at who will take the field during the first series, and what we may see. Here are a couple takeaways from the chart:
QB 1 has been named
Jawon Pass has been named the starter for Monday’s game, beating out Malik Cunningham. After completing 23 of 33 as Lamar Jackson’s backup in 2017, Pass had a mediocre season in 2018: completing just 54 percent of passes, with eight touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Pass’s first season could have been worse. Nothing went right in 2018, and it became apparent that Jackson masked all of Bobby Petrino’s shortcomings as a head coach. With Satterfield at the helm, things may change. Frank Ponce, the quarterbacks coach, tutored many young quarterbacks at Appalachian State, including Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year Zac Thomas. Ponce also tutored Taylor Lamb, the Sun Belt touchdowns leader when his career ended.
Ponce may be able to tutor Pass better than Nick Petrino was able to last year. Pass was a four-star when recruited, and showed some ability his freshman year.
Javian Hawkins beat out Hassan Hall?
One bright spot last season was running back Hassan Hall. He ran 303 yards in 70 attempts, and scored three touchdowns. He also made 12 receptions for 99 yards. Hall also did not fumble the ball in his freshman year.
Hall was beat out by Titusville, FL native Javian Hawkins, a freshman from Cocoa High School. Hawkins is a three-star recruit, and was the 26th-ranked all-purpose back in the 2019 class.
Both players will likely see ample playing time Monday. One back that will not is Dae Williams, who has not been listed on the depth chart. Williams is the most experienced running back on the team.
Pass’s Passing Targets are not bad at all
One thing that may help pass is a good wide receiver corps. Starters include Senior Seth Dawkins, Redshirt Junior Dez Fitzpatrick, and Sophomore Tutu Atwell. Fitzpatrick gained the second-most yardage on the team in 2018, and was the receiving touchdown leader. Atwell gained 16.92 yards per carry, the most of any receiver with more than 3 catches.
In 2017, Dawkins and Fitzpatrick both had more than 600 yards. With a more experienced Pass under center, hopefully their stats would creep up close to that mark again.
What happened to Bentley?
Cole Bentley was the starting center for Louisville for much of last season. The Junior was replaced for grad-transfer TJ McCoy. McCoy was a reserve lineman for the Florida Gators last year, and played in four games, including against Florida State and Michigan. Rated as a three-star transfer, McCoy was rated the 21st top-center by 247sports.
Rounding out the line is Junior Mekhi Becton, Redshirt Sophomore Caleb Chandler, Redshirt Junior Robbie Bell, and Redshirt Senior Tyler Haycraft.
Monday should be interesting. The Cardinals play the Irish at 8:00 pm.