--By Mike Gilpatrick
--Photo by Seth Spalding
Turning the calendar to week two, the Louisville Cardinals host the Indiana State Sycamores, from the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores enter after defeating the DII Quincy Hawks 49-0. Here are a few keys to the game for Louisville
Dominate the trenches
Make no mistake, Indiana State was glad to get last week’s win- it was the first since October 22nd, 2016, and the first under head coach Curt Mallory.
Their offense in the first game was one-sided. The Sycamores only had three first downs passing. The other 18 were from the air. Larry Bird U had just 84 passing yards, and 339 rushing. Four running backs scored in the game.
After a performance like that, the Sycamores will try and put more through the trenches to test the injury-laden Louisville front.
*Pass* the ball
QB Jawon Pass looked like he was almost comfortable in the pocket week one. He was over 50% against Alabama, with over 250 yards and two touchdowns through the air.
Indiana State allowed 159 total yards against Quincy their first game. They wrapped up three sacks for 12 yards, and 29 total tackles. Against a freshman QB.
Pass should get ample time to rehearse both his rushing and passing game.
Run the ball
Louisville had just 16 all-purpose rushing yards against the Alabama Crimson Tide Week one. It wasn’t a good showing from the ground game.
The Cardinals have good running backs. Trey Smith And Dae Williams can produce decent numbers. Jeremy Smith returns to the team after deciding to come back to Louisville. Smith is a good third-and-short back. He can punch the ball through opposing defensive lines for three or four yards.
While the passing game was good last week, the ground game needs to be established. Having a diverse offensive attack is tremendously harder to defend than a one-sided system.
The Missouri Valley Conference the Sycamores are a part of are different than the one Louisville was a part of. For starters, it’s an FCS-only football conference.
While there are always some FCS schools that beat FBS teams, Indiana State isn’t likely to be one. The Sycamores are 1-14 in their last 15. And the only win was against a division two school.
There’s a reason both teams play in their respective levels. No disrespect to Indiana State, but this game will be a slaughter. The only takeaway would be if Louisville were to lose.
My Prediction: Louisville 62, Indiana State 3