Louisville Football: 3 reasons the Cardinals will struggle in 2020

Scott Satterfield, Louisville football (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Scott Satterfield, Louisville football (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Kentucky football
Lynn Bowden Jr, Kentucky football (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

3. Run defense has not been a strength for Louisville

You’d be hard-pressed to find a worse run defense than the Cardinals on display a year ago.

Louisville finished 111th in the country and second to last in the ACC by allowing 212.2 rushing yards per game, including 517 yards in a single game to the rival Kentucky Wildcats in an eye-opening 45-13 loss in the regular season finale.

This wasn’t the first year the Cardinals struggled to slow down the run. In 2018, they finished third-worst in the nation (128th) as they allowed 278.8 rushing yards per game.

While they were able to improve by 66 yards a year ago, it’s hard to expect much of a jump in production in 2020.

They’ll face off against several of the ACC’s top running backs in 2020, such as Clemson‘s Travis Etienne and Virginia Tech‘s Deshawn McClease.

As for how some of the Cardinals’ opponents ranked a year ago, they’ll face a Kentucky rushing attack that finished fourth in the nation a year ago, a Clemson attack that ranked 13th and a Notre Dame run game that finished 46th.

The Cardinals will be without defensive lineman Amonte Caban who led the defensive line with 6.5 tackles for loss. Louisville will also be without G.G. Robinson, who ranked second on the defensive line in tackles for loss.

Thus, there will be added pressure on Louisville’s returning group of linebackers such as Rodjay Burns, Dorian Etheridge and C.J. Avery to get into opposing backfields and slow down running backs and mobile quarterbacks.