The Train is Rolling

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The 2012 University of Louisville football season is one that will be imprinted into the minds of the Cardinal faithful for the years to come. The team finished at #13 in the polls with an 11-2 record and full momentum heading into 2013. The Cards earned bragging rights with the Governor’s Cup, the Keg of Nails, the Big East Championship, and capped the season with a decisive victory in the Allstate Sugar Bowl over SEC power Florida. This team started 9-0 for the first time in school history and Coach Charlie Strong claims they are a year ahead of schedule. The train is rolling for the University of Louisville football program.

I think we can finally put the 2006 season into the back of our minds and focus on what is currently happening with the program.

Today is the furthest day away from the 2013 college football season; however, it is never too early to look into what the University of Louisville will be bringing to the table next season.

The high powered offense will be led by Heisman contender Teddy Bridgewater. This season he threw 287-419 for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns. Teddy became the 2 minute drill master and led several game winning drives early on in the season. His toughness and poise in the pocket made the sophomore stand out in every game he played in. His game against Rutgers will be one that UofL fans everywhere will remember and cherish when they think back on this special 2012 season.

The wide receiving core has made Teddy Bridgewater’s life a little easier this season, and it will be even deeper next season. They will lose seniors Andrell Smith and Scott Radcliff but will return and add a plethora of receivers. The core is highlighted by Damain Copeland who had 50 catches on the season with 628 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eli Rogers hauled in 46 passes for 505 yards and 4 touchdowns on the season and proved to be a reliable go to guy when a big play is needed. Devante Parker has become the master of the red zone for the Cards with 40 catches for 744 yards and 10 touchdowns. Parker has moved up to #7 (tied with Mario Urrutia) in the record books with 16 career touchdowns. The wide receiving core will also add a healthy Michaelee Harris and incoming freshman James Quick. The University of Louisville will continue to dominate through the air behind the arm of Teddy Bridgewater.

The receiving core has already dubbed themselves as #AFROS on twitter, or Americas Finest Receivers On Saturday. James Quick quickly joined the action with them. It is going to be a fun year.

The Cards found success on the ground behind running backs Jeremy Wright and Senorise Perry. The second leading rusher from 2011 Dominique Brown redshirted this season and will return along with speedster Corvin Lamb. Jeremy Wright had 211 carries for 824 yards (3.9) and 10 touchdowns. Before Senorise went down with an ACL injury against Syracuse he rushed 136 times for 739 yards (5.2) and 11 touchdowns.  The talented backs and a solid run game will open up gaps in the secondary for Bridgewater to torch.

This offense is fun.

The defensive side of the ball is young, talented, and full of promise. There are 7 different players on defense with an interception. There are 3 players with multiple picks including freshman James Burgess having 2, sophomore Calvin Pryor with 2, and sophomore Terell Floyd with 3 including a pick 6 to open up the Sugar Bowl. The defensive unit was led by Preston Brown with 109 tackles and Calvin Pryor with 100. The University of Louisville defense showed what they could do when they flexed their muscles on the #3 Florida Gators in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

The Cards will be ranked in the top 10 to begin the 2013 season and this ranking puts the program in sight of a National Championship. Expect Charlie Strong to have the Cards prepared to play like a top 10 team every week. The train keeps rolling…