Louisville Football: Cardinals' 2019 Spring Preview

The Scott Satterfield era gets off to an early start as the Cardinals look to bounce back

This year, the Louisville Cardinals will begin their spring practices a month earlier than in previous seasons as head coach Scott Satterfield will start to put his stamp on the program. Louisville will not have a traditional spring game as the team will wrap up their spring with a scrimmage on March 7 that will be open to the public.

 

The Cardinals, just like every program in the FBS, is allowed 15 spring practices as they will finish up before spring break on March 9.

 

5 Storylines to Watch During Louisville's Spring Practice

 

1. Scott Satterfield

As previously mentioned, Satterfield takes over for Bobby Petrino, who had coached the Cardinals from 2014-18. Last season, the Cardinals finished 2-10, which is why a coaching change was made in the first place.

 

It will be interesting to see how quickly Satterfield can have Louisville back to contention in the ACC. While at Appalachian State, Satterfield was 4-8 during his first season. That was followed by five straight winning seasons, including a10-2 mark in 2018.

 

The Cardinals' fan base will need to be patient with Satterfield and the program as it will likely take some time to get back to relevance.

 

2. What freshmen will stand out in the spring?

Obviously, with a team that finished a poorly as the Cardinals last year, there will be more opportunities for younger players to get playing time. As Louisville signed 16 new players, Satterfield will be looking to see which of the freshmen stand out in the spring.

 

Defensive end Ja'Darien Boykin is the highest-rated prospect in the Louisville signing class. He was a four-star prospect by 247Sports and No. 318 overall in the nation.

 

3. Quarterback situation

There was a carousel of quarterbacks for the Cardinals last season as neither Malik Cunningham nor Jawon Pass proved to be the answer. Louisville was able to land an accomplished high school quarterback on signing day.

 

Evan Conley, who enrolled in January, hopes to be the guy under center for the Cardinals. Last year for Kell High School in Georgia, Conley threw for 2,240 yards and 22 touchdowns.

 

4. Cardinals' defense

The Louisville defense, much like the rest of the team, was subpar in 2018. Now, new defensive coordinator, Bryan Brown will employ his 3-4 scheme beginning in the spring.

 

That will be a change from the 4-3 run by defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder last season. This is one of the reasons Satterfield decided it was important for Louisville to begin spring practice early.

 

5. Dwayne Ledford's offense

Ledford comes over from NC State where he was previously the Wolfpack's offensive line coach and run game coordinator. During that time, Ledford helped NC State produce one of the better offensive lines in the nation.

 

If Louisville's offense resembles anything like NC State's, the Cardinals will have a produtive passing attack. The Wolfpack also had a 1,000-yard rusher each of the three seasons Ledford was in Raleigh. But does he have the pieces in place at Louisville for similar results?

 

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, the Miami Herald and the Palm Beach Post and is a reporter for Pro Player Insiders. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

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