April 8, 2010
Louisville, Ky. -
As a former defensive coordinator, University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong likes to pay special attention to the defensive side of the football, especially the defensive line. But Strong knows the offensive and defensive lines can win or lose football games.
While Strong has been pleased with the play on the offensive front, the first-year head coach is trying to find different combinations on the defensive line.
"You can always tell how practice is going to be if the offensive and defensive lines are getting after each other," Strong said after Day 9 of spring drills. "I've been very pleased with offensive line thus far trhis spring. They are coming off the ball fast and playing physical. The defensive line is coming along. but we are still trying to put together different combinations."
The Cardinals went over a variety of different situations again on Wednesday. Strong put the team through the basics of an overtime game, Giving the offense the ball on the 25-yard line. The star of that period was kicker Chris Philpott was accurate from every distance on the field. He showed a powerful leg and each kick was right down the middle. He connected on field goals from 30, 37, 42, 51 and 56 yards.
The Cardinals closed practice with a two-minute drill. The offense was given 1:30 and seconds to drive down the field and score.
During various scrimmages, the offense and defense seemed to take turns going at one another.
Senior running back Bilal Powell continues to be explosive and powerful, and has developed into one of the better players on the football field. He had a long run during the scrimmage portion of practice, but has also shown an ability to run over people to get the extra yards.
Senior cornerback Johnny Patrick intercepted an Adam Froman pass, which was deflected and knocked into the air. Red-shirt freshman Hakeem Smith continues to make plays, picking off a pass in the end zone, but has also been making numerous tackles.
The offense was solid during the red zone portion of Wednesday's practice. Senior quarterback Adam Froman
connected with wide receivers Andrell Smith
and Josh Chichester
for impressive touchdowns, while senior Justin Burke
was proficient during his turn in the red zone. Smith, who played sparingly at wide receiver last season, snuck behind defensive back Preston Pace
for a long touchdown catch during practice.
Louisville will practice again Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. and will conduct its final scrimmage before the Spring Game on Saturday at 10 a.m.