Because of the rain on Saturday versus Indiana State fans may not have noticed that Louisville football made some changes along its offensive line. Nate Scheler made his first start of his career at Center vs. the Sycamores. Cole Bentley had started at Center versus Alabama, but instead slid over to guard where Kenny Thomas had played vs. the Crimson Tide. So the Cards began the game with this lineup:
WT: Mekhi Becton
WG: Cole Bentley
C: Nate Scheler
SG: Linwood Foy
ST: Lukayus McNeil
It’s interesting to note the switch. Kenny Thomas has been in the program for a long time and Robbie Bell has also been available to play both versus Alabama and Indiana State. Bobby Petrino said, “It’s something I’ve been thinking (about) and considering for a couple of weeks now. I wanted to see us practice that way, and I liked the way we practiced that way.”
Bobby said that the situation is similar to how they tried to approach the 2014 season with Jamon Brown and John Miller together but quickly realized that they needed to move Jamon Brown to the opposite side.
Petrino noted, “I wanted to see how Mekhi would play out there on the open end all by himself and he did a really good job. We had power blocking. Looking back on Lukayus’ career the number of wins we have had with him at starting at tackle has been very good. So I’m trying to make sure we get the best combination together and felt like this was the time in practice (last week) to look at it and go……. I liked the way it worked out.”
Bobby also mentioned that Kenny Thomas also rotated in during practice sessions and that Cole Bentley would move over to Center in those scenarios.
What will be the make-up of the Offensive Line vs. Western Kentucky and moving forward? We’ll have to see The nice thing for UofL is that the coaches have experienced options to work in with Kenny Thomas and Robbie Bell waiting in the wings with starting experience. But we’ll also keep an eye on younger players Caleb Chandler and Adonis Boone who we’ve heard great things about as well as veteran guys that we keep hearing might be close like Ronald Rudd and Tyler Haycraft.
It’s nice that Louisville Football has options to mix & match to find the best group out there right now. We’ll see if the coaches find a mix that they are happy with from week to week.