Louisville Football clearly made a big improvement from 2018 to 2019 with its overall record. Going from 2-10 to 7-5 is not often accomplished especially when losing 22 players into the transfer portal, having the 2 highest rated players of a small recruiting class not qualify, holding out 2 players who played a lot of football a year prior (Dumervil-Jean & TreSean Smith) + the general attrition that comes with eligibility ending in college football.

This new staff had its work cut out for it and they delivered. The job isn’t finished and it’ll be tough in 2020 to really build much more beyond what was accomplished in 2019…… but most people (including me) didn’t think the UofL Football program could make this much improvement so soon.

The BIG IMPROVEMENT Categories

  • Scoring Offense +12.9 ppg
  • Total Offense +89.9 ypg
  • Yards Per Play +1.31 ypp
  • Rushing Offense +72.58 ypg
  • Scoring Defense -10.3 ppg
  • Rushing Defense -66.42 ypg
  • Turnover Margin +10 on season
  • 3rd Down Conversion +7.4%
  • 4th Down Conversion +25.54%
  • Opponent 3rd Down -13.58%
  • Opponent 4th Down -21.22%
  • Red Zone TD Conversion%: +8.89%
  • Opponent Red Zone Conversion%: -4.81%
  • Opponent Red Zone Trips: -11 on season
  • Kickoff Returns +5.31 ypr
  • Opponent Punt Returns -5.07 ypr
  • Plays +20 Yards: +20 on season
  • Plays +30 Yards: +17 on season
  • Plays +40 Yards: +17 on season
  • Rushing Plays +10 Yards: +15 on season
  • Rushing Plays +20 Yards: +11 on season

There are a lot of categories that improved. But the above categories grew to an extreme as Louisville moved away from 2-10 to 7-5. The Yards Per Play metric stands out. Louisville fans might be surprised to see so many defensive categories listed, but that’s just how far the Cards had to come on defense and how much work is left to do on that side of the football. Still trimming off 10.3 ppg & 13.58% off 3rd Down is a big deal. We’ll see if Bryan Brown can trim more off in 2020.

The Big Regression Categories

  • Field Goal %: -16.63%
  • Tackles For Loss Allowed: +2.00 per game (last in CFB)
  • Opponents Plays +10 Yards: +16 on season
  • Opponents Passing Plays +10 Yards: +18 on season

It’s rare that EVERYTHING gets better from year to year in college football and injuries/personnel changes definitely can impact a category. FG% is directly affected by the loss of Blanton Creque late in the season.

But Offensively it is strange to see Louisville rank so highly on offense overall while allowing the MOST Tackles for Loss in College Football in 2019. It’s not something Appalachian State did during Satterfield’s tenure (21st, 44th, 63rd, 58th in his last 4 years there at App), so this is a metric I expect to watch closely in 2020 that could help launch the Cards into a different stratosphere offensively.

It’s also disappointing to see the Opponents Plays of +10 Yards or more grow by 16 and Opponent Passing Plays +10 grow by 18. Frankly there were too many busts in 2018 and we couldn’t have that grow in 2019… and it did in two different categories. The Cards have good coaches, but UofL needs more top line depth on defense in order to go where it wants to in the future.

BOLD = BIG IMPROVEMENT. Italics = REGRESSION.  Also % is a percent total change, not a percentage change.

Louisville 2019 Louisville 2018Differential
Strength of Schedule (Sagarin)39th15th-24
Scoring Offense (ppg)32.7 (43rd)19.8 (122nd)+12.9
Total Offense (ypg)442.5 (38th)352.6 (109th)+89.9
Passing Offense (ypg)228.0 (69th)211.1 (89th)+16.9
Rushing Offense (ypg)214.08 (24th)141.50 (102nd)+72.58
Scoring Defense (ppg)33.8 (111th)44.1 (128th)-10.3
Total Defense (ypg)446.1 (107th)483.5 (122nd)-37.4
Passing Defense (ypg)235.3 (83rd)206.3 (40th)+29.5
Rushing Defense (ypg)210.83 (115th)277.25 (127th)-66.42
Punt Returns (ypr)12.47 (21st)15.15 (8th)-2.68
Kickoff Returns (ypr)27.97 (4th)22.66 (33rd)+5.31
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr)4.89 (27th)9.96 (90th)-5.07
Opponent Kickoff Return (ypr)22.30 (96th)20.76 (69th)+1.54
Punting (ypp)42.13 (59th)39.97 (88th)2.16
Field Goal %66.67% (93rd)83.3% (19th)-16.63%
Opponent FG %69.2%(47th)73.3% (59th)-4.1%
First Downs (per game)20.0 (84th)18.8 (106th)+1.2
Opponent First Downs (per game)21.8 (83rd)23.3 (109th)-1.5
Penalties (ypg)60.8 (96th)71.8 (121st)-11.0
Turnover Margin (season)-2 (82nd)-12 (125th)+10
Time of Possession31:26.67 (34th)29:37.67 (73rd)+1:49
Sacks (Per Game)1.92 (79th)0.92 (126th)+1.00
Tackles for Loss (Per Game)5.75 (74th)3.83 (127th)+1.92
Sacks Allowed (Per Game)3.00 (115th)3.58 (129th)-0.58
Tackles for Loss Allowed (Per Game)9.75 (130th)7.75 (124th)+2.00
Interceptions Gained (season)7 (97th)6 (112th)+1
Passes Defended (per game)4.33 (57th)2.25 (130th)+2.08
Fumbles Recovered (season)9 (33rd)7 (82nd)+2
Fumbles Forced (season)12 (22nd)5 (122nd)+7
Fumbles Lost (season)9 (79th)10 (82nd)-1
Interceptions Lost (Season)9 (57th)15 (115th)-6
Kick/Punts Blocked (season)0 (130th)2 (45th)-2
3rd Down Conversion %42.94% (38th)35.54% (105th)+7.4%
4th Down Conversion %61.90% (24th)36.36% (120th)+25.54%
Opponent 3rd Down Conversion %38.27% (54th)51.85% (130th)-13.58%
Opponent 4th Down Conversion %45.45% (43rd)66.67% (114th)-21.22%
Red Zone Conversion %82.5% (75th)80.56% (95th)+1.94%
Red Zone TD Conversion %70.00% (27th)61.11% (70th)+8.89%
Red Zone Trips40 (86th)36 (110th)+4
Opponent Red Zone Conversion %83.33% (63rd)88.14% (103rd)-4.81%
Opponent Red Zone TD Conversion %72.92% (123rd)74.58% (119th)-1.66%
Opponent Red Zone Trips48 (93rd)59 (122nd)-11
Kickoffs (ypk)59.67 (85th)60.53 (83rd)-0.86
Plays801 (92nd)797 (116th)+4
Yards Per Play6.62 (14th)5.31 (100th)+1.31
Yads Per Play Allowed6.37 (111th)6.88 (123rd)-0.51
Plays +10 Yards177 (57th)169 (86th)+8
Plays +20 Yards74 (13th)54 (87th)+20
Plays +30 Yards38 (11th)21 (104th)+17
Plays +40 Yards28 (2nd)11 (92nd)+17
Opponent Plays +10 Yards187 (105th)171st (53rd)+16
Opponent Plays +20 Yards61 (87th)70 (102nd)-9
Opponent Plays +30 Yards32 (103rd)38 (116th)-6
Opponent Plays +40 Yards20 (116th)18 (97th)+2
Rushing Plays +10 Yards83 (16th)68 (64th)+15
Rushing Plays +20 Yards31 (7th)20 (50th)+11
Rushing Plays +30 Yards15 (14th)8 (65th)+7
Passing Plays +10 Yards94 (93rd)101 (92nd)-7
Passing Plays +20 Yards43 (51st)34 (101st)+9
Passing Plays +30 Yards23 (24th)13 (106th)+10
Passing Plays +40 Yards17 (4th)6 (108th)+11
Opp Rushing Plays +10 Yards79 (119th)81 (106th)-2
Opp Rushing Plays +20 Yards24 (115th)30 (121st)-6
Opp Rushing Plays +30 Yards15 (120th)21 (127th)-6
Opp Passing Plays +10 Yards108 (75th)90 (15th)+18
Opp Passing Plays +20 Yards37 (46th)40 (54th)-3
Opp Passing Plays +30 Yards17 (52nd)17 (50th)EVEN
Opp Passing Plays +40 Yards11 (97th)7 (33rd)+4
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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of TheCrunchZone.com

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