The University of Louisville’s defense is a veteran unit. Juniors, Seniors, and NFL Prospects. So when Louisville’s projected struggles appear to be on the offensive side of the ball, the one thing most folks thought they could count on was a stellar defense that could allow the offense time to get things right……..
On Saturday versus Houston, the Cards gave up a WHOPPING 462 yards of offense to the Houston Cougars. It was a balanced attack with the Cougars getting 236 through the air and 226 on the ground. That’s a huge number overall, but the real problem: TACKLING.
Tackling is about technique once a scheme is understood. Once a player arrives where he is supposed to be, it’s about getting that player to the ground. A lot is involved, but teams don’t go through mat drills, weight room sessions, early mornings, film room sessions, two-a-days, to just get to the ball. You’ve got to bring the ball carrier to the ground. AND THAT’S ABOUT PRIDE.
Great athletes are always tough to bring to the ground and Greg Ward, Jr. certainly put on a show of how to shed tackles against the Cardinals. But there wasn’t enough pride in tackling Saturday afternoon at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Louisville Football, Louisville Defense, Louisville Tackling……..it didn’t exist.
So who do you point the finger towards to blame? Is it a practice intensity? Is it a lack of focus? Louisville has a ton of hopeful NFL prospects on the defensive side of the ball and the NFL hates missed tackles. In order for Louisville to be the type of team it wants to be, and in order for the players on defense to go where they want to go, TACKLING must improve for the rest of the season. Tackling eroded in the 2nd half of 2014 and it has carried over into the 2015 season as well.
Louisville may be young on offense and it might be fair to ask for patience with the offensive unit, but there is no excuse for the defensive performance the fans saw on Saturday vs. Houston. Who can restore the pride in Louisville defense?