The 2015 season is officially wrapped. We now have the final stats and rankings for ALL 128 teams and where Louisville ranks in each category throughout the college football landscape.  Some thoughts on the chart below:


-Louisville’s Scoring Offense in 2015 was a 4-year low.  2.5 points lower than last season.  Yardage, however, was UP 21.4 yards per game.  Petrino’s Best Teams average 35+ points per game (28.7 ppg) & 475 yards per game (416.1 ypg).  So there is significant room for improvement here.

-245.1 yards passing is also a 4-year low, while 171.0 yards rushing per game is a 4-year HIGH.

-The Cards increased its 1st Downs per game by 0.5 over last season, but needs to add about 2 more per game to get into the Top 35-40.  Louisville did this despite actually being slightly worse on 3rd down converting 38.12% in 2015 compared to 39.2% a year ago.  2013’s 56.00% on 3rd Down remains the best ever, even over Petrino’s 2005 mark of 47.97% which was outstanding.  (2012 was 49.73% on 3rd Down)

-Louisville continues to allow a high rate of TFLs and Sacks finishing 119th & 124th respectively.  This is an area that can not continue or the Cards will have to work uphill in the ACC Atlantic.

-The Cards made things too difficult in the zone, finishing 78th.  It was the 2nd year in a row at 82.76%, but the Cards need to score 87%+ of the time in the Red Zone.  Also not noted, Louisville was just 58.62% scoring TDs in the Red Zone, that rate needs to get to 65% or better.

-15 Interceptions Lost, the most since 2008 (Kragthorpe Year 2).  12 Fumbles Lost which were 4 less than 2014.  Previous low was also 2008. Louisville can not have 27 turnovers in a season. WAAAAYYY too many.


-Scoring Defense also was the worst in 4-years but still Top 40.  The Total Defense finished in the Top 25 for the 6th consecutive season, but is the 3rd best in the last 4 seasons.

-Passing Defense has slowly eroded to AVERAGE a trend that must improve back into the Top 40 realm.  Rushing Defense continues to be outstanding.

-The Cards did allow 2.2 First Downs Per Game over last season, and 3rd Down Conversions also rose from 31.79% to 35.32%.  This is clearly an area of improvement, though most teams would kill for 35.32% Defense on 3rd Down, Louisville can do better.

-3rd Year in a Row that Louisville is a leading team in Sacks & Tackles For Loss.  The Cards are a Top 30 program in both categories each year dating back to 2010 (with 2012 being the lone exception).

-Louisville made things too easy in the Red Zone for its opponents allowing 82.35% of trips there to turn into points.  It’s the 2nd worst rate in the past 6 seasons.  Louisville needs to be sub 75% in this category.  The Cards did allow just 55.88% of those trips to turn into TDs, which is acceptable, sub 50% is elite.

Special Teams

-The Cards haven’t had a strong return game (Punting or Kick Return) in the past 4 seasons.  In fact, we have to go back to Charlie Strong’s 1st year (2010) to get both return units into the Top 60.

-Kickoff Coverage has been woeful for quite some time and cost Louisville it’s game vs. Houston when the Cougars returned a Kickoff for a TD. Louisville hasn’t ranked better than 90th in Kickoff Coverage since Steve Kragthorpe’s 2nd season (2008).

-Punt Return Coverage continues to be top notch.

-John Wallace had his worst season as a Cardinal hitting 71.4% of his Field Goals.  When that’s the worst year you’ve had, you’ve had a heck of a career.  Typically coaches want their placekickers over 75% which Wallace was in 3 of 4 seasons.

-No Kicks Blocked in 2015.


-The Cards added 13.3 penalty yardage over last season.  2014 saw a sharp reduction in penalties, but most of that was restored back this year.

– Negative 1 (-1) in Turnover Margin is the first negative turnover margin for Louisville in 4 seasons.  This is a MAJOR area of improvement as the Cards were +17 two years ago. Additionally Louisville was #14 in Interceptions Gained and 46th in Fumbles Recovered, so this isn’t a defensive issue……it’s the offense giving the ball away.

  Petrino Petrino Strong Strong
  2015 2014 2013 2012
Record 8-5 9-4 12-1 11-2
Scoring Offense (ppg) 28.7 (65th) 31.2 (53rd) 35.2 (25th) 31.2 (50th)
Total Offense (ypg) 416.1 (54th) 394.7 (72nd) 460.8 (28th) 418.8 (51st)
Passing Offense (ypg) 245.1 (46th) 252.0 (47th) 314.0 (16th) 296.1 (24th)
Rushing Offense (ypg) 171.00 (64th) 142.69 (95th) 146.85 (87th) 122.69 (105th)
Scoring Defense (ppg) 24.1 (39th) 21.8 (24th) 12.2 (2nd) 23.8 (36th)
Total Defense (ypg) 332.8 (18th) 308.5 (6th) 251.5 (1st) 340.3 (23rd)
Passing Defense (ypg) 212.5 (51st) 199.6 (27th) 170.8 (5th) 192.3 (17th)
Rushing Defense (ypg) 120.23 (14th) 108.92 (10th) 80.69 (1st) 148.0 (49th)
Punt Returns (ypr) 7.07 (81st) 7.41 (70th) 7.63 (68th) 4.25 (111th)
Kickoff Returns (ypr) 20.16 (87th) 21.06 (61th) 22.71 (42nd) 17.31 (122nd)
Opponent Punt Returns (ypr) 4.75 (25th) 9.71 (97th) 1.15 (1st) 8.14 (66th)
Opponent Kickoff Returns (ypr) 22.84 (93rd) 22.6 (101st) 22.65 (93rd) 24.65 (114th)
Punting (ypp) 39.87 (93rd) 39.85 (94th) 40.24 (79th) 38.06 (112th)
Field Goals % 71.4% (74th) 78.9% (34th) 80.0% (39th) 78.3% (34th)
Opponent Field Goals (%) 68.4% (35th) 88.5% (123rd) 76.9% (83rd) 71.4% (55th)
First Downs (per game) 20.9 (59th) 20.4 (77th) 23.4 (32nd) 22.8 (35th)
Opponent First Downs (per game) 17.5 (18th) 15.3 (4th) 14.1 (1st) 18.2 (21st)
Penalties (ypg) 62.6 (95th) 49.3 (50th) 64.3 (113th) 54.1 (73rd)
Turnover Margin (season) -1 (74th) +4 (44th) +17 (2nd) +11 (18th)
Time of Possession 29:28.77 (72nd) 32:31.62 (15th) 33:49.31 (2nd) 32:58.08 (6th)
Sacks (per game) 2.92 (9th) 3.15 (10th) 3.31 (1st) 1.69 (80th)
Sacks Allowed (per game) 3.39 (124th) 3.08 (115th) 2.00 (61st) 2.31 (90th)
Tackles for Loss (per game) 7.46 (14th) 6.77 (28th) 7.85 (6th) 4.54 (101st)
TFLs Allowed (per game) 7.46 (119th) 7.15 (116th) 5.54 (47th) 6.46 (96th)
Interceptions Gained (season) 17 (14th) 26 (1st) 16 (30th) 11 (65th)
Interceptions Lost (season) 15 (104th) 10 (42nd) 4 (1st) 8 (29th)
Passes Defended (per game) 5.08 (30th) 5.92 (10th) 4.77 (43rd) 4.54 (59th)
Fumbles Recovered (season) 9 (46th) 4 (120th) 11 (30th) 13 (29th)
Fumbles Forced (season) 14 (23rd) 7 (107th) 16 (12th) 12 (61st)
Fumbles Lost (season) 12 (104th) 16 (123rd) 6 (12th) 5 (5th)
Kicks/Punts Blocked (season) 0 (128th) 1 (72nd) 2 (45th) 1 (68th)
3rd Downs Conversions (%) 38.12% (79th) 39.2% (76th) 56.00% (2nd) 49.73% (8th)
Opp 3rd Down Conversions (%) 35.32% (35th) 31.79% (10th) 26.74% (1st) 41.67% (76th)
4th Down Conversions (%) 46.67% (81st) 52.38% (54th) 33.33% (110th) 69.23% (11th)
Opp 4th Down Conversions (%) 44.44% (36th) 25.00% (4th) 52.17% (65th) 28.57% (5th)
Red Zone Conversions (%) 82.76% (78th) 82.76% (68th) 86.21% (40th) 92.98% (5th)
Opp Red Zone Conversions (%) 82.35% (56th) 76.92% (26th) 68.42% (5th) 85.71% (90th)
Kickoffs (ypk)* 62.35 (47th) 62.58 (26th) 59.98 (93rd) 59.97 (86th)
*Rule Change in 2012        
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@UofLSheriff50. Louisville native, University of Louisville Business School Grad c/o 2004. Co-Founder of

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