Expectations are high in the upcoming 2012-13 Louisville football season. Most of those expectations rest on the shoulders of sophomore quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. While his play will be crucial to the success of the team, the running back position will be crucial to his success. Fortunately for Teddy, Louisville has three juniors poised for a breakout season behind an improved offensive line.
Louisville will lose Victor Anderson this year, though it doesn’t seem to hurt much since Junior Dominique Brown was the most impressive back last year (533 yards, 4 touchdowns, 140 carries). His numbers last year certainly won’t make anyones jaw drop but Brown often showed moments of greatness. He’s a power guy with the attitude to fight for every inch and at 6’2 and 226 pounds he is hard to stop. Assuming he has improved in the offseason, he should have a solid year.
Junior Jeremy Wright is a change of pace in our backfield. He’s a speedster who has the ability to really do some damage if he gets into open space. I expect to see more screen passes thrown his direction this year. In the past two years Wright has rushed for over 300 yards, that should improve this year with the quality of the team. Let’s not forget that he nearly broke Emmitt Smith’s high school rushing record. The combination of Wright and Brown should be an excellent 1-2 punch this year.
Louisville has another Junior that fans may be surprised to see on this side of the ball. Senorise Perry’s combination of speed and power were crucial to Louisville’s punt defense last year. Louisville finished #1 in the nation in punt defense last year allowing only 7 total yards. If Perry can stand out on offense in the same fashion he did on defense, then he has the opportunity to be the every down back that Strong is looking for.
Sophomore Corvin Lamb is back this year after red-shirting in 2011 due to a concussion. We haven’t seen much of what Lamb can do in game yet, however the scouts absolutely love this kid. He’s a ball of muscle at 5’9 and 216 pounds. The word on this kid is that he is a great inside runner and excellent in goal line downs. He sounds like he could be a Maurice Jones-Drew but we will have to wait and see.
Louisville is entering this season with a committee of running backs and all of them show the promise of an excellent upside. If Bridgewater can have success throwing up the field, it should open things up for one of them to have a breakout season. Considering Louisville had a very balance run/pass attack last year, we should start to see a very consistent and powerful run game in the upcoming season.
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