Stats: 1.5 quarters played, 2/3 (66%), 86 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT
6 yards rushing (2 attempts), 0 TD
Evan Conley generated a ton of buzz in the offseason as a quarterback who was right in the thick of things as a true freshman.
Originally an App State commitment, Conley followed the coaching staff to Louisville as an early enrollee and was able to pick up the offense and expectations quickly.
After Cunningham was injured in fall practice, Conley got all of the second-team reps leading into the season, leaving former Louisville wide receiver Deion Branch to speculate after visiting a practice that Conley could play by seasons end.
Fast forward to Louisville’s match-up with Western Kentucky. When Cunningham, who started for the injured Pass, took a hard hit and lost his helmet, Conley was inserted. But instead of just filling in for one play, Conley remained in for Louisville’s final five drives.
Though he only attempted three passes and ran the ball twice, Conley was impressive in his debut.
Many will talk about his 62-yard bomb in the third quarter, which hit Tutu Atwell perfectly in stride, but he was also impressive as a game manager, keeping the offense organized and running out the clock to finish off the Hilltoppers.
“He throws a really, really nice ball. A good catchable football. We have three guys we feel good about going in and playing.”
Strengths: Conley has a heck of an arm given his size and age. He throws a great ball, as evidenced by both completions in this first appearance. He also runs the read option very well and poses a threat to take off if he gets some daylight.
Weaknesses: If Conley is forced into action at all for the remainder of the season, he will be a bit limited in what he does with the offense. The Cards only passed once during their three fourth-quarter drives, and it was in a third down and 27 situation.
Conley is still seen as a game management player. He has big-time upside, but his youth is the main detriment at this juncture.