Going up against a team like Western Kentucky, one who has a head coach that brings a pass-first identity to the offense, meant that Louisville’s defensive backs and coverage linebackers were going to have to be prepared to make plays.
In fact, our own Will Reddington wrote that Louisville outside linebacker Rodjay Burns was one of the five most important players heading into the game as going to be relied upon to not only get after the quarterback but also be prepared on the edge for any trick plays.
That’s exactly what Burns did all day long against the Hilltoppers.
Not only is the redshirt junior currently have the second-most tackles on the team, but he also leads the team in sacks and tackles for loss – which is pretty significant considering he’s just three games into his career as a linebacker after playing corner his first few seasons at the collegiate level.
He’s shown that his athleticism and speed make him a great fit for what Bryan Brown and Cort Dennison want to do defensively, and against Western Kentucky, he once again came up big with a huge play.
This time it was a scoop and score after defensive end Amonte Caban laid the wood on quarterback Steven Duncan, forcing the ball to come loose. To the delight of the Cards defense, the ball bounced right into the arms of Burns who took it 30 yards for six.
The score for Burns was the first defensive touchdown of the season for the Cards, and the third forced fumble through three games. Prior to the fumble score, Louisville had only created one turnover on the season, which was something Brown wanted to see change against Western.
Burns’ score put Louisville in a great spot, giving them 100 percent of the momentum heading into half time at 31-7. Without that play, things could have gotten interesting in the second half.