Why Louisville football’s defense could shock the world.
Louisville football’s defense has been a complete disaster since Peter Sirmon took over in 2017, there’s no denying that. After Todd Grantham left the program following the 2016 season in which his group was the nation’s 31st best defense, the Cards have been easily one of the worst power five programs in all major stats.
In 2017 the program finished 70th, in which Brian VanGorder followed it up by producing the 128th best defense (out of 130 total teams), one that many called the worst power five defense in history.
Bryan Brown knew he’d have his hands full when he followed Scott Satterfield from Appalachian State to take over a defense that had several talented pieces, but a roster that was sorely mismanaged in all of the wrong ways.
After moving multiple players to a new position and watching a handful of others leave via the transfer portal, Brown had arguably the most difficult challenge of anyone outside of Satterfield. The expectations were as low as they ever been, and that’s why it felt like a major win that Louisville improved by nearly 20 spots in total defense and showed signs of life moving forward.
This season the job will be simple; do better.
The defense will return eight starters and a variety of guys who either played in back-up roles or took a redshirt in their first season on campus. They’ll also bring in 11 new players from the 2020 recruiting class, including players like Henry Bryant (DT), Ja’Darien Boykin, and Yaya Diaby (DE) who could provide some level of impact right away while helping to provide much-needed depth.
In 2020 the expectations should be higher and it’s not out of this world to think that another 25-30 spot jump in defensive statistics could take place. With that in mind, we take a look at the defense for Louisville and make three not-so-crazy predictions.