We expected big things of this group specifically. The two seniors Dorian Etheridge and CJ Avery have been what we expected so far this year. Nothing more or less. Avery looks to be a little bit more sound in coverage after struggling mightily with that over his first three years in the program.
Etheridge is a very good college linebacker who led the country in tackles for loss coming into the Georgia Tech game. He did not have any against Tech, but he is one of the most sound players on this football team. A player Louisville should be grateful to have in the program.
Robert Hicks has seen an increased role on the defense in recent weeks. He looks good and he is a very sound tackler at the position. He had a couple of tackles on the night.
Monty Montgomery is a guy that is stuck behind two seniors at the moment. He really is one of the best players on this team despite the fact that he is a rotational piece. However, he is going to be very good as a starter for this team eventually and I have yet to see him play a bad game including the last one against Tech.
Another position of strength here. Yasir Abdullah and Thurman Geathers are two stand up rush players that I am very fond of. Abdullah (junior) Geathers (sophomore) are without a doubt the two best pass rushers on this team as of right now. They will both be in the program in 2021 which is a good sign for Louisville.
They did not generate as much pressure in this game as they have previous. But, you can see they have explosion and burst that keeps offensive tackles on their toes.
Nick Okeke also had some good reps on the night. However, he had a missed tackle on a crucial Jeff Sims scramble in the second half that allowed for an easy touchdown.
The Card position (safety/linebacker hybrid) is also strong. Rodjay Burns plays almost all of these reps and is a very good player at the position. The depth is good with Marvin Dallas and Zay Peterson behind Burns. I expect this position to be solid for a while.
Burns did not make a huge impact in the game. But he was not noticeably a problem either.
This is the strength of the defense. The linebackers are very solid across the board and the Satterfield staff has done a good job of recruiting them so far as well. The present is good now. But the future is bright.