The University of Louisville football team has been consistently performing well in recent years, thanks to their talented players and a strong coaching staff. In the 2016 season, the Cardinals were no exception, with a talented roster boasting a strong depth chart across all positions. In this article, we will take a detailed look at the Louisville football depth chart for the 2016 season, analyzing each position and assessing the team’s overall strengths and weaknesses.
Offense Depth Chart
The Louisville Cardinals’ offense was one of the most potent in college football during the 2016 season. At the helm of the offense was sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had a breakout year, winning the Heisman Trophy and setting multiple records. Jackson’s athleticism and arm talent made him a nightmare for opposing defenses, and he was ably supported by a talented supporting cast.
At running back, Louisville had a stable of talented rushers, including Brandon Radcliff, Reggie Bonnafon, and Jeremy Smith. All three backs were capable of running between the tackles and breaking off big plays in the open field. The wide receiver position was another strength for the Cardinals, with players like Jamari Staples, James Quick, and Traveon Samuel providing Jackson with reliable targets downfield.
The tight end position was less of a focal point for the Cardinals’ offense, with Cole Hikutini being the primary pass-catching option. However, Hikutini was a reliable target in the red zone, and his size and athleticism made him a tough matchup for opposing linebackers. Finally, the offensive line was a solid unit for the Cardinals, providing Jackson with excellent pass protection and opening up running lanes for the Louisville backs.
Defense Depth Chart
The Louisville defense was one of the most aggressive and disruptive units in college football during the 2016 season. The Cardinals were particularly strong in the front seven, with players like Devonte Fields and DeAngelo Brown wreaking havoc on opposing offenses. Fields, in particular, was a terror off the edge, using his speed and quickness to get to the quarterback and disrupt plays in the backfield.
At linebacker, Louisville had a talented group led by Stacy Thomas and Keith Kelsey. Both players were adept at stopping the run and dropping into coverage, making them valuable assets for the Cardinals’ defense. In the secondary, Louisville had a solid group of cornerbacks and safeties, with players like Jaire Alexander and Chucky Williams providing reliable coverage and run support.
Overall, the Louisville football depth chart for the 2016 season was a talented and well-coached group of players. The offense was explosive and capable of scoring from anywhere on the field, while the defense was aggressive and disruptive, consistently putting pressure on opposing offenses. In the following sections, we will take a closer look at each position group and analyze their individual strengths and weaknesses.
Defense Depth Chart
Defensive Line Position
The defensive line was a strength for the Louisville defense in 2016, with players like Devonte Fields and DeAngelo Brown leading the way. Fields was a dynamic edge rusher who consistently pressured opposing quarterbacks, while Brown was a disruptive presence in the middle of the line, clogging up running lanes and generating push up the middle. Other key contributors on the line included Drew Bailey and Johnny Richardson, who provided quality depth and rotated in frequently to keep the starters fresh.
At linebacker, the Cardinals were led by Stacy Thomas and Keith Kelsey, both of whom were experienced veterans who had been with the program for several seasons. Thomas was an excellent run defender who was also capable of making plays in coverage, while Kelsey was a hard-hitting enforcer who played with physicality and aggression. Other key contributors at the position included James Hearns and Trevon Young, both of whom were effective pass rushers who provided valuable depth.
The cornerback position was another area of strength for the Cardinals, with Jaire Alexander and Shaq Wiggins leading the way. Alexander was a lockdown corner who consistently shut down opposing receivers, while Wiggins was a ballhawk who made several key interceptions throughout the season. Other key contributors at the position included Trumaine Washington and Cornelius Sturghill, both of whom were capable of providing quality snaps in nickel and dime packages.
At safety, the Cardinals had a solid group led by Chucky Williams and Josh Harvey-Clemons. Williams was a hard-hitting enforcer in the box who played with physicality and aggression, while Harvey-Clemons was a versatile defensive back who could play both safety and linebacker. Other key contributors at the position included Zykiesis Cannon and Dee Smith, both of whom were capable of providing quality depth and contributing on special teams.
Special Teams Depth Chart
The kicking game was a strength for the Cardinals in 2016, with Blanton Creque handling the majority of the field goal and extra point attempts. Creque was a reliable kicker who made 16 of his 19 field goal attempts on the season, including a long of 47 yards. He also made 54 of his 55 extra point attempts, providing valuable consistency for the Louisville offense.
At punter, the Cardinals had a reliable option in Mason King. King averaged 41.5 yards per punt on the season and was particularly effective at pinning opponents deep in their own territory. He also had a knack for avoiding touchbacks, with only three of his 50 punts resulting in touchbacks on the season.
Kick Returner Position
On kick returns, the Cardinals relied on Traveon Samuel, a shifty and explosive returner who consistently gave the team good field position. Samuel averaged 25.2 yards per return on the season, with a long of 100 yards for a touchdown against Florida State.
Punt Returner Position
Finally, on punt returns, the Cardinals had a reliable option in Jaire Alexander. Alexander was a dynamic returner who consistently made plays in the open field, averaging 10.6 yards per return on the season. He also returned a punt for a touchdown against Florida State, showcasing his big-play ability.
Overall, the Louisville football depth chart for the 2016 season was a talented and well-coached group of players who consistently performed at a high level across all positions. The team’s strengths on offense and defense, combined with their reliable special teams unit, led to a successful season and set the foundation for future success.
Analysis of the Depth Chart
The Louisville football team’s depth chart for the 2016 season was undoubtedly a strength of the team. From top to bottom, the roster was loaded with talented players who were well-coached and capable of executing the team’s game plan. The offense, in particular, was a juggernaut, led by Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson and a talented group of skill position players.
However, the team was not without its weaknesses. The offensive line, while solid overall, did struggle at times to protect Jackson and open up running lanes for the backs. Additionally, the defense, while aggressive and disruptive, could be vulnerable to big plays in the passing game.
Key players to watch for on the Louisville football team included Lamar Jackson, who was one of the most exciting players in college football and a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. Additionally, players like Devonte Fields, Jaire Alexander, and Cole Hikutini were all key contributors who could make a significant impact on both sides of the ball.
Predictions for the season based on the depth chart were high, with many experts predicting that the Cardinals could be a legitimate playoff contender. The team’s explosive offense, led by Jackson, was expected to be one of the best in the country, while the defense, with its aggressive and disruptive style of play, was expected to create plenty of turnovers.
In conclusion, a strong depth chart is essential for any successful football team, and the Louisville Cardinals were no exception. The 2016 season was a testament to the team’s talent and coaching, with the Cardinals finishing the year with a 9-4 record and a victory in the Citrus Bowl.
While the team ultimately fell short of its lofty preseason expectations, Louisville football fans had plenty to be excited about. The team’s explosive offense and aggressive defense were both among the best in the country, and the depth chart was loaded with talented players who were capable of making big plays at any given moment.
Looking back on the 2016 season, it’s clear that the Louisville football team’s depth chart was a significant factor in its success. With talented players at every position and a coaching staff that knew how to get the most out of them, the Cardinals were a force to be reckoned with and will undoubtedly be a team to watch in the years to come.