The independent news organization of Duke University

2018 Louisville football preview

2017 season: 8-5, 4-4 in the ACC (T-3rd in the Atlantic Division)

Head coach: Bobby Petrino (9th season)

Think it's hard to replace a Heisman Trophy winner and two-time ACC Player of the Year? Don't tell that to Jawon Pass.

The redshirt sophomore quarterback will take control of the Louisville offense in 2018 after Lamar Jackson was selected by the Baltimore Ravens with the 32nd pick in this year's NFL Draft. Although the man better known as Puma has just 33 collegiate pass attempts under his belt, there is reason to have confidence in the Cardinals—many experts project them to finish second in the Atlantic Division, behind only second-ranked Clemson.

But Jackson is far from the only starter Louisville will have to replace. Three of the Cardinals' front four on the defensive side of the ball are gone as well as cornerback Jaire Alexander, the Green Bay Packers' first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft. Pass' older brother, Khane, will shift to safety, but head coach Bobby Petrino has described his entire defense as "more talented but less experienced than last year’s."

Louisville will have plenty to deal with on opening night—they take on top-ranked and defending champion Alabama in the Camping World Kickoff game in Orlando, Fla. The Cardinals should get a bit of a reprieve with home ACC matchups against N.C. State and Florida State, but Louisville will almost certainly need to win at Clemson in early November if they want a shot at the ACC title game.

Mitchell Gladstone | Sports Managing Editor

Twitter: @mpgladstone13

A junior from just outside Philadelphia, Mitchell is probably reminding you how the Eagles won the Super Bowl this year and that the Phillies are definitely on the rebound. Outside of The Chronicle, he majors in Economics, minors in Statistics and is working toward the PJMS certificate, in addition to playing trombone in the Duke University Marching Band. And if you're getting him a sandwich with beef and cheese outside the state of Pennsylvania, you best not call it a "Philly cheesesteak." 


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