As Louisville prepares for its championship showdown at East Carolina, CardinalSports.com had a chance to talk with defensive line coach Steve Stripling about how the Cardinals intend to slow down ECU’s rushing attack which is averaging nearly 250 yards per game.
Containing Pirates RB Leonard Henry and QB David Garrard – "I think the big challenge is to stop the run. They have a great tailback yet they sprinkle enough option in there with the quarterback, who is very capable. You can’t just stack it up, because you have to defend the option. That comes down to everyone playing their responsibilities. It’s a varied running attack, plus they’re capable of the big play throwing the football. We have to stop the run first, but we have to be able to contain the pass."
Guarding against Garrard’s scrambling – "He hurt us the most last year with his ability to scramble. We’ve talked about the pass rushing lanes and containing quarterbacks."
The defensive line rotation – "Those kids have been playing well and we’ve been playing them depending on down and distance. You’re going to see them all playing in there. There are a few kids with some bumps and bruises, but you’re playing for a championship. It’s the 11th game of the season so everyone is going to have that problem this time of year."
The University of Louisville football team picked up its third verbal commitment Wednesday.
Matt Sanders, a 6-3, 225-pound linebacker from Louisville Male High School orally committed to the Cardinals this weekend. As a junior, he collected 99 tackles for the Bulldogs, but has been hampered by knee injuries this season.
Sander chose U of L over Miami, EKU, Western Kentucky and Tennessee. He joins tight end Chad Jorgenson (San Marcos, Tex. (San Marcos Baptist)) and offensive lineman Mike Sturgeon (Louisville, KY (St. Xavier)) in giving early commitments to the Cardinals.