Louisville's Backfield Could Be One of Nation's Best
Louisville's leading rusher from last season is returning in Dominique Brown, who rushed for 825 yards and eight touchdowns. Brown is a physical back, standing at 6-foot-2 and weighing 233 pounds.
Brown averaged 5.1 yards per carry last season and punishes defenders when he touches the ball. The great thing about him is his size that goes along with his speed. He’s a senior leader and I expect him to get the majority of carries this season.
What really propelled this running back group into the national spotlight was the former BCS Championship game MVP Michael Dyer, who joined the Cardinals after leaving Auburn and Arkansas Baptist College.
Dyer was a non-factor last season under Charlie Strong but seems to be hitting his stride with Petrino. He started spring practice fourth on the depth chart, but that has quickly changed.
During the spring game, Dyer finished with 150 total yards and scored two touchdowns. It seems that he could be the same running back that we saw at Auburn.
“He looked really quick,” Petrino told reporters after the game. “He was seeing things, he was making good cuts. It was probably the first time we’ve really seen him in the spring 100 percent. I was happy with the way he was seeing it and the quickness, and his ability to break tackles.”
And the talent doesn’t end with Dyer. True freshman L.J. Scott enrolled in January and has been making plays all throughout spring practice, just continuing the productivity he had accumulated in high school. He broke a Marion Harding High record with 383 rushing yards in one game, and even appeared on ESPN’s Top Ten plays.
After a few practices this spring, Scott was running with the second-team offense.
"At first I was a little surprised," Scott said to the Courier Journal. "But I knew with the new coaching staff that every back was going to be on the same level. … I just took that to my advantage."
That’s a pretty impressive accomplishment considering he was listed ahead of someone like Dyer.
Each of these three backs brings their own strengths to the position. Brown has great power and can run between the tackles. Dyer is elusive and can make sharp cuts. Scott is dynamic and can catch the ball out of the backfield.
Although Petrino loves to air it out, he may have to commit to the ground game in 2014.