5th ACC (3rd Atlantic Division)
24th: Division I
2017 In a Sentence: Louisville was another team mired in the middle of the ACC in 2017. They seemed to win the games they should have and lost the games they should have. There were no real surprises either way for the Cardinals.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: There is no easy way to replace a Heisman Trophy winner. And when that winner is dynamic a player as QB Lamar Jackson and his 3660 passing yards and 1601 rushing yards, it is even more difficult. Jackson was one of the best college players over his tenure at Louisville. Jackson had the ability to beat teams with his arms and his legs and opposing defenses never knew which skill set he was going to utilize on a given play.
Key Player: Redshirt Sophomore QB “Puma” Pass is in the unenviable position of taking over for Lamar Jackson. Pass has the measurables to suggest he may be able to fill the void admirably. To what extent is yet to be seen. He is a former Army All American and had a great spring game, for what that is worth. No matter who was next would be a step down from Jackson, but Pass is hoping to make that step look smaller than anticipated.
Fearless Prediction: Louisville is a tough read for 2018. If Pass steps in and plays as well as the coaching staff is hoping, Louisville should be able to remain in the upper-mid section of the ACC. If Pass struggles, a standings drop can be expected. Which way will it go? That’s the $64,000 question.