For the 2012 Louisville football season we will be taking a stab at projecting the offensive and defensive MVP’s for each of the Cards match-ups. Sometimes it will be statistical, sometimes just a hunch and sometimes with absolutely zero logic involved at all. Here are this week’s picks.
Defense – Marcus Smith
While he only ended up with two tackles (none for loss) and zero sacks against Kentucky, I look for junior Defensive End Marcus Smith to have a huge presence in this game. The former quarterback has showed a great ability to get to the opposing quarterback and is maybe the best edge rusher for the Cards. Smith came close to sacking Max Smith several times last week but timing appeared off slightly by the hurry-up offense. The Bears will likely take a page out of Kentucky’s book and run a similar hurry-up, but Marcus won’t be surprised now. Kansas State had zero sacks and only two tackles for loss last week against Missouri State, but the Cards defensive line is bigger, stronger and faster. The Louisville coaching staff has been working diligently this week to see the defensive front line pressure improve from last week and I believe that will be evident, and the interior pressure will allow an edge rusher like Smith to live in the backfield chasing QB Ashton Glasser. Projecting five tackles, 3 ½ for loss and 2 ½ sacks.
Offense – Senorise Perry
Junior Running Back Senorise Perry had a tremendous game last week against Kentucky with 16 rushes for 108 yards and a touchdown. With Missouri State allowing Kansas State last week to gain 324 yard and three touchdowns on the ground, Louisville is bound to attack the same way. A few other things play in to this prediction. Projected starter Dominique Brown will likely miss his second straight game nursing an injury and preparing for North Carolina the following week. Jeremy Wright, who started last week, will be the guy early and often, but this game is likely going to get out of hand quickly and we’ll see the second string guys get the bulk of game play. Senorise has phenomenal home run speed and I expect we may see that more than once. I look to see him get more than one 30+ yard rush on Saturday. I’m predicting 145 yards on the ground with a couple of touchdowns.