I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that last night’s defensive performance from Louisville may be the best we’ve seen in the Charlie Strong era.
Two players that played particularly well are starting defensive ends Lorenzo Mauldin and Marcus Smith.
Last night wasn’t the only impressive performance that we’ve seen from the two throughout the season. While the offense gets most of the credit for Louisville, the defense was the dominant side of the ball last night and Mauldin and Smith had a lot to do with it.
The two combined for four sacks last night, including three from Smith. On the season, they’ve combined for 13 sacks, seven from Mauldin and six from Smith.
Both players currently rank in the top five in the country, therefore it’s hard to argue that they’re not the best defensive end duo in country. Charlie Strong and Clint Hurtt certainly think so.
“Marcus and Mauldin on the outside are the two best ends in the country,” Charlie Strong said following last night’s game.
Defensive lineman coach Clint Hurtt also speaks highly of his guys,
“I’m going to say it now because I’ve felt this way since camp, we have the best D-Line in the nation,” Hurtt says.
We may never actually know if Mauldin and Smith are the best defensive ends in the country, but it’s hard to keep them out of the conversation, considering the season they’ve had so far. Both guys put on a show in front of 20+ NFL scouts on Thursday night.