Miami football: Defense will be key vs. Louisville

Miami football and Louisville have kicked off to a good start for the 2020 season, Now coming into their second games of the season, the familiar foes will face each other in what should be an exciting matchup between the Canes and Cardinals. Going off last year’s game where Miami put up an electrifying 35 points in the first half of the game and went on to beat the Cardinals, Miami’s defense stood firm by only allowing seven points a quarter. The defense will be tested this go around. The Cardinals were 9-16 in third down efficiency, and quarterback Micale Cunningham threw three touchdowns for 343 yards and one interception last week against Western Kentucky so this Miami defense will have its hands full this week.

Defensive Line

This defensive line unit drew high praise from Louisville offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford, who stated “they’re extremely talented.” He also stated, “I don’t think that you can look anywhere on their depth chart and point out somebody and say ‘here’s where we’re going to try to attack.'” Unlike the quick passing game of UAB last week, Louisville’s offense features a deep passing game with a few very explosive weapons, one being Tutu Atwell. Miami’s defensive line is going to have to get home pretty often to help out the back end of this defense. The D-Line was responsible for only one sack by transfer Quincy Roche this past week but was able to get 21 pressures on UAB quarterback.


This is a group that is going to have a lot to prove early and quite often this season, despite losing a couple of pieces. This unit still holds game time experience in senior Zach McCloud, but it wasn’t McCloud who stood out on the stats sheet for me, it was junior linebacker Bradley Jennings Jr. A quiet name when you hear about this group due to the young talent but coming off a an injury plagued season in 2019, Jennings’ experience and talent led him to a starting role in last week’s game tallying the most tackles for this group of LBs but nonetheless I’m excited to see the growth of this group especially in the young guys like Sam Brooks and Avery Huff.

Defensive Backs

This is a young group that needs to establish leadership early in order to play at an elite level this season. “I thought they were average” were the words defensive coordinator Blake Baker told reporters earlier this week. DJ Ivey gave up 45 yards in coverage as well as a touchdown last week on Saturday. And reports have surfaced that cornerback Christian Williams has entered the transfer portal and is no longer on the Miami roster. This leaves cornerbacks DJ Ivey, Al Blades Jr. and Te’Cory Couch. Williams played only six snaps against UAB, Couch played 29 snaps and will probably be leaned upon a bit more. Overall this unit is going to have to play better than average against this Louisville wide receiver corps.