Football is back. The Louisville Cardinals will begin “life after Lamar Jackson” during their 2018 spring football game on Friday.
Louisville originally had its spring game scheduled for Saturday, April 14, but the program moved the contest up to Friday night in the hopes of avoiding bad weather.
Find kickoff time, live updates, a preview and other information for the game below:
Louisville spring football game live updates
Louisville spring football date, kickoff time
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Date: Friday, April 13
Location: Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, Louisville, Kentucky
What TV channel is the Louisville spring football game on?
The Louisville spring football game will not be on TV. Follow along with our live updates above.
How can I watch the Louisville spring football game online?
The Louisville spring football game will not be available online either. Follow along with our live updates above.
Louisville spring football game preview
In this game, all eyes will be fixated on the quarterback. That’s true for a lot of programs this time of year, but it’s particularly true for the Cardinals because the Heisman Trophy winning Jackson departed this offseason.
Over the last two seasons combined, Jackson accumulated a whopping 10,375 yards and 96 total touchdowns. In 2016, he threw for more than 3,500 yards, ran for more than 1,500 yards and accounted for over 50 touchdowns on his way to the Heisman Trophy; then he basically repeated those numbers in 2017. Through the air alone, Jackson posted 7,203 yards over the last two seasons.
That’s a lot of offense that needs to be replaced. The Cardinals appear to think they have the guy to fill this massive hole in sophomore quarterback Jawon Pass.
He didn’t get to play much last fall, but Pass went 23 of 33 with 238 yards and 2 touchdowns in limited opportunities. He also rushed for 62 yards, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and scored a touchdown on the ground.
That’s a small sample size, so we can’t draw too many conclusions from his season, but his completion percentage was more than 10 percent higher than Jackson’s. At least from an accuracy standpoint, Pass seems ready for be the Heisman Trophy winner’s replacement.
But Pass will still have to win the starting job behind center because a pair of freshmen, Malik Cunningham and Jordan Travis, are vying for the role as well. Cunningham redshirted last season while Travis is just arriving in Louisville as a 3-star prospect. Pass came to the Cardinals as a 4-star prospect from Georgia and the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback across the nation in the 2016 recruiting class.
But Louisville will have far more position battles during its spring game than just quarterback. On offense, the Cardinals need skill players to step up and take the starting wide receiver and running back roles. Plus, the defense lost seven seniors and its best player, junior defensive back Jaire Alexander, to the 2018 NFL Draft. Filling these holes will be key to the Cardinals continuing to compete for the Atlantic Division title.
Last season, Louisville fulfilled preseason expectations of sorts, finishing once again in the top three in the Atlantic, but the Cardinals went 4-4 in the ACC during 2017 after a 7-1 conference record the previous year. Louisville lost to Clemson and also suffered somewhat surprising defeats against N.C. State, Boston College and Wake Forest.
Some thought during the preseason that maybe this would finally be the season Louisville knocked off Clemson and won the Atlantic title, but in Week 3 at Papa John’s Cardinals Stadium, the Tigers destroyed the Cardinals, 47-21.
Louisville has won at least 8 games each season since moving to the ACC before the 2014 season, but despite all the playmaking ability at quarterback with Jackson, the team failed to win 10 games each of the last two years. And the Cardinals haven’t won a bowl game since 2015.
Coach Bobby Petrino would like to change that, and it all starts with the team’s spring game on Friday.