Louisville offensive line learning from mental mistakes

Cardinals ranked 107th in penalties, 117th in sacks allowed and 130th in tackles for a loss last season
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Mental mistakes result in negative plays, but with a better understanding of the offense, the Louisville football offensive line expects to diminish those problems this season.

Louisville ranked 24th in total offense and rushing offense last season, but also struggle with tackles for a loss sacks and penalties. The Cardinals ranked 107th in penalties, 117th in sacks allowed and 130th in tackles for a loss last season nationally in the FBS.

“The numbers we put up last year, just imagine if we got rid of those,” redshirt junior guard Caleb Chandler said. “That’s what Coach [Dwayne Ledford] has been preaching on us.”

Offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford expects a season of experience to improvement his unit’s knowledge.

“It has a lot to do with guys understanding the scheme,” Ledford said. “For us what we do, a lot of that requires guys to be very athletic. Throughout the whole offseason they know what we have been asking of them.”

The offensive line has had a better understanding of the scheme in scrimmages and practices this spring and fall according to Ledford.

“The backside of all of our plays it vital, that’s the thing that will take you a long ways,” Ledford said.

While plenty of playmakers return in Javian Hawkins, Tutu Atwell and Micale Cunningham, among others, the offensive line has experience as well.

Robbie Bell and Caleb Chandler each started all 13 games at their respective guard spots. Cole Bentley started the final six games at center in 2019.

Adonis Boone was utilized in several different positions and played in place of Mekhi Becton. Renato Brown appeared in Louisville’s first four games before preserving his redshirt as a freshman.

Chandler says the offensive line is more comfort in the scheme this season.

“We aren’t really having mental mistakes,” Chandler said. “Mental wise we are all there.”

Louisville has the potential to be an explosive offense this season, which can improve from a year ago as negative plays are eliminated.

Hawkins ranked seventh in the nation with 1,525 rushing yards while Hassan Hall surpassed 500 rushing yards as the secondary back.

“They are very dangerous,” Chandler said. “If we get rid of the tackles for losses, that will boost our running game.”