Louisville QB Coach Frank Ponce breaks down Cardinals' depth at Quarterback
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding Louisville Football's offense heading into the 2020 season, and it's not hard to see why. In Scott Satterfield's first season as the head coach, the Cardinals averaged 33.1 points and 447.3 yards per game, both of which are top 30 marks in FBS.
They also retain many of their top talents on the offensive side of the ball, including quarterback Micale Cunningham. Last season, the redshirt sophomore threw for 2,061 yards and 22 touchdowns while rushing for 482 yards and six scores. Had he attempted two more passes, his passing efficiency of 194.79 would have been second in the nation only to Heisman Winner & No. 1 overall 2020 NFL Draft pick Joe Burrow.
Following a season like that, you would think Cunningham would have a stranglehold on the starters role. However according to quarterbacks coach Frank Ponce, that isn't necessarily the case.
"The way we finished in the spring practice, Micale (Cunningham) would be number one, Jawon ("Puma" Pass) is right close to him and would be 1B," Ponce told reporters in teleconference Tuesday.
It's interesting that Ponce would list Pass as the "1B" option and not the outright second string signal caller. But according to him, he started to regain his form towards the end of spring ball.
"Towards practice five, six and seven, you started seeing the old Puma," Ponce said. "We're excited to see him push (Micale) and continue to improve his game. I think that everything is going to be fine, it's a very competitive room."
Pass made two starts vs Notre Dame and Eastern Kentucky, only to miss the remainder of the season following toe surgery. During those two games, he went went 24-46 with 330 passing yards and threw a career high four touchdowns vs. the Colonels. He also rushed for 104 yards and a pair of scores.
Unsurprisingly, that now leaves Evan Conley as the third string quarterback on the depth chart.
"We're excited to see (Conley) compete again," Ponce said. "He's always in the mix because of study habits and work ethic."
Conley threw for 613 yards and four touchdowns, mostly in situations where he had to come in following injuries to Cunningham. Ponce noted that Conley had been fighting a shoulder injury throughout most of spring ball, but is now 100%.
Finally, we have incoming freshman Tee Webb as the fourth string QB. While he is not expected to see much playing time this season, Ponce is high on his potential down the road.
"He made some throws (in practice) that were jaw dropping. Not only the velocity, but the accuracy and the timing of it," Ponce said. "When you see those things, we smile and go 'okay, that's exactly what we recruited'. Now all we have to do is develop him."
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