And then there were two: Cunningham and Conley
Micale Cunningham followed up the best performance of his career with a solid, yet abbreviated outing against Wake Forest last week. The redshirt sophomore quarterback completed 5 of 6 passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns along with rushing for 59 yards before exiting due to injury in Winston-Salem last week.
Cunningham said he could have reappeared against Wake Forest, but backup quarterback Evan Conley played well in his absence. Conley, who was named ACC Quarterback of the Week, completed 12 of 18 throws for 196 yards and two scores, along with 79 rushing yards and a touchdown in Louisville football’s 62-59 victory.
Cunningham has practiced this week in full form, saying he has been able to make all the cuts and moves.
“I’m doing good, I was a little banged up Saturday, but I have been recovering these last couple days, I’m good to go.”
While Cunningham and Conley have split time in each of the last two games, depth still remains a concern for Louisville after the announcement that Jawon Pass would undergo season-ending surgery.
Pass started Louisville’s first two games against Notre Dame and Eastern Kentucky before suffering an injury in practice.
Now, only two quarterbacks remain.
Louisville won’t change its offense in fear of losing another quarterback. Offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford said everyone has to be relentless on the field.
Cunningham has been the most bothered by injuries, giving way to Conley against Western Kentucky, Boston College and Wake Forest.
“We have to be more careful out there and watch our surroundings,” Cunningham said. “It’s football, you’re going to get banged up.”
The two quarterbacks push each other in practice, Cunningham said. Conley has made the most of his opportunities in the past two weeks, completing 64.7 percent of his throws for 336 yards in two wins.
“As a true freshman, a lot of times those guys are feeling themselves around. They are more watching and seeing ‘I’m supposed to do it that way,’” Ledford said. “Evan knows one way, that’s to work hard. He did all the little things.”
Louisville coach Scott Satterfield didn't announce a starter in his weekly press conference previewing Clemson, but said the quarterback that gave the Cardinals the best chance to win would start against the second-ranked Tigers.
Cunningham has started four consecutive games.