After a white-hot start, Louisville belly flopped through the end of the 2016 season. After rising as high as No. 3 in the polls, finishing seven yards shy of knocking off eventual national champion Clemson at Clemson and winning nine of their first 10 games, the Cardinals stumbled through the finish line, falling 36-10 at Houston, losing to Kentucky for the first time since 2010, then losing 29-9 to LSU in the Citrus Bowl.
The offensive line had a lot to do with that.
Despite playing in front of the most elusive quarterback in college football, Louisville finished third-to-last in college football with 47 sacks allowed and 94th in FBS with 83 tackles for loss allowed. Houston got to Lamar Jackson 11 times, Kentucky got to him three times (one off their season-high) and LSU sacked Jackson eight times, two more than their next best mark of the season.
Clearly, something needed to be done and it appears Bobby Petrino has done it.
ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported Saturday Louisville has hired Florida’s Mike Summers to coach the offensive line. FootballScoop reports Summers will receive a co-offensive coordinator title, and existing offensive line coach Chris Klenakis will transition to tight ends. (Full disclosure: I also write for FootballScoop.)
Florida finished the 2016 campaign tied for 71st in sacks allowed and tied for 49th in tackles for loss allowed but, with Jackson returning, merely moving from “terrible” to “average” would represent massive improvement for what is otherwise an explosive offense.