Louisville Football: 5 Reasons Why Beating LSU Will Be Huge For the Cards

BY Fansided and Derek Snyder/FanSided via Big Red Louie • December 25, 2016

We take a look at five reasons why beating LSU in the Citrus Bowl will be huge for the Louisville football program heading into 2017.

The Louisville football team has a great opportunity to shake off their late-season collapse with a win over LSU on Saturday afternoon. A win over the Tigers in the Citrus Bowl would do a lot for this team and every Louisville fan in the country.

With that being said, let’s take a look at five reasons why beating LSU would be huge for the Cards heading into 2017:

Nov 26, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals offensive lineman Lukayus McNeil (72) leads the team to the field before the first half against the Kentucky Wildcats at Papa John

5. It Will Give Us Some Confidence In The Ability Of The Offensive Line

The poor play of the offensive line has given every Louisville football fan nightmares over the past month and a half. If it wasn’t for Lamar Jackson winning the Heisman Trophy, it would have been the longest three weeks without Cardinals football ever.

The Cards’ offensive line has a huge game coming up against a very strong LSU defense in the Citrus Bowl. Those guys from LSU will flat-out dominate the line of scrimmage if the Cards aren’t ready.

Whether it was lack of talent or the wear of a long season, Louisville didn’t have a very strong offensive line over the last half of the season, which killed the offense.

If they can protect Jackson well-enough for the Cards to win, then the outlook for what this line is capable of in the future will look brighter. Louisville will be losing two of their starting offensive lineman after this game, but at least we will know that the Cards have lineman that can compete against one of the best defensive lines in all of college football.

Nov 26, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass against the Kentucky Wildcats during the first quarter at Papa John

4. Offseason Hype Surrounding Lamar Jackson Will Be Off The Charts

We thought that Lamar Jackson was getting a ton of attention before this 2016 season, but if they beat LSU, then the hype will be even crazier heading into 2017. A win over LSU would give Jackson another credible win and would set his Heisman Campaign for next season into full swing.

Obviously, a 2016 game will have zero impact on next season’s Heisman race, but it will change the perception of if he can win the big games.

Jackson beat Florida State this season, but that was it as far as big wins go. However, he can’t win football games by himself, the rest of the team has to be playing at a high-level as well.

A 10-3 finish to the 2016 season would do nothing but great things for Lamar Jackson heading into the offseason.

Nov 26, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Grantham greets fans during the Card March before facing the Kentucky Wildcats at Papa John

3. It Will Give Us A Little More Confidence In The Coaching Staff

I’ll just be dead honest right now, I am questioning the coaching staff after the Cards just lost two important games at the end of the season. Not to mention, these were two games that they had zero business losing.

If the Cards want to play championship level football, then they can’t lose football games to programs like Houston and Kentucky.

This has been one of the most undisciplined Louisville football teams in a long time and that falls on the coaches. Whether they are working on ball security or not, whatever they are doing in practice just flat-out isn’t working.

A football team that cannot protect the football and commits too many pre-snap penalties will not beat good football teams or even bad ones for that matter.

However, if they can beat LSU, then we can rest in the fact that this staff can get the job done under pressure.

Oct 29, 2016; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) throws the ball against the Virginia Cavaliers at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2. It Will Give The Cards Their Best Over An SEC Team In Years

It would be amazing to get a win over the Tigers because it would give Louisville their biggest win over an SEC school since beating the Florida Gators in the Sugar Bowl. They did have a nice win over Texas A&M last season, but that was only the Music City Bowl-playing LSU in the Citrus Bowl is on a whole other level.

Louisville had an opportunity to beat Auburn last year, but playing them the first week of the season was just a recipe for failure. However, losing to Auburn dod actually help the Cards in the long run.

Let’s just say that beating LSU would mean that the Cards do have what it takes to shake off the bad memories and beat one of the best teams in the SEC.

That means more respect for Louisville football.

Nov 12, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons during the second half at Papa John

1. Re-Establish Our Confidence In The Cards’ Chances To Compete In 2017

If we are all being honest with ourselves, Louisville losing those last two games to Houston and Kentucky really tempered our expectations of the Cards. They couldn’t win in the trenches and they still had problems turning the football over. Simply put, it was the last thing we thought would happen to end the season.

With that being said, Louisville can erase our memory of those games if they can just beat the Tigers on Saturday.

It will give all Louisville fans confidence in this team moving forward and will give every one of us more reasons to believe in 2017.

We have to see that this team can win more than one big game per season, even when things don’t go their way from the very start.

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