<
>

Spring shoes to fill: Louisville

I'm taking a look at how each Big East team has fared in the spring in replacing its biggest star. These are rolling out alphabetically for the teams who have already finished spring drills, and I'll circle back and hit the others that are still practicing later.

Let's take a look at Louisville.

Biggest shoes to fill: Bilal Powell

Anytime you're anointed as the "Face of the Program," you're going to be hard to replace. Powell made Louisville's offense go last year as a powerful, speedy tailback who amassed 1,405 yards and 11 touchdowns behind a senior-laden offensive line.

Spring replacement: Victor Anderson

How have the Cardinals filled in for Powell? By going back to the future. Anderson, the 2008 Big East newcomer of the year, got lost in Powell's shadow a little bit and seemingly was surpassed by sophomore Jeremy Wright on the succession chart. But with Wright out this spring with a sports hernia injury, Anderson reminded everyone how he rushed for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman. He had 72 yards on just six carries in the spring game, including a 58-yard touchdown dash.

"I think he's going to be the face of the program like Bilal was last year," quarterback Will Stein said.

Summer outlook: If the season started today, coach Charlie Strong would almost certainly go with Anderson as his starting tailback. But don't forget about Wright yet. He showed big-play ability last year, rushing for 98 yards against Syracuse and running a kickoff back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Beef 'O'Brady's Bowl. Neither Anderson nor Wright is as big as Powell, and both have battled injuries the past two years. Louisville will likely need both of them to get through the season.