After facing spread offenses for the first five games of the season the Louisville Cardinals will more than likely be playing their base 4-3 defense for the majority of a game Saturday for the first time this season. But they will be doing it without two linebackers. Starter Daniel Brown, who is one of only two seniors on defense, will miss his second straight game with an injury. Brown's backup James Burgess was injured in the Southern Miss game last week and will also miss the game. Deon Rogers has been splitting some time with Burgess this season and he is the most likely candidate to get the start Saturday. Another possibility is true Freshman Keith Brown who enrolled early and is available to play all three linebacker spots.
John Miller missed most of the Southern Miss game with an ankle injury. Coach Charlie Strong said that he wanted to see how Miller moved on the ankle during practice this week. He has not updated Miller's condition as of now. The Cardinals have been without running back Dominique Brown all season and Coach Strong has stated that unless Senorise Perry or Jeremy Wright sustain an injury things will stay that way.
The Panthers could possibly be without a few starters this week also. The biggest loss would probably be cornerback K'Waun Williams. Williams had an impressive interception in the endzone against Syracuse and he is stout in run support. He's backed up by former four-star Cullen Christian. Christian has a good amount of game experience, but he, understandably, hasn't made the plays Williams has.
Tight end Hubie Graham and linebacker Manny Williams are also listed as questionable for the game. Both Graham and Williams have capable backups in Drew Carswell and Nicholas Grigsby, respectively. One could argue Grigsby has had a better season than Williams. Grigsby is fourth on the team in tackles but Williams' senior leadership is needed with Jarred Holley being the only other senior out there.
Coach Paul Chryst has said that backup running back Rushel Shell will more than likely be at 100% Saturday. Shell had a big game in Pitt's big win over Virginia Tech and Louisville gave up a ton of yardage on the ground in a monsoon last week at Southern Miss.