Cardinals Football Preview Sunday, Apr 26 2020 

By John McCarthy —

Cardinal fans have much to look forward to as the 2020 football calendar rolls around in the spring.

Louisville’s 2020 recruiting class consists of two four-star recruits and 25 three-star recruits.

There is plenty of hype surrounding Louisville’s football program after the Cardinals finished the 2019 season with an 8-5 record. With Coach Scott Satterfield at the helm, the Cardinal’s victory over Mississippi State at the Music City Bowl proves promising things are to come in the 2020 season.

Junior Micale Cunningham was a standout player for the Cardinals in 2019. Cunningham, the most improved player at the quarterback position in the ACC, threw for 2,061 yards and 22 touchdowns in 2019 while only tossing five interceptions. In 2020, the Cardinals will look to Cunningham to navigate the offense as effectively as he did in 2019.

Louisville will be replacing both their punter and kicker in 2020. Seniors Blanton Creque and Mason King will be graduating. This opens the door for some friendly competition among the potential Cardinal kickers.

Touted-kicker Brock Travelstead, from Atworth, Ga., signed to join the Cardinals in the offseason. Junior Ryan Chalifoux also has the potential to take the spot of starting placekicker for the Cardinals this year.

More than anything though, the Cardinals will look to improve their defense in the 2020 season.

Louisville’s ACC competitors got the best of them with the size and strength of their offenses. With fresh faces joining the Cardinals’ defense in the spring, there is only room for improvement.

The Cardinals are also welcoming a widely-skilled recruiting class for the 2020 season.

The class is led by four-star offensive tackle Trevor Reid. Reid, a junior college transfer student from Georgia Military College will add depth and experience to the Cardinals’ offensive line. Reid is also the 16th ranked recruit in the country and ranked second at his position.

Other strong defensive players coming from Georgia Military College is defensive end Yaya Diaby. He is ranked 42nd in the nation as a recruit and third at his respective position.

Outside linebacker Marvin Dallas will also be joining the defense as a JUCO transfer. He is the 43rd ranked recruit in the nation and the fourth-ranked outside linebacker in the country.

Louisville will also be welcoming freshman Ja-Darien Boykin to campus.

Boykin is a defensive tackle from Jones County High School in Gray, Ga. Boykin will aid the Cards struggling defensive line in the spring.

A couple of local recruits signed with the University of Louisville as well.

Butler’s Jordan Watkins signed on as an athlete and is ranked 48th in the nation as an athlete. Evaluation by national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu discusses Watkins’ exceptional speed and does a nice job making contested catches.

Ballard’s Josh Minkins Jr. signed on as a safety and is ranked 72nd at his position. Minkins Jr. received Special Teams Player of the Year for Ballard last season. He also snagged three interceptions during his junior and senior years.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville rolled past Mississippi State to win 2019 Music City Bowl Monday, Dec 30 2019 

By Cole Emery —

The Cards won the Music City Bowl for the second time in team history, defeating Mississippi State 38-28.

Louisville (8-5, 5-3) began well defensively, forcing a punt on Mississippi State’s first drive. 

On the Cards’ first offensive drive they drove 96 yards, but junior Dez Fitzpatrick fumbled on the one yard line. 

The Bulldogs capitalized on the turnover in only eight plays and capped it off with a rushing touchdown by senior Tommy Stevens.

At the beginning of the second quarter, Mississippi State (6-7, 3-5) scored after they drove down the field for 80 yards. Senior Nick Gibson scored off a rushing touchdown for three yards. 

During that drive, junior Dorian Etheridge was ejected from the game for kicking another player.

The following drive for the Cards only took five plays to reach the end-zone. Sophomore Micale Cunningham made plays through the air and ground for 43 yards, bringing the Cards to the Bulldog’s 33 yard line. 

The Cards brought out a trick play which paid off. Sophomore Tutu Atwell threw a passing touchdown for a double pass to freshman Marshon Ford. This touchdown brought the Cards to a 14-7 deficit.

On the following kick-off, sophomore Ternell Troutman forced a fumble that freshman James Turner recovered, giving the Cardinals possession at the Bulldog’s 32 yard line. The drive was stalled after several penalties and a failed fourth down attempt. 

After forcing a punt, the Cardinals drove down the field behind the arm of Cunningham. Sophomore Ryan Chalifoux kicked a field goal as time expired going into halftime. 

The Bulldogs took the lead into halftime 14-10.

Cunningham threw several touchdowns in the second half to senior Devante Peete and Ford. 

On a kickoff, graduate Gary McCrae forced a fumble that senior Khane Pass recovered for a 31 yard touchdown. This gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game 17-14 with 2:51 left in the third quarter.

Freshman Javian Hawkins got a five yard touchdown for the Cards after stopping the Bulldogs on fourth down. This gave Louisville a 38-21 lead with 2:13 left in the game. 

Stevens threw a late touchdown to junior Osirus Mitchell for 24 yards with 27 seconds left in the game, but it was not enough as the Cards recovered the onside kick. 

Cunningham finished with 279 passing yards, 81 rushing yards and two passing touchdowns. Atwell caught nine passes for 147 yards and threw a passing touchdown to Ford who caught two touchdowns during the contest. Hawkins ran for 105 yards and a touchdown.

File photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Cards football set to go bowling in Nashville Monday, Dec 9 2019 

By Luke Graham —

Coming off one of the worst years in Louisville football history, first year head coach Scott Satterfield has brought the Louisville football program back to a bowl game to finish the season.

Just days after the Cardinals (7-5, 5-3) found out that Scott Satterfield won ACC Coach of the Year and that four players were given all ACC honors with junior Mekhi Becton and sophomore Tutu Atwell on the 1st team, and freshman Javian Hawkins  and sophomore Hassan Hall on the 2nd team, they found out they were headed to Nashville for the Music City Bowl Game.

Louisville will meet up in Nashville and face off against Mississippi State (6-6,3-5). It has been two years since Cards have faced the Bulldogs to the date for the 2017 Music City Bowl.

On Dec. 30, 2017 they lost to Mississippi State in what would be Heisman winner Lamar Jackson’s last game as a Cardinal 31-27.

Louisville will look to make new fortune against the Bulldogs this time around. Led by sophomore quarterback Micale Cunningham the Cards look to take care of business in Nashville.

The city is buzzing about going bowling again and are hoping the Cards can win their first bowl game since 2015 against Texas A&M. Ironically enough, that was also the Music City Bowl.

With the Seniors going through a coaching change after playing with a Heisman winner, it would be nice to see them go out with a win to finish off their wild careers at Louisville.

Louisville looks to stay undefeated in Nashville this year after a win against Western Kentucky at a neutral site early in the season. The Cards will play at 4:00 pm on Dec. 30 on ESPN at Nissan Stadium.

Jessica Abell // The Louisville Cardinal 

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Satterfield scores bowl game first season Sunday, Nov 17 2019 

By Gabriel Wiest —

With a 34-20 win against NC State, head coach Scott Satterfield secured bowl game eligibility his first season with Louisville.

After taking a harsh 52-27 loss against Miami, it was unclear if Louisville (6-4, 4-3) could bounce back against another ACC competitor. The away game against NC State added to the challenge. Louisville lost to NC State (4-6, 1-5) last year 52-10, putting pressure on Satterfield to change the tide.

Recap

After a dry first quarter, junior Dez Fitzpatrick caught a 43 yard pass from sophomore Micale Cunningham, putting the Cardinals on the scoreboard first. NC State answered Louisville with a touchdown and a field goal ending the first half in the lead 10-7.

The Cardinals surged in the third quarter against NC State, scoring three touchdowns. Sophomore Tutu Atwell started off the scoring in the second half with a 74 yard catch from Cunningham.

Freshman Marshon Ford continued the momentum with another long 42 yard pass from Cunningham. Graduate Ean Pfeifer ended off the quarter with another touchdown thrown by Cunningham leaving the score 27-10.

NC State answered the Cardinals after a dead third quarter with a touchdown in the beginning of the fourth. Ford then scored his second touchdown for the Cardinals. NC State had the final say, with a field goal, not enough to put the Wolfpack on top.

Overview

Cunningham helped lead the Cardinals to victory throwing four touchdown passes. The offense also took a passing heavy approach against NC State, passing 249 yards while rushing 77 yards.

On the book Louisville had less total yards than NC State with 377-326. However, Louisville’s defense tightened down in the red zone, making sure that NC State could not take advantage of the defensive line as other teams have this season.

With a 2-10 season last year, it is clear that Satterfield is taking steps in the right direction with the Cardinals already at .500 ball. Before the season started some Louisville fans were skeptical how the Satterfield era would look. With bowl game eligibility, Satterfield has not only secured fans’s concerns, but put Louisville in a growing spotlight.

Louisville will face off next against Syracuse Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. at Cardinal Stadium.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal

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Louisville gets clawed by no. 3 Clemson Tigers Monday, Oct 21 2019 

By Mariam Prieto —

Louisville lost against No. 3 Clemson with a final score of 45-10 on Saturday Oct. 19. This was the Cardinals fourth ACC game and second conference loss.

This was Louisville’s first game against a top five ranking team under head coach Scott Satterfield.  “I’m proud of our guys, they continued to fight the whole way through,” he said.

In the first quarter, Louisville’s (4-3, 2-2) defense held it together, blocking Clemson’s (7-0, 4-0) advance. The Tigers only scored a field goal in the first quarter, ending 3-0.

The second quarter saw the Tigers take charge of  their offense, with a touchdown scored in the first minute of the quarter. The Cardinal’s defense suffered, and the Tigers scored another touchdown. Louisville scored a field goal and brought the score to 17-3 by the end of the quarter.

In the last two minutes of the third quarter, Clemson advanced on the Cards with a touchdown after rushing 49 yards. Clemson added a kick attempt to their touchdown, and finished the quarter with a score of 24-3.

The fourth quarter saw freshman Javian Hawkins make the sole Cardinal touchdown. Although their offense ramped up, Louisville’s defense took a hit. The tigers were able to get past the Cards and scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

Freshman Evan Conley proved important to the defense with a combined passing of 107 yards, alongside sophomore Micale Cunningham. Hawkins rushed a total of 129 yards. Junior Dez Fitzpatrick received 63 yards, alongside sophomore Chatarius Atwell’s 37 yards.

Cunningham commented on the defense’s improvements. “We played better. We made them work for everything, and we didn’t really give them anything,” he said.

Clemson took the lead with a rushing average of 8.1, while Louisville ended with 3.6. Louisville had the higher receiving average of  13.4, while Clemson finished with 11.5.

Satterfield referred to the lack of conversions on Louisville’s end when he said, ” We didn’t make enough plays. The bottom line is that they out-executed us.”

“We were not able to get any momentum in that game.”

Louisville will face University of Virginia in their fifth conference match up on Oct. 26 at Cardinal Stadium.

Photo by Louise Scharff / The Louisville Cardinal

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