Louisville defense dominates both Demon Deacons and JMU Dukes to secure bowl berth Tuesday, Nov 8 2022 

By Spencer Laws

In what now accounts for a 4-game win streak, the Louisville Cardinals rolled past not only previously No. 10 Wake Forest in a 48-21 win, but now the James Madison Dukes 34-10. Currently sitting at 6-3 for the first time since 2014, this means that Louisville has now secured a bowl game berth with three games left in the season. 

Down Goes Wake…

The third-quarter performance by the Cards on both sides of the ball is something that caught the eyes of a lot of people. 

The Demon Deacons were outscored 35-0 in part due to the defense forcing six turnovers in that quarter alone. Two of those turnovers were returned interceptions by Quincy Riley and Kei’Trel Clark. This is the second week in a row Clark has had a defensive score, making it the first time a Louisville player has had back-to-back defensive scores since A.J. Jacobs in 1974. 

Such a dominating display showed the nation the potential this team has when both sides of the ball come to play. 

The Cards finished with 410 total yards- 211 rushing, and 199 passing. Surprisingly, Wake Forest only finished with eight fewer total yards of offense.

Quarterback Malik Cunningham again used his running ability to add two more touchdowns on the ground. 

Head coach Scott Satterfield and company picked up their first-ranked win, and a big one at that. This is also the first time in the Satterfield era the Cards have won three consecutive ACC games. 

And Down Go the Dukes!

Many considered this game to be a fabled “trap game”, especially coming off the top 10 upset the week prior. At one point this season, the Dukes were 5-0 and ranked in the top 25 nationally.

The Cardinal defense (once again) allowed only 10 points throughout the game, producing (once again) another stellar performance. The team is among the top 10 in the country in sacks, tackles for loss, red zone defense, and interceptions. Additionally, the Cardinals rank among the top 20 scoring defenses.

This is the second game since Pittsburgh this year that quarterback Malik Cunningham has thrown for multiple touchdowns in a single game.

Cunningham connected with tight end Isaac Martin in the first half, then found two of his favorite receivers in junior Tyler Hudson and sophomore Ahmari Huggins-Bruce in the second half for scores.

With 8 minutes left in the 4th quarter, Cunningham began scrambling and picking up yards only to be pulled out of bounds after an altercation broke out as the play ended. He and JMU linebacker Taurus Jones picked up offsetting personal foul penalties. It seems that Cunningham hurt his hand as a result of the play, too.

In a November 8th press conference, Satterfield said “Malik did ding his hand, his non-throwing hand but he’s fine. He’ll be out there practicing this week, and will be out there today.”

The coaching staff is adamant that Cunningham will play Saturday against Clemson.

What Comes Next

Currently, CBS projects Louisville to face Oregon State in the Sun Bowl on Dec 30th. This is the team’s best record through nine games since an 8-1 start in 2016.

The Cardinals face ACC powerhouse Clemson away this Saturday at 3:30 P.M, who slid from 5 to 12 in the week 9 AP Poll. Could Satterfield and crew pick up another ranked win? 

File Photo //Jamie Rhodes – USA TODAY Sports //

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Why You Shouldn’t Panic After Louisville’s Loss to Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday, Nov 5 2022 

By: Jason Krell

Sunday’s contest against division two foe, Lenoir-Rhyne gave Cardinal fans a first glimpse of what Kenny Payne and company have been building this offseason and what’s the come during the 2022-23 season.

The Issues

The Cards managed to hold a two-point lead heading into halftime but would get outscored 31-19 in the second half and shoot an abysmal 23% from the field. Leading all scorers was redshirt junior, Jae’Lyn Withers who is one of just seven returners on this Louisville roster. 

The Kenny Payne era got off to a slow start with Sunday’s loss marking the end of a 39-game winning streak in exhibition games dating back to December of 2000 where Denny Crum and company fell 87-86 in double overtime to the Global Sports All-Stars. 

Don’t Panic

Sure, fans are upset to lose to a small little school in Hickory, North Carolina, but fans shouldn’t be sweating just yet. This is Payne’s first year as a head coach at any level so there are bound to be some ups and downs. Payne took over this program with the knowledge that there is a lot of work that needs to be done to get this team back to where they know they can be.

Looking Forward

Additionally, the first game with a whole new roster and coaching staff is all but guaranteed to have a slow start on their first time hitting the court. Making open shots, rebounding, and defensive effort are all things that will come in time as the Cards continue to shake the rust off. They will have one more opportunity to get the screws tightened in an exhibition matchup against Chaminade on November 3rd before opening regular season play against across-town foe, Bellarmine on November 9th at 9 pm.

A rocky start certainly doesn’t predict the future but rather provides a benchmark for fans and players moving forward. Many Cards fans remain optimistic that Kenny Payne will turn this program around and contend as one of the top teams in the ACC and on the national stage.

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Post Panther pummel, Louisville defense desires to down Demon Deacons Wednesday, Oct 26 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Head coach Scott Satterfield clearly meant it when he said in a previous press conference he would be paying special attention to the defense, as it was the shining star in Louisville football’s 24-10 win against Pittsburgh. The Cardinals pulled off a must-needed win, furthering their chance at a post-season bowl game.

A huge credit towards Saturday’s win includes the Card’s battle for turnovers. The defense had four takeaways compared to Pitt’s one, allowing just 10 points on 32 minutes of possession.

The offense, however, seemed very stagnant at times- only being able to muster up one touchdown in the first half, and compiling a season-low of 312 yards of total offense. 

Senior linebacker Yasir Abdullah had the performance of the game, tallying seven tackles, two tackles for a loss, an interception, and a sack that resulted in a scoop and score. 

It should surprise no one that Abdullah snagged All-ACC Linebacker of the Week honors, too. 

A Dual Threat School?

Something we saw Saturday that we haven’t seen before is somewhat of a revolving door at the quarterback position – second-string Brock Domann logged playing time in three different quarters Saturday.

Head coach Scott Satterfield was questioned about the quarterback situation going forward in his press conference Tuesday, October 25th, saying “I anticipate both guys probably playing throughout the rest of the season. Last week, they both did a great job in practice of getting ready to play mentally, that’s the biggest key, and I think that will happen again this week.”

Not a terrible thing to have two quarterbacks ready for all the game situations we head into more significant games.

Dissecting the Demon Deacons

The Cards are set back at home Saturday, October 30th against No. 10 Wake Forest. 

The Demon Deacons have only lost one game this season- a close overtime loss to Clemson. This is another huge opportunity for head coach Scott Satterfield to show he can keep up with the most efficient offense in the nation.

The Cards have always played the Demon Deacons tightly ever since joining the ACC (they’re currently up all-time 6-3). Card Nation needs to come out and be loud and create a hostile environment for Deacons to play in.

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How Much Pressure is on Kenny Payne This Season? Sunday, Oct 23 2022 

By: Jason Krell

Earlier this year, University of Louisville athletic director, Josh Heird named Kenny Payne to the head coaching role of the men’s basketball team. With the firing of former head coach Chris Mack, Heird faced a lot of pressure in getting this decision right in hopes of bringing Louisville back to the national powerhouse it used to be.

A former player under coach Denny Crum, Payne knows what it takes to be successful having won a national title as both a player and as an assistant at the University of Kentucky. Payne also spent four years in the NBA as both a coach and player and was selected in the first round of the 1989 draft.

Louisville legend, Denny Crum welcomes Kenny Payne to Louisville in March of 2022.

Historically, Louisville basketball is a winning program. With dominance in the 1980s and steady success through the 2000s and 2010s, a lot is at stake for Payne to make Louisville basketball relevant again. Former coaches like Denny Crum and Rick Pitino have set the standard where anything less than an ACC championship and final-four run would be considered a lost season. Or would it?

This will be Kenny Payne’s first gig as a head coach, at any level so it is expected for things to not be perfect and smooth sailing. However, valuable assets such as Nolan Smith and Danny Manning showcase to fans that Louisville basketball has one of the most experienced coaching staff in the country.

Assistant coach Kenny Payne and PJ Washington getting ready for a game in the NCAA tournament.

In addition to a distinguished coaching staff, players such as Sydney Curry and El Ellis will be looking to make their case for ACC player of the year and make a run in the NCAA tournament. With so much young talent on the roster, you can’t help but think they have nothing to lose, and a team that has nothing to lose come March can be a dangerous thing.

With the rich history that comes with Louisville basketball, there is going to be pressure to succeed right away as a new head coach. For as long as Payne knows the expectation from fans and is realistic with the roster he has, Louisville will be put back on the map as the powerhouse in the state of Kentucky.
File Photos // Darrell Bird (247Sports), Pat McDonogh (Courier Journal), GoCards.com //

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U of L women’s volleyball continues to put together another historic season Wednesday, Oct 12 2022 

By Spencer Laws

After last year’s historic run in the NCAA tournament ending in a Final-Four appearance and collecting an ACC regular season title along the way, the Louisville Women’s Volleyball team has essentially picked up where they left off after last season. 

The Cards have already put up an impressive record halfway through this year’s schedule, jumping up as high as the second-ranked team nationally. Among their wins include six ranked opponents, all while only dropping one game. 

Other notable wins include a 3-2 win over rival Kentucky in a nationally televised on ESPN in Lexington. It was only the fourth regular season match to be televised on the network since 1997, and the most-watched regular season volleyball game ever, logging 302,000 viewers for that broadcast. 

Another impressive streak to note is the unbeaten ACC games that started during the 2020 season. The team has gone 34 ACC games without losing. Head coach Dani Busboom Kelly and the team have been on a tear recently, winning their last ten matches. 

With 12 games left in the ACC this season, the Cards are tied at the top of the standings with Pittsburgh, who also stand undefeated 6-0. The team is looking to build upon the experience they gained in the run they had last December in the NCAA tournament to capture the National Championship.

File Photo // GoCards.com // 

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Cards Can’t Close at BC, 34-33 Wednesday, Oct 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

One Point Short

This past Saturday, October 1st, Louisville lost what many would consider another easy ACC win. The Cards came into the game 14-point favorites, yet choked one away 34-33.

The loss was a combined effort by the whole team. The defense was lit up in the passing game, giving up 304 yards and three touchdowns in the air. Boston College receiver Zay Flowers recorded five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, receiving ACC Receiver of the Week awards for his performance. 

Cunningham added to his already impressive rushing touchdowns total by adding three more against BC. His passing game still somewhat struggled, as he put up 19-28 completions with only 186 yards and a touchdown. Cunningham took a big hit midway through the 4th quarter, so junior Brock Domann came to close out the game. He is considered day-to-day.

A special teams miscue came back to bite the Cards as kicker James Turner had an extra point blocked in the second quarter. That kick would be the difference maker in overtime.

What Comes Next

With this result, it feels like the point of no return for Satterfield and the company. Many are up conflicted in the fan community about his coaching staff and play- some are already calling for his firing. One Twitter account even replies to U of L related posts “#BringBrohmHome

However, what good would it do to fire Satterfield mid-way through this season? With the outstanding recruiting class of ‘23 set to hit campus in the spring, how many of those recruits would de-commit with Satterfield’s exit? 

When Heird took the Job last December he came out and stated that he as AD wouldn’t settle for mediocrityCard Nation has their hands up right now as their football team continues to lose games week in and week out. Louisville now has 4 consecutive losses versus Power 5 teams, leaving us among the bottom 5

Meanwhile, you would assume to see some changes from Satterfield in the coming weeks as he attempts to save his job. In an October 4th press conference Satterfield stated that he’s “Got to spend more time helping all the facets of the game, particularly defensively and on special teams.” As for why? “Losing games.”

The Cards are back in action this Saturday, October 8th traveling to Virginia to face off with UVA at noon, on the ACC network.

Photo Courtesy // Taris Smith, Louisville Athletics – GoCards.com //

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September Fall Sports Overview Wednesday, Oct 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Volleyball 

Halfway through the regular season, the team is ranked #2 in the country. Coach Busboom Kelly and the team are very much favorites for the regular season title. The team picked up right where it let off following last year’s final four run.

In the month the girls put together a very impressive 8-1 record and produced 4 ranked wins in the process, including a nationally televised, gritty win in Lexington against #13 UK.

The ACC is very much in the hands of the Cardinals, who haven’t dropped a conference game yet.

Men’s Soccer

Louisville men’s soccer had a really good month, as they finished September with a record of 4-2-2, ranking as high as 10th ranked nationally. The team scored a very quality 2-1 win against #8 Pittsburgh at home on Sept. 23rd. The two losses of the month came from two very quality squads, #5 Kentucky and #7 Duke. 

They next take a trip to South Bend, Indiana to face off with ACC foe Notre Dame. Their schedule doesn’t get any easier from there as Syracuse and Clemson take a visit later in the month. They finish off their regular season schedule with ACC Atlantic rival Wake Forest, who holds the top spot in the division currently. 

The team is in a very good spot with a 2-1-1 conference record and third in the Atlantic division. If the team can put some conference results together they will have a shot at an ACC title. 

The men’s soccer team celebrates a win at home.

Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer faced a very tough schedule in the latter half of September, facing back-to-back top ten ranked ACC opponents. However, at the beginning of the month, the girls pulled out a big result, taking a 3-2 win over #23 ranked Memphis on neutral ground. 

They followed up this result with back-to-back ties, 0-0 against James Madison and Indiana University. On Sept. 17th the team won their ACC opener against Miami at home, recording a shutout on the way to a 1-0 win. 

The team has some work to do after dropping three ACC games in a row. On Oct. 6th Clemson travels to town; both teams need a crucial win to get back on track in ACC play. 

Games left in their schedule include Boston College and Notre Dame at home, and then two road matchups in North Carolina against Duke and NC State. UNC comes to Louisville to close out the regular season.  

The women’s soccer team gets ready for their match.

Field Hockey 

Throwing up an overall record of 9-2 (6-2 record during the month of September), the field hockey team is another team that is putting up a very impressive national campaign. The 2 losses include both of their ACC games, giving them a big hill to climb with the end of the regular season quickly approaching. 

Nevertheless, the squad pulled out great wins against #4th Michigan and #13th Princeton. The team travels next to Winston-Salem to try and get their conference play record back on track with a win.

Other games in their schedule include Liberty University, Duke, and Ball State, followed up with a trip to New York to face off with Syracuse and Cornell. They close out their regular season with Boston College at home. 

The field hockey huddles together before a game.

Cross Country 

The Cross Country team has competed in two meets during the month of September, including the Covered Bridge Open in Boone North Carolina, where the men’s team finished 3rd, and the women’s team finished 6th. 

On September 17th the teams traveled up to Terre Haute, Indiana to run. The men finished 5th and the women finished 8th. 

The teams hosted a meet this past Saturday, October 1st at E.P. Tom Sawyer Park. This is where the NCAA Regional will take place at the end of the month. On October 14th the team will travel to Peoria, Illinois to compete in the Bradley Pink Classic, prepping before the ACC championship on October 28th in Charlottesville.

The men’s Cross Country team prepares for a meet.

Photo Courtesy // GoCards.com //

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Birds Best Bulls, as Boston-bound Battle Brews Wednesday, Sep 28 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Louisville football took care of business Saturday afternoon to close out the main part of their non-conference schedule.

Family Fun for All

In what head coach Scott Satterfield described in his Sept. 27th press conference as “the most complete game yet,” U of L picked up a much-needed 41-3 win against the University of South Florida at home on “Parent’s Weekend”. 

5th-year senior Malik Cunningham had another outstanding game against the Bulls, recording 186 yards on 14-22 passing attempts with a touchdown. Second-string junior Brock Domann also saw playing time on Saturday, as he put up 73 yards on 5-8 passing attempts. 

11 wide receivers caught passes on Saturday as the 2 quarterbacks were able to spread the ball all across the field. 

The more impressive part of game Malik’s game was yet again on the ground, as he ended up rushing for 113 yards on 9 carries with 3 touchdowns. 6 other players saw touches on the ground Saturday, giving some younger players valued experience for the future.

Averaging 6.2 yards per carry while recording 4 touchdowns on the ground, the ground game followed upon the success of the passing game, by putting up 283 yards on 46 attempts.  The defense did their part on Saturday as well, as they forced 3 turnovers while allowing only 158 yards and a field goal. 

The Next Step

If Satterfield and company really want to make a run at a post-season bowl game, they need to pull out some results over the next two weeks on the road to solidify any chance. The Cardinals head into their main slate of ACC play now, and start by traveling to Boston on Saturday to face off with the Eagles. 

The Cards come into Saturday as heavy favorites with some analysts chalking this up as a Louisville win. 

Following the trip to Boston, the team takes a visit to Charlottesville, Virginia to battle with UVA; another game that, if Louisville shows up and plays well, should be able to travel home with a win. 

This would mark the halfway point in the season for Satterfield and the team, who are hoping they can enter the second half of the season with a 4-2 record. 

Starting to See Success

Results like these are very possible if the Cardinals show up in the next two weeks. 

There are still a few lingering issues – limiting the pre-snap penalties on all sides of the ball, limiting the opposing offense’s ability to run the ball while not missing tackles in the open field, and getting Malik more and more comfortable in the passing game. He only has 2 passing touchdowns to this point, while giving away 3 interceptions. 

If the Cards can limit these mistakes they will have a real possibility to be 2 wins away from bowl game talk with 6 games left in the season. 

File Photo // GoCards.com //

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The Cards Drop Another ACC Game as FSU Comes to Town Wednesday, Sep 21 2022 

By: Spencer Laws

Louisville Football drops a game that many thought they should have won. 

The Cards seemed to have an answer for everything the Seminoles threw at them. Louisville responded with two touchdowns in the first quarter, after originally going down 7-0 to start the game. 

The Cardinals went into the half holding a 7 point lead over Florida State, with the score 21-14. 

Quarterback Malik Cunningham was having an exceptional game up to this point. He showcased both sides of his game—passing and running. 

The Cardinal offense were without starting running back Tiyon Evans and second string Jalen Mitchell. 

Backs Trevion Cooley and Jawhar Jordan picked up the load that was left for them. Both combined for over 160 yards all-purpose yards, with Cooley breaking into the in zone twice. 

The Issues

Two narratives about Louisville continue to be the story on the field. Similar to the thoughts of many fans and experts last week, tackling seems to lead to the downfall of the defense. On top of that, penalties are another huge issue that puts the team a leg behind. 

Louisville has started this season committing 29 penalties for 204 yards just 3 weeks in. 

Head coach Scott Satterfield addressed the self-inflicted wounds in his press conference September 20th.  

Satterfield stated,“It’s the pre-snap penalties that really effect you. Being offsides, false starts, those types of things. We have to get better at that.”

The Change

The Cards looked in total control over the Seminoles, as former Cardinal, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis exited the game with a leg injury. FSU brought in their backup with minimal experience.

Florida States backup, Tate Rodemaker felt the pressure early from the Cardinal defense. Rodemaker was sacked three times and threw an interception. 

Rodemaker was eventually able to turn around his performance, to lead the ‘Noles to comeback and take the lead in the final minutes. While doing so, Rodemaker threw for two impressive touchdowns to Florida State wide receiver Johnny Wilson. 

Wilson put up pretty impressive numbers himself. Ending the game with seven receptions, 149 yards and two touchdowns. 

Satterfield was questioned in his post game press conference about matching up against Wilson. 

“Is that the big guy? Thats what made him so difficult. He’s 6’7 200 and something pounds,” Satterfield said  

Cunningham and the Cardinal offense had to chance to close the game out with a touchdown to win the game getting the ball back with 1:37 left on the clock. 

The offense was able to move the ball up to the Louisville 46, as the fan base regained hope with the clock dwindling under a minute. 

Then, a costly decision by the fifth-year starter ended the comeback attempt. FSU picked off Malik with 37 seconds left to close out the Cards. 

Full Circle

With this result the Louisville faithful return to the same attitude they had after the Syracuse game. Furthermore, the same question remains: 

How much longer does Satterfield have if he continues to churn out these atrocious results? 

The Cards are back in action this Saturday to right the ship at Cardinal Stadium before starting ACC play. 

They host University of South Florida at noon back in front of Card Nation. 

The post The Cards Drop Another ACC Game as FSU Comes to Town appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

Louisville Baseball Beats Rival Kentucky Tuesday, Apr 19 2022 

By Daniel Rankin —

On Tuesday, April 19, the University of Louisville Baseball team beat the University of Kentucky Wildcats by 4-2. With the rivalry win, the No. 11 ranked Cardinals move to 25-11 on the season. 

With both teams battling through the heart of their conference schedules, you’d think that a weekday nonconference game, usually an ignored matchup in College Baseball, would be inconsequential. 

However, the energetic crowd at Jim Patterson Stadium and the players’ mood during warmups indicated that this Battle of the Bluegrass game meant more than your average weekday game. After the game in Lexington was postponed due to weather, this will likely be the only time these two teams play each other. 

After a promising start from young freshman Kyle Walter in the first half-inning, the Cardinals struck first thanks to Cameron Masterman’s 13th home run of the season. 

It became apparent quickly that Head Coach Dan McDonnell was opting for a bullpen game when he switched to Dan Liggett in the second. 

Liggett’s inning did have traffic on first and third, but Centerfielder Levi Usher saved the inning with a spectacular catch against the wall keeping the score 1-0. Fellow freshman Kade Grundy finished a solid third inning with two strikeouts. 

Weekday pitching has been an issue during some segments of the season; however, McDonnell’s trust in three freshmen to start the game paid off. 

Ben Bianco earned a leadoff walk in the bottom of the third after battling to a 3-2 count. Bianco advanced to second after third baseman Ben Metzinger was hit by a pitch. Jack Payton had the opportunity to drive the game open with the bases loaded in his third-inning at-bat after Dalton Rushing walked on four pitches. On the first pitch, Payton nailed a single over the shortstop to drive in two, increasing the Cards’ lead to three. 

The two teams shut down the bats in the 5th and 6th innings with only two singles between both lineups, which included a good inning from Alex Galvan. 

The Wildcats finally got on board in the 6th inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly. Junior pitcher Ryan Hawks was able to limit the damage to just taking a 3-1 score into the 7th. Hawks continued his momentum, shutting down Kentucky in three straight outs. 

Isaac Humphrey started out the bottom of the 7th with a single to left field. After advancing to second on a groundout, Humphrey stole third, marking only the third time Kentucky has allowed a stolen base this season. Three of the next four batters walked, bringing home another run for the Cards.

Michael Prosecky came in the 8th with two Wildcat runners on the corners. In a nine-pitch battle, Prosecky finally got the pivotal strikeout call keeping the Louisville lead at 4-1. 

The Cards failed to add an insurance run in the top half of the ninth but wasn’t necessary as Prosecky finished the game giving the Cardinals the big 4-2 win over their in-state rival. 

Overall, this was an excellent win for the Cards that should help build momentum as they look to start the second half of the ACC schedule on a solid note. 

The No. 11 Louisville Cardinals return to ACC play this weekend when the 23-11 North Carolina State Wolfpack visit April 22-24. Game 1 starts this Friday at 8 pm. 

Stay tuned here for more coverage of Louisville Baseball and more! 

Photo by Daniel Rankin // The Louisville Cardinal

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