Cards Crank Colonels in Mid-week Clash Monday, Mar 6 2023 

By Matthew Muller

Louisville’s 14th-ranked baseball  (7-1) team faced off against Eastern Kentucky University (4-5) on Feb 28th for a mid-week match-up that ended with an overwhelming victory for the Cards.

Another midweek contest that ends with an 11-0 Cardinals victory, moving the team’s record for this year to 7-1.

Louisville showed their pitching power as they sent the first 14 batters back to the dugout, not allowing Eastern to record a run until the 5th inning.

On top of only allowing Eastern to get three hits off the entire game, walking one batter in the process.

Kade Grundy put on a show during the three innings he spent on top of the mound, making a flawless appearance for himself.

Evan Webster was also riding the hot hand by putting on two scoreless frames; those two alone really showed the power behind Louisville’s pitchers this year.

Unanswered Perfection

To add to the beating, Louisville’s batting was executed perfectly throughout the entire game.

It started off with Freshman Patrick Forbes, who scored his first home run of his career at the start of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead.

It didn’t stop there; Jack Payton hit a three-run homer an inning later to push the lead to four, driving in junior Christian Knapczyk and junior JT Benson in the process.

The Cards would add 6 more runs in the fourth inning, with Brandon Anderson sending two home to open the floodgates. Junior Haven Magrum and Christian Knapczyk would add to the fun. Both drove each other home in the same inning to push the lead up to 10.

The team is looking very strong early on this year, both on the offensive and defensive side. It’s very clear that this team is going to be fun to watch this season and they’ve proved that they are still a top-power team.

The roster is stacked with skill from all positions and the team looks motivated and hungry to really show out this year.

While basketball did not reach our hopes and expectations this year, the baseball boys are putting on one heck of a show at Jim Patterson Stadium early on, and showing no early signs of slowing down.

The Cards hit the road for the first time this season, shipping down to Houston to play in the Shriners Children’s College Classic at Minute Maid Park.

They’ll face off with two familiar foes, first playing Texas A&M on March 3rd. The Aggies ended Louisville’s season last year in the super regional sending them to the College World Series.

Following that contest, the Cards square off with Texas Christian University on Saturday, March 4th. They round up the trip by clashing with The University of Michigan on March 5th. The Cards and the Wolverines faced off six times last season, having Louisville end their season in devastating fashion to move on in the postseason play.

This weekend will be a big indicator of how good this team really this after these games.

Photo Courtesy// Matthew Mueller, The Louisville Cardinal // 

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Underdog Cardinals tamed the Clemson Tigers 83-73, honor 2013 National Champion Team on special night Monday, Feb 20 2023 

By Jason Krell

When it was announced that Louisville would be honoring the 2012-13 team during halftime of the matchup against Clemson (19-8, 11-5 ACC), it gave fans something to be excited about.

In a season of more downs than ups, celebrating history was just what the city and fans needed to turn the corner.

An electric first half

From tipoff, it was evident Louisville (4-23, 2-14 ACC) was playing with grit and passion, which has been relatively scarce this season. In their previous matchup on January 11th, the Cards lost 70-83.

They showcased some of that in their nail-biter loss to #7 Virginia (21-4, 13-3 ACC) on Wednesday, losing just by 3. Likewise, the Tigers matched their intensity — after a 3-game slide, they are one of the many teams on the bubble to hear their name called on Selection Sunday (which is rapidly approaching).

Senior guard El Ellis recorded 14 of his 28 points in the first half, nearly matching Clemson’s PJ Hall, who had 13 of his 28 in the first half, too.

Celebrating History

A large reason the Yum! Center saw its highest attendance rate of the season was due to the fact the University of Louisville would be honoring the 2012-13 team — a group that shifted the outlook of Louisville basketball forever.

Louisville legend Peyton Siva gave a heartfelt message to Card Nation looking back on his time as a player and reflecting on what the team accomplished that historic season. Members of the historic team were greeted with applause from a crowd loud enough to be heard all the way over in Ann Arbor.

While not all members of the team were present during the celebration, Siva made sure that those absent were acknowledged. Current Philadelphia 76rs player Montrezl Harrell, Stephan Van Treese, and 2013 NCAA Final Four MVP Luke Hancock were some of the other notable members in attendance.

Carrying the momentum till the end

After leading by three at the break, the Cardinals continued their first-half success from the field and found themselves leading by as much as 14.

Shooting an impressive 51% from the field, the Tigers simply couldn’t come up with an answer despite Hall’s 28-point performance. Louisville held Clemson to 4-24 from the arc.

Junior JJ Traynor posted two earth-shattering dunks en route to a career-best 16 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks; he was the Cards’ second-highest scorer.

Ellis capped off his dominant performance with a late 360 dunk that sealed the deal and put the Cardinals ahead by ten. Shooting an impressive 26-28 from the line (the third-best performance in program history on at least 25 attempts), Louisville made sure to stop any attempt at a late comeback push from the Tigers.

Coming Up

The Cardinals are tasked with playing three of their final four games on the road, their next being a matchup against the Duke Blue Devils on ESPN. Their final game at home will be on February, 28th against Virginia Tech.

Image Courtesy//

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Following win against Georgia Tech, Florida State routes Louisville 78-81 Thursday, Feb 9 2023 

By Matthew Mueller

The men’s basketball team took on Florida State (8-17, 6-8 ACC) on February 4th at home.  The contest finished in gut-wrenching fashion, for a fanbase that was high off their latest 68-58 win against Georgia Tech (9-15, 2-12 ACC). 

Way out of sync

During the encounter with FSU, Louisville (3-21, 1-12 ACC) took the floor and had some rough patches at the start of the first. It felt like the defense wasn’t even there, allowing Florida State to put up 45 points in the first half alone. 

FSU’s Cameron Corhen played a big part in that scoring, shooting 58% from the field with 16 points. Matthew Cleveland added to that by crashing the board with 10 rebounds.

It felt like the team wasn’t even working together, and were all just out of sync with one another. Yet, the team had only a nine-point deficit at the halfway point. 

The second half started out much like the rest of the game. However, the team finally showed some fight.

The Cards eventually came back from a 20-point deficit, but in the end, the team wasn’t able to close the three-point gap in the final half and lost 78 – 81. This team looked much better, however, despite the loss, the bench was more active and was a vital part of the game and wanted to compete. 

What worked this time

El Ellis again led the team in scoring, dropping a game-high 22 points along with seven assists. Freshman Kamari Lands was another bright spot, coming off the bench to add along 15 points on 6-10 shooting. 

The issue with this team all season has been the ability to fight back after going down 8 to 10 points. We normally see the team give up all effort and allow the opposing team to push that lead even farther ahead. 

This game was a different story.  The team worked hard to get back and eventually had a shot to win all the way down to the final buzzer.

This should hopefully be something we expect out of the team head Coach Kenny Payne produces for next year’s season.

File Photo // Matthew Mueller, The Louisville Cardinal //

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Boston College Eagles embarrass Louisville, fall 65-75 Saturday, Jan 28 2023 

By Matthew Mueller

Card fans are again looking at another loss, this time coming from — of all teams — Boston College (10-11, 4-6 ACC). 

Same Story, Different Book

Despite having high hopes that they could pull off a win in their next four road games, the Louisville Cardinals (2-19, 0-10 ACC) fell to the Eagles 65 – 75,. 

El Elis still proves to be a strong carrier for Lousiville, leading the game with 17 points. He is still a proven shooter making 63% of his field goals and going 3 – 5 beyond the 3-point line. Ellis also led the game in assists, dishing out 5,  yet giving up three turnovers as well. 

Senior, Jae’lyn Withers continues to be a beam of support for the team too, scoring 7 defensive rebounds and scoring 16 points, going 2 – 4 from 3 and 6 – 12 from the field. 

Freshman, Mike James continues to show improvement this season, contributing 15 points.

Louisville looked better during the first half, ending with a 6-point lead. It felt like they had a bit more energy and fire going on internally as well. 

But here comes the fall

This doesn’t mean they fully eliminated their problems. This season turnovers continue to be a huge problem for the team. 

At the end of the first half the team had 9 turnovers, increasing to 19 as the second half started. It still feels like the team relies on Ellis and Withers to do it all, whether it be the facilitators, scorers, or general team leaders. 

You can make this list as long as you like honestly, but we were due to see changes long ago.

Head Coach Kenny Payne talked again in his post-game press conference about “the elephant in the room”– turnovers — and how it’s understandably hard to win basketball games when you turn the ball over 19 times in a game.

Boston College capitalized, producing 18 points; undoubtedly a big difference maker in the final score.

A change on the horizon

Louisville recently added Emmanuel Okorafor, a prospect from NBA Africa Academy, mid-season.

The big man that is likely to shake things up, he sees Louisville as a stepping stone into the NBA and has the drive and skill to help the team get a win. While he didn’t play in Boston, he’ll likely see minutes on the road at Notre Dame 

Can they pull out a win?

The Cards head to South Bend, Ind. to battle with Notre Dame (10-12, 2-9 ACC)on Saturday, January 28th to continue their road trip. After this, Louisville takes on Georgia Tech and Florida State at home.

If the Cards are going to have any chance to beat anyone and end this losing streak, it’s likely down to one of these three matchups. 

If we don’t see a win from one of those three, Cards fans might be left wishing for the end of the season (if they aren’t already).

Photo Courtesy // Matthew Mueller, The Louisville Cardinal //

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Kenny “Pain’s” First Season Thursday, Jan 26 2023 

By Spencer Laws

Any fan who thought this first season under first-year head coach Kenny Payne was going to be seamless was thinking unrealistically.

It seems Louisville Men’s Basketball has been able to run into every possible bump in the road in recent memory. These bumps have seemed to ensue from recent scandals that have set the program back in multiple aspects, including everything from postseason bans, recruiting restrictions, and most significantly, a vacated National Championship.

The fans have unquestionably been dragged through the mud since the first developments came out of the Katina Powell scandal. 

A mission to restore the legacy of a program

This season seemed like the turning of a page, the spring of a new era for Louisville Basketball for the program and the fanbase.

The fans and the city got the consensus favorite to take over the head coaching position. Louisville alumni and national champion, Kenny Payne, would be given the keys to the program. Hopefully, he would eventually restore the legacy. 

The KP hiring, along with the constant IARP ruling being held over the head of the program, has finally been resolved. The retribution the program will have to pay was considered minor in many regards. 

The hope seemed higher than it probably should’ve been. However, can you blame a fanbase that has experienced what it has over the last decade? Different pieces were brought in this off-season as others departed. Former four-star Brandon Huntley-Hatfield was the most notable name to add to the Cardinal roster.

The issues start piling on

There was still one missing piece that KP and staff needed to address, though: a point guard.  It seemed that Payne and his new staff struck out on high-level point guards in the transfer portal. 

This should’ve been the first sign of another long season for Cards fans. 

This issue resulted in Payne having to put senior El Ellis in the point guard position, handing him the responsibilities of facilitating the offense and handling the ball. Last year, we saw Ellis thrive in more of a shooting guard position. He worked off the ball, not having to dictate the Cardinal offense under his own power.

Reality set in from the start. Division II Lenoir-Rhyne came to the Yum and left with a 10-point win in the first scrimmage of the year for the Cards. 

Payne and company were able to “bounce” back and win their next scrimmage against another division II opponent, Chaminade.

Like me, most fans had to look up where these schools were even located and what level of competition they even competed in before the games started.

And yet, they continue

After this, the regular season started and the nightmare began. It started out with laughable results of back-to-back-to-back one point losses. Tag on six more to go with the first three.

The Kenny Payne era was 0-9 starting out. 

This is where I will reference the statement I began this article with — no fan with a realistic mind thought that the Cards were heading to the NCAA tournament much less the NIT this season.  

However, no one saw it taking 10 games for KP to get his first win as head coach. When that first win finally came, it felt good for Card Nation. The squad was able to take down in-state Western Kentucky on December 14. 

The team then doubled its total in the win column, this time overcoming Florida A&M on December 17. You could argue this was the last good thing to come out of the program up to this point in the season. 

A fanbase left with questions

From that point on we have seen time and time again a team that really doesn’t seem like they want to compete. This team portrays little effort and grit in a lot of different circumstances. 

The list of things wrong with this team goes on and on, but at what point does KP start to feel the heat? Does he get a pass this year because it’s his first year and the program was remodeled in the offseason? 

The abysmal 2-17 record is something the Louisville fanbase has never had to experience on the hardwood, or really any Power Five fanbase has had to face. Back in 2002, Ken Pomeroy created a website tracking many different statistical aspects of college basketball. This season we have seen this team fall below any previous Power Five team statistically.

So we address the same question again: when does Kenny Payne start to feel the heat? Is his job safe after this atrocious season ends? 

The notion lately has been that the generation of players and recruits don’t know or respect the legacy that truly is Louisville basketball. Kenny Payne played in the heyday of Louisville basketball; he helped form and create that legacy for those that came after him. So how does that argument hold up having one of our own lead the program?

The next argumentative point fans point out is that this team just doesn’t have enough talent to compete at a high level. 

On paper, by 247Sports, the Cards don’t have a single player ranked above 132 coming out of high school, excluding Hercy Miller (who wasn’t ranked). Along with that statistic, the Cards roster consists of six players ranking outside the top 90 in their respective classes. 

There are a few counters to this point: the current number-one team in the country, Purdue, lines up with an uneven roster in recruiting. While their squad looks unqualified on paper, Purdue has launched itself as a potential number-one seed come March. 

I understand these two programs are in two very different situations. However, this point needs to be brought up and talked about. 

The bottom line

It’s still hard to hear fans defend Payne past the point of, “it’s his first year”.

Fans knew this season wasn’t going to be the brightest in a lot of aspects, but many feel that more bad has been done than good.

Photo Courtesy // Spencer Laws, The Louisville Cardinal //

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The best moments of Fall athletics, according to our Sports Editor Monday, Jan 23 2023 

By Spencer Laws

The 2022 fall sports season officially ended, capped off in part with the volleyball team’s magical run to the National Championship last month. I thought I would go back through and review the prime moments from this semester. 

Volleyball’s magical run 

Starting out with the most apparent moment of the semester — the volleyball team’s run to the NCAA National Championship.

The Cards have produced back-to-back final-four appearances. This year, they advanced to the National Championship by beating ACC foe Pittsburgh in a five set dogfight. Along this journey, the team also collected a shared ACC Championship with a total record of 31-1, dropping only one conference game. This was the first time in not only Louisville history, but ACC history that a program from the conference has reached the championship match. 

The best third quarter ever? 

During the spookiest weekend of the year, the Louisville Football team had one of the most dominant single-quarter performances in the history of the game.

In the third quarter, the Card’s defense forced six Demon Deacon turnovers, bringing the total for the whole game to eight. The Cards came into the second half one point down to Wake Forest, 13-14, and finished the quarter leading 41-14. The final score of this thrashing finished with a 48-21 Cards win, which led to the latest edition of football faithfuls storming Cardinal Stadium. This will likely be looked at as one of the more notable Scott Satterfield wins during his time leading the Cards. 

Field hockey braves a tough schedule

The field hockey team had a very tough task throughout the entire season; they ended up facing 12 Top 25 nationally ranked opponents over a 20-game schedule.

In those 20 games, the team was able to knock off many ranked opponents including beating No. 11 Penn State 2-1 at the end of August, No. 4 ranked Michigan 2-1 at home this past September, and lastly downing No. 24 Duke in a shoutout to win 2-1 at home in mid-October. With their impressive performance weathering the tough schedule, the squad was able to clinch an NCAA tournament birth. Unfortunately for the Cards, it was all Penn State in the first round.

Brohm’s Home, Satterfield’s Out 

The U of L football program is set to have some new management for the 2023 season in what became one of the weirder coaching turnovers in recent history.

Former head coach Scott Satterfield found himself a new program to run the ball with during a 2nd and 14th situation in the Cincinnati Bearcats. Athletic Director Josh Heird stepped up to the plate and hired Louisville football’s proverbial son, Jeff Brohm.

Brohm is coming off a very impressive stint at the University of Purdue, revitalizing the culture up in West Lafayette. In nine seasons as a head coach, Brohm has accumulated a 66-44 record, won five of six bowl games, and lastly won the division or conference three times while at Purdue and WKU. Brohm played for legendary U of L coach Howard Schellenberger from the years 1989-1993.

(Another rather interesting fact: Brohm was also a very good baseball player while in high school; he was drafted to the MLB twice while in high school and college.)

The Fall as a whole

There were a lot of great moments that came out of the Fall Semester that will hopefully forge the path for this new era the University is heading into as new leadership continues to manage the University we attend and love.

Photo Courtesy //  Taris Smith, Annabelle Merz, Rachel Klotz, Louisville Athletics //

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Panthers hand Cards eighth 20 point loss of season, fall 75-54 Saturday, Jan 21 2023 

By Matthew Mueller

After Louisville’s latest encounter with the University of Pittsburgh, the Cardinals continue their lowball season with a 75-54 loss at home. This adds to the already recording setting and appalling record of 2-17, 0-8 in ACC play.

A familiar crash and burn

Pitt controlled Louisville on the defensive side of the ball throughout both halves of the game. Greg Elliott led the way for the Panthers with 23 points, making 75% of his shots from the field.

Furthermore, Jamarius Burton showed off his passing game shelling out 11 assists. He led all players in assists in the game, and Pittsburgh as a team recorded 21 to Louisville’s 6.

The dark (and bright) spots

As far as game positives go for Louisville, senior El Ellis had a good night leading the team with 19 points and going 5/5 at the free-throw line. Senior Jae’lyn Withers grabbed an additional 7 rebounds and 8 points.

Louisville faded fast, trailing for the rest of the second half — winning energy just wasn’t present enough to keep the Cards afloat, especially with the Pitt threes continuing to rain down in the Yum Center. They shot 41% while U of L only shot 25%.

What is to be said about this game has been said a hundred times before this season — the team is in a rough spot, and has a lot to overcome if it’s going to be among the top basketball programs in the near future.

The team especially needs leaders, and right now it feels like there are none leading to the monstrosity of the season we’ve been watching.

While Ellis and Curry are the veteran players, it feels like that key leadership role is empty, and without it being filled to get new players fired up, we could be looking at the rest of the season being nothing but an uphill fight all the way to the end.

Trying to stay positive

To stay optimistic over the latter half of ACC play, let’s point out some positives:

The team has a week’s break to prepare for their next four games. All those opponents are currently sitting in the bottom half of the ACC, meaning there are potentially a couple of realistic chances to add some wins (if the team comes to play).

Payne and company also signed top NBA Africa Academy prospect Emmanuel Okorafor, a 6-9 guard. He is eligible to play immediately, and while he may not get immediate minutes, he could provide the Cards some much-needed energy and an answer to that leadership problem in the locker room. He averaged 9.2 points and 10.4 rebounds last season.

Photo Courtesy // Adam Creech Louisville Athletics //

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Things Finally Trending Up for Louisville Basketball? Tuesday, Dec 20 2022 

By: Jason Krell

After a historical 0-9 start for the men’s basketball team, many fans began asking themselves, “Is Kenny Payne the right person to lead this team?” It is highly uncommon for a coach to be shown the door following their first year as a head coach and much less in the middle of the season. Following a 27 point loss to the Miami Hurricanes on December 4th, Payne stated, “For me, theres only one way for us to win and thats for us to play with real desperation, real fight, real determination–inch-by-inch, yard-by-yard in every aspect of the game.”

At Long Last

Louisville finally found themselves in the win column following an 11 point victory over in-state foe Western Kentucky. Senior El Ellis led all scorers notching a double double, his first of the season. Freshman Kamari Lands also added 15 off the bench, his highest of the year. The Cards were in complete control of the Hilltoppers as it seemed they had finally turned the corner and gotten things to click on the court.

As confidence soared, so did senior big man Sydney Curry in the following game against Florida A&M. Curry totaled a season high in points and rebounds as Louisville carefully hung on for a six point victory. In a quote following the win, Curry said, “It felt good, coming in with a good mindset to just play hard. When you play hard, everything else takes care of itself. It felt good to come in, win a good game, and get a good win.”

Looking Forward

Louisville plays host to Lipscomb on Tuesday 12/20 with tipoff set for 6pm where they’ll look to gain their third straight before hitting the road to Raleigh, NC to face N.C. State. If the Cards play the way they played against Western Kentucky, this is a very solid team and can even find themselves winning a handful of games in conference play. Kenny Payne may have finally gotten through to his players as it resulted in two straight wins. Only time will tell if that was a fluke or that the Cards are officially back

Photo Courtesy // Karthik Kalvakuri | Louisville Athletics //

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Women’s volleyball downs Pittsburgh in 5 set bout, National Championship match set Friday, Dec 16 2022 

By Spencer Laws

Thursday, December 15th marked a pretty important day in NCAA DI women’s volleyball, not only for the University of Louisville. 

The Makings of History 

As the Louisville volleyball team (31-2)  knocked off Pittsburgh in five sets, the Cards become the first-ever ACC team to advance to the title game. On top of this, it’s the first time the team has gone to the championship in program history.

In overcoming this milestone and reaching this level, head coach Dani Busboom Kelly said “It’s something you hope you have the opportunity to do as a coach – we want to make a difference in young women’s lives and we want to compete to win. And you hope that you’re at this stage, able to capitalize on the opportunity and to be able to take advantage of the moment is just incredibly special.”

This achievement did not come easily; a very talented Pittsburgh squad put the Cardinals in many tough spots again and again. 

Set One 

Louisville started the first set by jumping out to a big 6-0 lead, forcing Pittsburgh to take a timeout very early. The Panthers rallied back to eventually tie the set at nine, but from there on out it was all Cardinals, rallying to pull ahead 19-12. The team ultimately iced the set with a final score of 25-18.

Cards 1-0.

Set Two 

Set two was a very different story than we saw in set one; neither team was initially able to jump out to a comfortable lead. 

The Cards started early, leading 4-1 — the only lead of the set for Busboom and company. 

Pitt battled back to overcome the deficit and take the lead for the rest of the set. Although they were never able to gain a lead of more than four. Leaving an opportunity for the Cards to capitalize on any mistakes. 

Louisville battled back being down 21-17 to get Pittsburgh within their sights only to be within a point, 21-22. In spite of the rally, Pitt was able to control the momentum and close out the set and tie the match. 

1-1 Tie.

Set Three

Pitt managed everything Louisville threw at them within the middle portion of the set, ending up with a lead of 20-18 heading into the all-important final few points. This is when the Cards closed out on the Panthers, grabbing the four final points to win 25-22. 

Cards 2-1.

Set Four

Louisville was controlling everything until the score was 21-22. This match showed viewers a great example of how much fight and heart teams like Pittsburgh possess. Desperation is when teams like this perform the best.  

The Panthers scored the final five points to close out the set and extend the match to a fifth, winning 25-22. 

2-2 tie.

Fifth and final set

The fifth set was an all-around dominant performance from the Cardinals, both offensively and defensively. Phekran “PK” Kong, was a significant difference-maker, recording 11 blocks to help the team jump out to a big 8-0 lead. This set displayed U of L’s stellar defensive ability, only allowing 2 total points and winning 15-2. 

3-2 Louisville advance!

All Around Ability

This team is crafted in a way to dominate and control all aspects of the game, and its balance is something you don’t see often. Almost every player has the innate ability to come up big when the team needs it the most to punish their opponents. 

You can see this in the different runs throughout this match, especially with outside hitters Claire Chaussee and Anna Debeer.

Chaussee had a game-high 25 kills, along with Debeer who recorded 15 kills. Combine this with setter Raquel Lazaro’s ability to put those players in position, and you end up with a dangerous combination. Lazaro finished the match with 49 assists. 

Their defensive prowess negated a lot of the different advantages Pitt may have had. Libero Elena Scott had a career-high 28 digs, pairing very nicely with Amaya Tillman’s seven and Aiko Jones’s six blocks. 

Lastly, the depth provided allows room for Busboom to add in different players, something that can propel this team to capture the title. We saw players like Ceci Rush, Alexa Hendricks, and Ayden Barlett ready in major moments in helping the Cards advance. 

The Last Dance 

The desire left from last year’s final-four heartbreak to eventual champions Wisconsin plays a huge role in this year’s run. 

Outside hitter and Louisville native Anna Debeer commented on last year’s loss and what it means to the team, saying “We’ve been there before last year. We know that feeling. We know how hard it is to get there and how much it hurts after that loss. So I think this whole year that’s been our goal. And the team has been on the same page since the very beginning and made it known that we want to win a national championship.”

This team has the ability with all the aforementioned skills and talent to potentially etch their names into greatness. 

No. 2 seed Louisville will take on No. 1 Texas this Saturday, December 17th at 8 PM E.T. on ESPN 2.

Photo Courtesy // Adam Creech, Louisville Athletics //  

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Satterfield out at head coach, accepts Cincinnati job; former player Deion Branch named interim Monday, Dec 5 2022 

By Spencer Laws

In a surprise move that brings many long-term fans a familiar sense of deja vu, Louisville football head coach Scott Satterfield is moving on from the program to go north to the University of Cincinnati. 

Big morning news

It was reported Monday morning by multiple sources, starting Cincinnati Enquirer’s Keith Jenkins, that Scott Satterfield had accepted a six-year deal to become the next head football coach at the University of Cincinnati. 

The Cincinnati job had been open after their previous coach Luke Fickell accepted the University of Wisconsin head position this past November. According to his contract, the buyout Cincinnati had to pay was $3.5 million

This move seems very much unforeseen and sudden, with Satterfield and his team picking up a lot of momentum in the second half of this season. They finished 7-5 after starting 2-3, including defeating No. 10 Wake Forest and No. 25 NC State. 

Multiple players and coaches were surprised by the whirlwind move across social media. “I literally just woke up,” defensive lineman Selah Brown posted.

Coach Satterfield’s heart was never in the Ville; he was trying to leave after year one. My son has been at Louisville for five years, and I never spoke with the guy. He never built a relationship with parents or players,” Xavier Abdullah, father of star linebacker Yassir tweeted.

Consistency in the wrong areas

Satterfield’s time at Louisville was filled with inconsistency in the team’s performance, with the only consistent being the predictable play calling. The whole city could see when the run play coming in long yardage situations.  

In the 3 games against in-state rival Kentucky during the Governor’s Cup rivalry, it was a loss each time. In 2019, the Cards put up an embarrassing 45-13 loss; Lynn Bowden and the Wildcats ran all over the Cards, racking up 517 rushing yards. 

Covid held off the 2020 match, so following in 2021 the Cards endured another 52-21 loss- this time, Will Levis and Chris Rodriguez Jr. combined for 234 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

The latest thrashing took place not long ago on the 26th. Another 26-13 loss- although, Satterfield was without starting QB Malik Cunningham. 

Questions We Have

A lot of question marks rose from this move, most importantly: what does this do to the impressive top 20 recruiting class of ‘23

A few of these players are set to enroll early and hit campus next spring, including #1 ranked running back in the class, Reuben Owens. Other players- four-star dual-threat quarterback Pierce Clarkson, and four-star offensive lineman Madden Sanker are also reporting for the spring semester. 

A personal question I have is where would Satterfield be if he didn’t have Malik Cunningham over the last four seasons?

Satterfield’s best player during his time here is a guy that fell into his lap when he accepted the job. As this situation continues to unfold, you have to wonder how successful would Satterfield have been without a playmaker as good as Cunningham.

A lot of the wins and surprising success Satterfield has had here are due to players that he had no part in recruiting. If you remember, Satterfield’s arrival in 2019 was preceded by former head coach Bobby Petrino’s second stint. Petrino was fired in 2018, with the university buying out the rest of his 14.1 million dollar contract.

Brohm Bound?

The overwhelming majority of the fans have put current Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm at the top of their wishlist. 

Brohm is finishing up his sixth season in West Lafayette and reached a bowl game in 4 of those seasons. He most notably picked up an impressive overtime win against Tennessee in last year’s Music City Bowl and is also coming off the program’s first Big Ten championship appearance.

Brohm is 3-1 against top 5 ranked opponents, demonstrating that he has the ability to coach alongside the best in the country. 

Where the program goes from here

Whoever Athletic Director Josh Heird hires for the job will have their hands full next season, beginning with the hole left in the quarterback position post-Malik Cunningham. 

Heird released the following statement this morning: 

“We’re grateful to Scott for his dedication to our program and wish him well. We are always prepared to conduct head coaching searches, and we will begin a national search immediately to identify our next head coach. We will be looking for a tremendous leader who recognizes both the history and potential of Louisville Football and is committed long-term to helping the program reach new heights.”

Heird has had his hands full over his short stint as AD so far. He first dealt with Chris Mack and the University mutually parting ways, which resulted in hiring Kenny Payne. He is now set to begin the search again.

Bowl Bound…but coaching both teams?

Ironically, the Cards face off against Satterfield’s new landing spot, the University of Cincinnati in the Wasabi Fenway Bowl on December 17th at 11 A.M. ET.

Super Bowl MVP and Louisville alumni Deion Branch will serve as interim head coach.

Photo Courtesy // Spencer Laws, The Louisville Cardinal //

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