Louisville football collapses to Syracuse in season opener Wednesday, Sep 7 2022 

By Spencer Laws

It was Saturday, October 1st, 2016. The Louisville football team was in Clemson, South Carolina playing one of the biggest games in Louisville football history. Senior wide receiver and hometown kid James Quick had a chance to extend the drive and put the Cardinals in a goal-line scenario to win the game. 

Quick stepped out of bounds just one yard short of the first down and the Cardinals lost the game.

A lot of fans remember the trajectory the team was headed that year.  

Since this play, it seems the Cardinals have fallen, and have fallen drastically; the Cardinals have put up a record of 28-35. They are 1-4 in bowl games since then, and also 1-4 versus in-state rival Kentucky.  

Saturday night’s performance versus Syracuse showed everyone that this season is going to likely run parallel to the last 5 seasons if this team’s production from Saturday is the standard set. The optimism was high for fans coming into this season, as major contributors from last year’s success returned, on top of the transfers that joined the team this season.

A lot of Cardinals fans began to point the finger and look at the job that is being done by their head coach and the performance their football team is doing weekly. 

Where it Went Wrong

The downfall of the Cardinals comes in a lot of areas, starting off with play calling. Satterfield’s commitment to the run game put the Cards in a lot of long-distance situations. This resulted in a lot of tough situations for quarterback Malik Cunningham, who converted only 5-11 times on 3rd down, and 0-2 times on 4th down. 

Averaging 4.4 yards per rush attempt, the team recorded a total of 137 yards on the ground in 31 attempts and a fumble. In the air, Cunningham threw for 197 yards, averaging 8.6 yards per completion on 17-23 attempts with two interceptions. 

Overall, the offense was only able to reach the end-zone once. Running back Tiyon Evans was able to break free for a 36-yard run resulting in a touchdown. He’s one of the brighter spots early on for this team. 

In the meantime, the defense was not much better, as the tackling display was a huge reason for the undoing we watched. Co-defensive coordinator Bryan Brown stated in his press conference on Tuesday that Syracuse was “a little hungrier than” the Cards. 

The defense was scrambling all around the rushing attack of the Orange offense. Syracuse’s offense put up 449 total yards, 208 of those yards on the ground, and 241 in the air. In addition to the yardage destruction, the defense allowed 4 touchdowns and a field goal while forcing 0 turnovers. Interestingly, Syracuse’s 18 penalties are the second most by an opponent since Wichita State’s 19 in 1963.

Looking Forward to This Friday

The Cards turn around from Saturday night with a short week and a trip to Orlando, Florida on Friday to face a very physical Central Florida football team, coached by Gus Malzahn. Malzahn is the former Auburn, helping lead the Tigers to a National Championship back in 2010. 

UCF has been nearly untouchable at home over recent years. Bestowing a remarkable 31-2 record since 2017, the Cardinal defense faces a Central Florida offense led by quarterback John Rhys Plumlee on Friday. Head coach Scott Satterfield stated, “Plumlee may be the fastest QB we’ve ever played against.” Furthermore, Plumlee is a better running quarterback than Syracuse’s Garrett Shrader. Shrader ran 16 times for 94 yards while reaching the in-zone once on the ground. 

This is the third time in the four years of Satterfield’s tenure that Louisville has lost its season opener. One can only hope that the team bounces back and can iron out all the kinks before their home opener on the 16th. 

Photo Courtesy // GoCards.com //

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U of L routs Syracuse 30-0 in home victory Monday, Nov 23 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville football team defeated Syracuse 30-0 on Nov. 20 at Cardinal Stadium.

U of L improves their record to 3-6, while the Orange has their record fall to 1-8 on the season.

Friday’s win was a much-needed victory for the Cardinals, who improve to 2-6 in ACC conference play. U of L now sits at 12th place in the ACC standings.

Sophomore James Turner kicked off the scoring outburst for the Cardinals after completing a booming 50-yard field goal. Turner’s field goal was the lone scoring mark in the opening quarter for both teams.

Turner fired again in the second quarter at the 6:25 mark, splashing a 40-yard field goal. Freshman Jalen Mitchell tallied up his first career carry for the Cardinals in the second quarter. Mitchell hustled into the endzone for a 2-yard touchdown with only 3:36 left in the half. With 30 seconds left in the second quarter, Junior Malik Cunningham danced into the endzone for a 4-yard rushing touchdown.

U of L was firmly in the driver’s seat heading into halftime, leading the Orange 20-0.

The first nine minutes of the third quarter was quiet for both the Cardinals and Syracuse. At the 6:45 mark, Cunningham completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Tutu Atwell. Then, in the fourth quarter, Turner struck again with a 33-yard field goal.

Louisville took home the victory with ease 30-0.

Cunningham completed 19-28 passes for 219 yards and a touchdown. Senior Maurice Barkley had ten carries for 56 yards. Freshman Braden Smith had seven receptions for 65 yards. Turner had nine points on three field goals totaling 123 yards kicked.

U of L will head to Massachusetts to face Boston College on Nov. 28 at 4 p.m.

Photo Courtesy ACC Media

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Virginia’s Cavaliers come out on top against Cardinals 31-17 Monday, Nov 16 2020 

By John McCarthy–

The University of Louisville football team traveled to Virginia this weekend to take on the Cavaliers. The Cardinals were without sophomore Tutu Atwell and sophomore Javian Hawkins due to illness.

Virginia (3-4) topped the Cardinals (2-6) in the ACC bout 31-17 on Nov. 14.

Junior James Turner put the Cardinals on the scoreboard with four minutes left in the first quarter. After Turner’s 48-yard field goal, the Cardinals trailed the Cavaliers 7-3.

Five minutes into the second quarter junior Malik Cunningham broke loose for a 19-yard touchdown run to give U of L their only touchdown of the quarter. Louisville trailed Virginia 14-10 headed into half time.

Cunningham came through again the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run at the goal line. U of L trailed the Cavaliers 21-17 headed into the fourth quarter.

Senior Brian Delaney booted a 28-yard field goal to bring the Cardinals within a touchdown going into the final ten minutes of the game. Around the 8-minute mark, Cunningham broke through for a potential rushing touchdown but fumbled the goal into the Cavaliers’ 40-yard line. Virginia scored another touchdown to seal the win 31-17.

Cunningham was 13 for 21 passing the ball with 161 yards and an interception. He also carried the ball 20 times for 197 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Dez Fitzpatrick had five receptions for 71 yards.

U of L will face Syracuse Nov. 20 at Cardinal Stadium.

Photo Courtesy of ACC Media

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