Hoo you got?

A clever play on words due to the unofficial nickname of Virginia being the Wahoos or hoos for short. But it will be hoo you got with the Louisville secondary today. This Virginia football team is not great but they have been pretty efficient when it comes to slinging the ball around.

The Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong is completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 1,973 yards, 14 touchdowns. And his receivers Dontayvion Wicks and Billy Kemp IV have combined for 897 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Keytaon Thompson has 20 receptions. This unit is ranked 2nd in the country in passing yards and ranked 7th in total offense.

Defensively, Louisville is allowing 28.2 points and 435.6 yards per game. Our defensive is led by C.J. Avery with 36 tackles, Yasir Abdullah has four sacks and Kei’Trel Clarbk has three interceptions. The Louisville defense has made some big plays just not enough of them and not for a full football game yet. Louisville is 110th in passing yards allowed. Not good especially with the Hoos in town. Have to step up today.

Malik Cunningham is completing 63.8 percent of his passes for 1,307 yards with seven touchdowns and has found himself in a shootout in four of the first 5 games and could find himself in one again today. I like him in that scenario along with the rest of the talent on this team. It’ll be enough to get us by the Hoos today. Hoo you got? I got the Cards!

Remember when it took the entire Wake Forest defense to tackle Brandon Radcliff?


Remember when it took the entire Wake Forest Defense to stop Brandon Radcliff in 2014?

Remember when our Cardinals beat Wake Forest to win the program’s first Orange Bowl?

Remember Coach Satt’s win over Wake Forest during his first season? I’m hoping history repeats itself today as the Cardinals travel to Winston-Salem to play the 4-0 Deamon Deacons. They are 2-0 in the ACC after beating Virginia last week.

Wake has had a solid start and been led by a defense ranked 5th in the country in turnovers gained with 11. The Demon Deacon defense also sees themselves inside of the top-25 in several other categories: Scoring D (9th, 14.2 PPG), Redzone D (5th, .545), TFL/G (7th, 8.5), Turnover Margin (4th, +1.75 per game).

They also have a pretty good QB. Dating back to last season, Sam Hartman has now thrown at least one touchdown pass in eight straight games. Over that stretch he has 18 touchdown passes to seven different receivers. He hung 270 yards and three touchdowns on Virginia last week.

Oh, and did I mention their kicker? Nick Sciba is on his way to becoming the most accurate kicker in NCAA history. During his time at Wake Forest, he is 64-of-71 (.901), the best mark for any kicker in NCAA and ACC history (min. 50 att).

Wake did show some chink in the armor giving up 506 total yards last week against Virginia including 407 through the air and 31 first downs. I think the Cardinals and Malik Cummingham could find similar success on Saturday. But we do have to mention the big red elephant in the room.

After a high octane first half against FSU, the Cardinals went silent in the second half last weekend, finishing on 395 total yards, 4.9 yards per play, and 21 first downs. If the Cardinals can’t get it going on the scoreboard early in this game it could be rough. I’m hoping that Coach Satt just took his foot off the gas last week and that we are going to see a lot of scoring from the Cards in this one throughout.

Cunningham is the leading rusher with 263 yards on the season which is good for 5th in the ACC. He also ranks 7th in the conference with 998 passing yards. He’s starting to spread the ball around thru the air. Louisville had a variety of receivers make contributions last game with Tyler Harrell leading the way with two catches for 61 yards. Meanwhile, team-leading receiver, Marshon Ford hauled in a team-high six catches for 52 yards.

The Louisville defense has stepped it up big time with guys like LB Jack Fagot who made a career-high 10 tackles last week. He now has 25 total tackles on the year and is currently the team leader. His 25 tackles have him ranked 24th in the ACC. The Cardinal defense is right in the thick of things ranking seventh in the ACC (18.5 points). They’ll have to come up big in this one against the very efficient Wake offense.

The game between these teams back in 2019 was the 2nd highest-scoring game in the history of the ACC. I don’t think we can win a shootout here. Just don’t think a high-scoring game gets it done for either side. This game is a tale of two defenses. What side breaks first and breaks the most. I like our defense. They’ve had to stand tough the last few weeks and came thru big and I believe they will today.

Should be a good game. Hope it’s another one of those “remember when”… With a win.

Go Cards!


Cards have more to prove in Tallahassee


Don’t listen to all of the pundits who say Florida State is a wash… Folks, it’s Florida State and I don’t care what their record is or how they’ve looked until today. I will never buy into a narrative that there is an easy win in Tallahassee. It won’t be easy on our Cards today.

This could be an exciting game between two teams that are offense first and we could see a lot of points put up between the two. Speed and more speed will be on full display when both offensive units step on the field. FSU coach Mike Norvell and Nick Saban are the only two FBS coaches to score at least 500 points every season from 2016-19. Despite being 0-3 Norvell has the weapons.

FSU running back Jashaun Corbin has the longest run play in the country this season with his 89-yard trot against the Irish. He ranks 13th nationally with 7.57 yards per carrying. QB Mckenzie Milton has been the starter the past two games for FSU. He ranks 5th nationally among active players with 8,983 passing yards and 10,081 yards of total offense. He ranks 4th with 280 yards of total offense per game. Oh yeah and QB Jordan Travis. Remember him? He leads the team with 11 rushing touchdowns this season. They also have a nice TE in Camren Mcdonald. He leads the team with 6 catches.

They also have plenty of talent on D. They return their top 4 tacklers from 2020 led by linebackers Amari Gainer, Emmett Rice, and Stephen Dix. Georgie transfer Jermaine Johnson ranks #1 in the country with 7 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. He is a monster on that defensive line. No defensive player in the ACC since 2011 has been a single-game stat stuffer like this fella. The Louisville O Line will face one of their biggest challenges of the season today.

FSU had six offensive plays of at least 20+ yards in that opener against the Irish. I think we could end up seeing a game like this today. From both teams. Louisville has the offensive talent to put points up in a hurry and we can see it with the ‘Noles as well.

Our Cards got them a big win last Friday night. One they almost had to win to keep things moving in the right direction. They’ll need to prove something again today. Coach Satt’s teams have stunk it up 2-8 and losing their last 6 on the road. And the Cards are just 2-10 in Tallahassee.

The Seminoles find themselves in a similar position being 0-3. They have something to prove to their rabid fan base. You can bet they will be ready to play. I think this one could turn out to be one of those games that the last team who scores wins.

Not going to make any predictions but I like what I saw out of the Cards last Friday. They rushed for a season-high 191 yards, averaging 5.2 yards a carry with 6 rushes of 10 or more on the then #2 rush defense in the country. Most importantly they were keeping drives alive averaging 9.3 yards on the money down. This offense seems to be coming to life. And the D didn’t look too shabby either with guys like Alderman stepping up.

Hope they keep it going! Go Cards!


Can’t let UCF do it again!

Big… Big… football game tonight for this coaching staff, team and program. It’s pivotal really. UCF has played heartbreaker inside Cardinal Stadium before and when this program was rolling. They beat us and took our BCS hopes back with them to Orlando in 2013.

Our program isn’t rolling but there has been some faith restored. Coach Satt has restored a very good culture at Louisville. A program left lifeless after having the head coach quit on us midseason. We had players walking off the field quitting during the last game that year. So yeah we’ve come a long way. This is just a team struggling to find its identity.

I think a win tonight would go a long way in helping them find some of that and get some good things going. We have talent, athleticism, and speed on both sides of the ball. It just comes down to putting it all together. I think this staff has had to spend so much time working on the culture and off-field stuff they’ve had to overcome especially with covid that they haven’t figured that out yet.

Time waits on nobody. I get the feeling that time is running out for Coach Satt. I know that’s crazy to say in just his third season here but a lot of our fans start getting anxious. When you’ve lived thru Kragthorpe. And while it was a win you just couldn’t help but feel those vibes during the EKU game.

I like Coach Satt and this team. Drove to Atlanta to watch them open the season because I believed in the team they were putting on the field. I still believe… I think a lot of our fans do. Cardinal fans still have hope for this team and program. Can’t let UCF take that back to Orlando with them tonight. A loss tonight could send things in the wrong direction. IMO… Big game! Go Cards!


Young guys are stepping up. Next test WKU

Looking forward to the game tonight… WKU has a very good inside presence with Carson Williams and Charles Bassey. This will be a tough battle for our young frontcourt. But the biggest impact on this game could be whether or not WKU senior guard Taveion Hollingsworth plays or not. He is dealing with some nagging injuries and will be a game-time decision according to their coach. If he can’t go it will be a big blow to WKU.

I couldn’t be more excited about our Cardinals. This is the first time that I can remember a young group catching up to the speed of the college game so quickly. Dre Davis blocked three shots against Evansville and it was the most by a Louisville freshman in his career debut since George Goode blocked five against Morehead State in his debut. Jae’Lyn Withers is averaging 13.0 points and 6.7 rebounds as UofL’s starting center.

We usually get guys that take some time to develop. Maybe it’s because Coach Mack was forced to get these guys more action due to injuries but they have responded very well. Sam Williamson is the fourth key Cardinal player that is out with an injury, joining Malik Williams (foot), Charles Minlend (knee), and Josh Nickelberry (knee). The Cardinals are down to eight scholarship players, seven of them freshmen.

Graduate transfer guard Carlik Jones has lived up to his hype. This dude is a stat sheet stuffer. His scoring total is tied for the fifth-most in program history in a Louisville debut. And Carlik is only going to get better as the year goes on.

When and “if” this Louisville team comes together full and healthy it’s going to be fun. I think tonight will be a fun one. I love watching our young guys play. I think they play well in the post again tonight. Cards in a close one.

Go Cards!


Louisville Football returns to ESPN’s Friday Night looking for a win

We have watched the Louisville football program grow up over the last 20 years. A big part of that growth can be directly linked to the willingness to be a part of ESPN’s weekly college football games. Former Louisville AD Tom Jurich was quoted after he was hired saying “The thing we need to do right away is to get exposure and get this program branded.” The Louisville football program has thrived under the lights of the ESPN weeknight game and that exposure has helped along the way. Tonight they are looking to this Friday night game to get them back on the winning track.

Our Cardinals have lost four of their last six road games. Tonight the Cardinals will be in Atlanta to face Georgia Tech looking for their first road win of the season to get back to a .500 record. They will also be looking for their first conference win of the young season. I started the season talking about Louisville’s three-headed monster. Malik Cunningham is completing 59.3 percent of his passes for 757 yards, seven touchdowns, and has two or more touchdown passes in six of his last eight games. Tutu Atwell has racked up 230 yards and three touchdowns while Javian Hawkins leads the team on the ground with 313 yards and three touchdowns.

These guys have tried to live up to their end of the hype and the Louisville offense has scored points this season against some pretty good defensive units. Ranking 43rd nationally in scoring offense and 43rd nationally in total offense. The supporting cast has also done their part with Dez Fitzpatrick catching bombs for over 200 yards while Braden Smith has six receptions. All this behind an offensive line that is still figuring it out at this point in the season. That frontline has been this football program Achilles heel for several years now. It’s also been a point of emphasis for this coaching staff so I know it will get better.

With all that being said the offensive unit needs to take better care of the football. Ranked 68th in turnovers lost and turnover margin Louisville has give it up 8 times in three games this season. While only forcing 3 turnovers of their own. They have been particularly bad coughing it up on the road. These guys have all the speed and talent in the world but that does them no good when they keep shooting themselves in the foot week after week. We’ll see if they can hold on to the ball better tonight.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets also need a victory here to get back to a .500 record. The Yellow Jackets have lost six of their last seven home games. The Yellow Jackets ground game is averaging 221 yards per contest, and their QB Jeff Sims leads the way with 187 yards and two touchdowns. He is a crafty QB and will have this Louisville defense on its toes all night.

An area of concern early on for Louisville is the defensive side of the ball. Defensively, Louisville is allowing 30.3 points and 369.7 yards per game. They are ranked 26th nationally (with teams not playing) giving up almost 6 yards a play this season and ten touchdowns. Some guys are flying around on the field for Coach Brown’s unit. Dorian Etheridge leads the way with 22 tackles, Monty Montgomery has two sacks and C.J. Avery has one interception. There just aren’t enough guys to have flying around. This is another area that this staff is focused on. I’m cautiously optimistic. Hope this side of the ball can gain some confidence tonight against a Georgia Tech team with their turnover struggles this season. Georgia Tech has turned the ball over 12 times in three games, which is the second-most in all of college football.

Our Cardinals held their own back-to-back weeks against ranked opponents and Louisville is the more talented team here. Georgia Tech has been a sloppy football team. It’s Friday night lights on ESPN. We watched Louisville Football grow up on ESPN weekday games and tonight I hope we watch this current team do some growing. The stage is set for them to have a good night. I think we all need that.
Go Cards!


Miami has been a part of some big Louisville Football moments: Satturday Night could be another

In 1985 Coach Schnellenberger returned home to Louisville after taking the Miami football program to the top of the mountain. He is also credited with laying the foundation for the Louisville program’s subsequent rise to prominence. Guess we should have known that it was in the stars that these programs would forever be linked thru his lore.

Our Cardinals will meet the Hurricanes for the 15th time on Saturday night. Not a really long history in this rivalry and the Hurricanes own a commanding lead in the series 10-3-1… But there must have been some magic in that old black pipe because Miami has been a mile marker over the years on that ”collision course” and the Cardinals have won three of the last four encounters.

That very first win over Miami in 2006. Our program gaining that signature win it had been searching for under coach Bobby Petrino. The 2013 ”Teddy” game. Teddy Bridgewater would further etch his name in Cardinal lore tying the school record with his 27th victory as Louisville’s starter. He was 35 for 45 for career-high 447 yards and Louisville won its second straight bowl game for its second 12-win season. And then Louisville Football’s first-ever ACC contest and win against Miami in 2014.

Now the stage has been set again with ESPN’s College Gameday returning to Louisville on Saturday to showcase yet another game between these rivals. Linked by a coaching legend and a string of pivotal games this could be one of the best yet in the series. The Cardinals are looking to revenge the 52-27 beat down at the hands of the Hurricanes last season. And the program is again looking for a signature win in year two of a new coach.

Like we have so many times over the years we are going to find out in this most recent battle with Miami where this program and this team is in year two of another program revival. At his opening press conference Coach, Schnellenberger stunned reporters and fans by proclaiming the program “is on a collision course with the national championship” The only variable is time.” Coach Satterfield proclaimed at his very first press conference that he was going to put Louisville Football back on that road.

Coach Satterfield has breathed life back into the football program. Getting us back to a Bowl game and winning it in his first season was huge but that first big signature win is still out there. On Saturday night he could check that off his list and put his Louisville football team back in the discussion.

Our Cardinals will look to build on their season-opening win over WKU. Louisville’s three-headed monster was feeding last weekend. Micale Cunningham threw for 343 yards, 3 touchdowns, and also rushed for a 24-yard touchdown. Javian Hawkins had 71 rushing yards and a touchdown and Tutu Atwell had a team-high 7 catches for 78 yards. Also a good productive outing from Hassan Hall, Dez Fitzpatrick, and Braden Smith. Ean Pfeifer and Marshon ford each had a receiving TD as well in the victory. Defensively, Dorian Etheridge led the way with 8 total tackles, including 5 solo tackles and a team-high 3.5 tackles for a loss. Monty Montgomery had a pair of sacks while Isaiah Hayes had 5 solo tackles and Russ Yeast had a pair of fumble recoveries.

This Louisville team did a good job of maximizing their yardage on each play last season averaging 6.7 yards a play. They finished ranked 12th in that category. That offensive explosion continued in the first game of this season. After their first week of play, Louisville is tied for first nationally with one play of over 60 yards and another of 70 plus yards. With Miami announcing a few days ago that they are going to be short-handed in the secondary with only 3 corners on the roster I look for this to be exploited all night in this game.

We know this Louisville team can score and I think the three-headed monster will again be eating this week. The question remains can the defense get the stops needed to win a big game like this. Western Kentucky hung 21 on the Cards. Miami has a talented and loaded roster led by QB D’Eriq King who had 227 total yards and two touchdowns last week. RB Cam’Ron Harris with 134 and 2 TDs last week. He is a beast. Jaylan Knighton and Donald ChBrevin Jordan are some talented receivers in their own right.

Trying to stop Louisville’s three-headed monster for Miami will be Bradley Jennings Jr. who had a team-high 6 total tackles with two tackles for a loss last week and Amari Carter who had a team-high 4 solo tackles and Quincy Roche who had Miami’s lone sack in their victory last week. Louisville’s offensive line held their own in week one but will face their first big test of the year in this game.

Here we are again… Another game against Miami on a national stage. And again the Louisville program is facing its first true test to determine just where it is in season two of its rebirth. Losing this game wouldn’t be the end of the world but it sure would take the wind out of the sails. Coach Satterfield has us believing again in the product. Saturday night is a chance to show us and a national audience that Louisville Football isn’t on its way back but ready to take the next step.

It is a big challenge ahead. But as we’ve seen Louisville do over the years in these games against Miami one I think they can meet again. Enjoy it Cardinal fans. Go Cards!


Come hell or high water Louisville Football starts Saturday night

It seems like an eternity since we were all celebrating in Nashville as our Cardinals had just wrapped up an 8-5 season with a Music City Bowl win over Mississippi State. There has been a lot of things that have changed in our world and in the sports world since that December evening. But one thing hasn’t. Coach Satterfield and his staff have continued to work to put a successful program on the field.

Coach Satterfield and his staff took on the Louisville rebuild head-on and it didn’t take long for them to put their stamp on the program in 2019. In an offseason facing a global pandemic that changed everything and with the nation’s social injustice struggles to play out right in their backyard the mission hasn’t wavered. They have continued to meet all of the challenges head-on and are ready to send out a Louisville team that just might end up being one of the best yet.

Louisville had the biggest turnaround in college football in 2019 with a six-game improvement in wins scoring 33.1 points a game (2nd in ACC). There are lots of big expectations on this Louisville team for 2020. Some even think the Cardinals can get to the ACC Championship Game. I also think this team has a chance to be really good.

It all starts with three of the most explosive players in college football QB Micale Cunningham (2547 yards with 28 touchdown receptions, and school record 194.5 QB efficiency rating last season), RB Javian Hawkins (1525 yards rushing with 9 touchdowns 2nd in ACC last season), and WR Tutu Atwell (1276 and 12 touchdowns leading the ACC last season). It’s been a long time since Louisville has had a triple threat like this on the offensive side of the ball.

And when you throw in guys like WR Dez Fitzpatrick (has recorded 106 receptions for 1,756 yards and 18 touchdowns during his career and averages 16.6 yards a reception), and tight end Marshon Ford (caught 20 passes for 292 yards leading the ACC in receiving touchdowns by a tight end last season) this is going to be an offensive group that will really put pressure on opposing defenses with their vertical threat.

Nine of Louisville’s 10 assistant coaches return for their second season in 2020. With the stability and consistency in the coaching staff, we should also continue to see improvement along the offensive line, special teams, and the defense. This is the first time in the past 5 seasons that these units have had the same coaching staff. The defense is going to need some work after giving up 33.4 points per game last year, but with seven starters back should be better. Linebackers C.J. Avery and Rodjay Burns started all 13 contests as did cornerback Chandler Jones and defensive end Tabarius Peterson. Linebacker CJ Avery is poised for a big season after a team-leading 93 tackles last season.

Western Kentucky did well in a very competitive Conference USA last season, finishing better than they had been expected to. They’ve got some playmakers at the skill positions also and will have a very competitive team on the field Saturday night.

With the limited practice time and all of the challenges due to the COVID virus, college football teams will have to get their game legs under them early on. I think that once this Louisville team finds it’s groove we are going to be in for a fun and exciting season. Even if we have to watch from home. I’m just glad that we will be watching our Cardinals play again. At times I didn’t think it would happen. Enjoy it and stay safe. Go Cardinals…


Now it’s just the Pack Line

The Pack Line defense has a few simple principles that differentiate it from the traditional man-to-man defense. The priority of the defense is to stop all dribble penetration. And in modern basketball, stopping drives is a formula for success.

The player guarding the ball applies immense ball pressure knowing full well he has four teammates crowded within the “Pack Line” ready to help. This frustrates teams who will usually just pass the ball around on the perimeter and chuck up a contested jump shot.

I’m pretty familiar with this defense now. But before Coach Mack came to town I thought defense was gambling for steals, creating controlled chaos, 2-3 matchup zones, and fullcourt presses.

Chris Mack likes to send his guys to the offensive glass more but his defense is very much like the one we feared for years at Virginia.

This Louisville team is no longer afraid of the Pack Line. They play against it every day now. They have been drilled in its principals over and over again. They hung 80 points on that Virginia defense already this season.

That doesn’t happen to them very often especially at home where the Cavaliers are allowing just 49.6 points this season. I think they’ll make this Louisville team uncomfortable but if the jumpers are falling it will be a shooting contest.

I used to dread these games with Virginia. That anxiety and disgust have been replaced with Florida State. I think Leonard Hamilton might be Louisville’s new Tony Bennett. I now enjoy the battle of the Pack Line defense and watching how these teams attack each other. It takes good shooters. This Louisville team has those.

It’s been a good regular season. A win today and Louisville will share a regular-season conference title. Not too shabby in the middle of a program rebuild. I hope our guys get it done today. I would like to keep the great vibe from last weekend rolling into the postseason. Go Cards!


A day to honor a loyal group of Cardinals

Kinda hard to believe that there are only two games left in the regular season of College Basketball. Seems like yesterday we were down on Fourth Street Live watching this team be introduced and Coach Mack preparing for his second season.

I think this team still has a lot of basketball ahead of them as they head into postseason play. They will have a say in who wins the conference tournament and the NCAA Tournament. But one game at a time and there is still some business to take care of in regular-season play.

Today is about beating Virginia Tech and honoring another great group of seniors for their contributions to the program we love. There are still many chapters that have yet to be written, but the 2020 basketball seniors have added to the outstanding tradition of Louisville Basketball.

Six players will participate in the senior day ceremony including Steven Enoch, Fresh Kimble, Ryan McMahon, Jordan Nwora, Keith Oddo and Dwayne Sutton. Each has already earned their bachelor’s degree except Jordan, who is on target to graduate this summer.

These 6 seniors have epitomized a culture of unselfishness, humility, hard work, and high character. And the loyalty of the guys who stuck around during one of the most tumultuous times in the programs history will never be forgotten. We aren’t saying goodbye to these guys because you don’t say goodbye to family and that’s what these guys have become over the years.

Ceremonies like on Sunday are just part of the process that allows closure for the seniors and passing of the torch to the underclassmen, but in successful programs like the University Louisville, the tradition never graduates. This program is rich and vibrant because many groups of seniors have cared enough to give their very best. Over the last three years, Louisville has leaned on that great tradition to keep moving forward.

Today is about moving forward. Our Cardinals have had a lot of success this season, but coming into this game they have lost three of the last five games. The good news is that we know these guys are capable of walking into any gym in the country and beating anyone. They have shown the ability to play at a high level. Offensive woes come and go and let’s hope we left them in February.

After a hot start to the season it has been a trying year for Virginia Tech and coming into this game they have lost eight of the last nine games. Away from home, this season Virginia Tech’s offense has been an issue averaging only 61.4 points per game while shooting 39.2 percent from the field. Virginia Tech got up for their rivalry game against Virginia in the last one only to come up short of the upset by three points.

Louisville has won the last six games between the two teams, but this is the first meeting between the two squads this year. At home this season our Cardinals are averaging 77.6 points per game while giving up only 60.9 percent from the field. I get to watch my favorite player in years play his final game in the Yum Center today. Jordan Nwora is averaging 17.9 points while shooting 44.1 percent from the field. As the season wraps up, they need him to play some of the best basketball of the year. Think we see that today and in the postseason.

Today our seniors and our team will lace em up for the last time in that locker room, will come charging out of that tunnel to the alma mater for the last time, and will get the love and admiration from the Yum Center crowd for the last time. I don’t think there is a chance they let this one get away. I’m looking forward to cheering them on one last time and to a big win. Go Cards!