Louisville Cardinals: 2.0
The Cardinal stadium house was a Rocking, as #9 Notre Dame brought their national championship hopes to Louisville. With over 58,000 blacked-out fans in attendance, Cardinal Stadium was alive with anticipation. Could Scott Satterfield’s schemes hold up against the Brian Kelley Irish machine? Could the Cards be competitive in this game on a national ESPN stage? Fortunately for Cards fans, the answer was yes, as Louisville fought on every snap in the 35-17 defeat to Notre Dame.
Satterfield’s multi-platform offensive schemes made quarterback Jawan Pass looked like a different player. Take away his miscues and fumbles, Pass gained 99 yards on 16 carries. He was a major part of a U of L rushing attack that gained 249 yards on the Irish, a defense that likes to contain people in the backfield. Running backs Javian Hawkins (122 yards on 19 carries) and Hassan Hall (69 yards on 11) hit the gaps the undersized Cardinal offensive line was creating. Louisville moved the ball well and showed multiple options in offensive alignments.
If there was a silver lining to the opener, it was both the Offensive and Defensive lines. Undersized against the Irish, position coaches did a good job in teaching aggressive movement, double teams and coordinated motion, to open the run game for Louisville. The run game will be the difference maker in the revamped offense, as Pass becomes more comfortable in the pocket.
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Defensively, the Cardinals swarmed the ball and contained big plays. If everybody chases the ball, somebody is going to get it. The Cardinals have improved immensely in tackling and blocking, with multiple open field tackles preventing big plays for the Irish.
The Cardinals are at home this week against Eastern Kentucky, a 7pm kickoff.