The University of Louisville looks to continue its momentum when the Cardinals face Western Kentucky on Saturday in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fresh off his first win with the Cardinals – a 42-0 victory over Eastern Kentucky – the Cardinals hope to extend their winning streak to two games for the first time since 2018 in an intra-state neutral site game that kicks off at 4 p.m.
“You know, so we’re just excited to get that win, having for our guys and then you know we’re excited to get back going this week against Western Kentucky who we know who’s a good football team that looks improved to me,” UofL head coach Scott Satterfield said. “Last year their record wasn’t great and it looks like they’re playing better this year. You know, they lost to Central Arkansas, which I think is a pretty good football team watching their film they have good talent and then go on the road and beat FIU this past weekend. So, we know we will get their best shot they’ll play extremely hard you know we have to have a great week of practice to go get another win.”
Jordan Davis Returns to the Lineup
The Cardinals will benefit from the return of tight end Jordan Davis, who missed the first two games due to an academic issue. In 32 career games, Davis has caught eight passes for 118 yards and two scores, but can be another threat to opposing defenses.
“Well he gives us some more depth at the tight end position,” Satterfield said. “He’s got great size, you know great talent you know I would say he has not lived up to his talent since he’s been here. I think he’s got a lot of potential you know, hopefully he’ll reach that potential there’s times we’ve seen it in practice and you know you like wow, this guy can be really good because of the size his power his speed.”
Cardinals Look to Get the Ball Down the Field
While the Cardinals have stressed the running game, averaging over 285 yards on the ground, Satterfield has stressed the need to stretch the field in the passing game. The Cardinals have struggled consistently to hit some deep passes, but the first-year head coach will continue to work on that part of the game.
“I think it was a little bit of both,” Satterfield said. “First play of the game we take a shot down with Tutu and we get the pass interference penalty, with the safety grabbing him. I feel like that would have been a touchdown there without the safety grabbing him. We know we got to be able to do that. We know teams are going to play up since we want to run the ball so they’re going to be loading it up. There are one-on-one matchups out there so we got to go win those and that’s going to be every week. This week will be no different and we must win those and start that right of the top there with EKU. We only hit a couple of the balls down field, but we got to be able to hit a lot more and get the ball downfield.”
Celebrate Good Times
The Cardinals snapped a nine-game losing streak with the win over Eastern Kentucky, so it was understandable that there was a big celebration following Saturday’s 42-0 win.
“It’s good, because we did get a win, no question about it,” Satterfield said. “But, win or lose, last week has nothing to do with this week. Win or lose, it’s a new week. Yesterday, we put that game to bed. Everything now is straight-focus on WKU. Our guys are on their off-day today, but a lot of them have already been over here watching the film from the opponent for this week. It really doesn’t matter what we did last week. We have to stay in the moment and do the best we can do today as far as getting our bodies ready for tomorrow’s practice so we can come out and have a great practice. All of our focus has to be on today and not worry about what we did in the past. It was just nice to celebrate on Saturday night and Sunday morning, but you have to put it away – it has no bearing on this game here. We have to continue to get better; that’s where our focus will be this week.”
The Cardinals played 33 players on defense in pitching their first shutout since a 72-0 win over FIU in 2013. Under the direction of defensive coordinator Bryan Brown, the Cardinals held the Colonels to 172 yards of total offense and didn’t allow a single possession in the red zone.
“Yeah, we want to be able to do that,” Satterfield said of playing a number of players on defense. “We feel like if we can get that rotation defensively. We’re keeping those guys fresh. That’s one of the things we want to be as a team, that we chase the ball with relentless effort and we were able to do that the other night. Well really both games. The more guys that can play. The fresher you are. The harder you can go. You’re going to be able to win those second and fourth quarters, and those are the two quarters we have to be able to win. We have to be able to finish both halves. So, it’s exciting to see a lot of the guys playing. Probably playing a lot more on that side of the ball than we are on the offensive side of the ball but I think that will benefit us as we go on down the road toward conference play.”
by Rocco Gasparro