Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 17, 2020

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 39 of 55

40 OCT. 17, 2020 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI THE SECOND TIME AROUND In 2019, first-year Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield had no place to go but up after inheriting a Car- dinals program that finished 2-10 — 0-8 in the ACC — and was 127th out of 130 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring defense (44.1 points per game) and 122nd in scoring of- fense (19.7). Up he did go, much more than anyone might have anticipated. Picked by a landslide to place last in the seven-team Atlantic Division of the ACC, Louisville finished 7-5 during the regular season, notably 4-2 in its division, where it was the runner-up to superpower Clemson. Among the highlights was a 28-21 victory over Coastal Division cham- pion Virginia, which earned a bid to the Orange Bowl. For his efforts, Satterfield was named the ACC Coach of the Year af- ter his program's five-game improve- ment in wins from 2-10 to 7-5 in the regular season was the most among the 65 Power Five teams in 2019. The icing on the cake then was a 38-28 victory over Southeastern Con- ference representative Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl for a final 8-5 ledger. Most noted was the upgrade on offense, which improved its scoring average by 13 points per contest and finished at 32.7. An initial tone was set in his debut at Louisville during the 35-17 loss to Notre Dame when the Cardinals totaled 163 yards on their first two drives while tallying touchdowns to take a 14-7 lead. The ground-oriented attack would finish with a surprising 249 rushing yards and 5.3 yards per carry, but a flurry of fumbles — put- ting the ball on the ground five times and losing three — became too much to overcome. Still, Louisville displayed enough signs that it was primed to rebound from the meltdown that marked the end of the Bobby Petrino era. As head coach at Appalachian State from 2013-18, Satterfield guided the Mountaineers to a 40-11 mark his final four seasons and Sun Belt titles in three of his last four campaigns. The 2018 unit that finished 11-2 had a 38-31 lead at No. 10 Penn State with less than two minutes remaining be- fore losing in overtime. A former 27-game starter at quar- terback at App State, Satterfield joined College Football Hall of Fame head coach Jerry Moore at his alma mater as an assistant and was the play caller on Mountaineer teams that won three consecutive Division I-AA national titles from 2005-07 — and pulled off the epic upset of Mich- igan in the 2007 opener. Now more in a role of the hunted, Satterfield's 2020 Cardinals have ex- perienced a semblance of the "sopho- more jinx" with an 0-2 start in the ACC, although both Miami (47-34) and Pittsburgh (23-20) provided quality competition. Against the Hurricanes, some con- tinued woes on defense showed up while yielding 485 total yards and 47 points. Versus the Panthers and their veteran defense, Louisville surpris- ingly produced only 223 yards total offense. With Satterfield's track record as a leader, Louisville might be capable of returning to top-25 status as it was at one time under Petrino (No. 21 as GAME PREVIEW: LOUISVILLE Top STorylineS Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield was named the ACC Coach of the Year after his team posted a nation-leading five-game regular-season improvement (from 2-10 to 7-5) in his first year in charge in 2019. PHOTO COURTESY LOUISVILLE ATHLETICS

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