The Cardinals finished 6-7 with a 4-4 conference record in Scott Satterfield’s third season in charge. After finishing 8-5 in year one and then 4-7 in 2020, Louisville fans have to be clamoring for a big bounce-back.
vs Boston College
Louisville won an ugly 2021 meeting 28-14 at Cardinal Stadium. The Cardinals have an 8-6 all-time record against the Eagles. Louisville heads up to Chestnut Hill on October 1 for the fifth game of the season. Both teams will have played Florida State prior to this game.
Malik Cunningham returns at quarterback for the fourth season. Still the electrifying rushing threat (torching BC with 133 yards on the ground and three touchdowns), Cunningham improved as a passer in 2021, throwing for nearly 3000 yards and cutting his interception total in half to 6 (two of which, however, came by way of the BC defense).
Even though Cunningham dominates the ground attack, Louisville has the running backs to make the offense that much more potent. Jalen Mitchell returns as the top back after 722 yards and five touchdowns in 2021, while Tennessee transfer Tiyon Evans enters the fold after over a 500 yard season. Marson Ford at tight end was the team’s leading receiver with 49 receptions and 550 yards. The Cardinals do have brand new faces at receiver though. Their top two wideouts and coach departed, so in come two transfers. Central Arkansas’s Tyler Hudson, a conference’s player of the year with 27 touchdowns over three seasons, and Miami’s Dee Wiggins will feature.
Four starters return to an offensive line that naturally helped lead the ACC in yards per carry, and was number one in pass protection and tackles for loss. Caleb Chandler is a First Team All-ACC guard and they only lose their center.
Not the strength of the team, but this is an adequate defense. The pass rush is serviceable, but teams were able to cut through them on the ground. Despite losing their top two tacklers, they have a flurry of new faces coming in, primarily through the transfer portal, to help shore things up. They also dealt with key injuries at corner and linebacker in 2021.
Second-team ALL ACC linebacker Yasir Abdullah holds down the fort, boasting great speed and pass rush ability. He notched a sack in last year’s contest and was the team’s sack leader. On the backend, the Cards added a number of players through the transfer portal to go with a top starter, Kei’trel Clark. That all means a whole host of solid veterans that give the group have quality depth. Back to filling holes in the front seven, former All-Pac 12 defensive tackle Jermayne Lole and Ole Miss linebacker Momo Sanogo bring some needed physicality to the Louisville defense.
This team will live and die by Malik Cunningham. They’ll need him to stay healthy, but they do seem to have the infrastructure to make that happen. His continued improvement will make him a handful and allow the Cardinals to be in every game, much as they were last year. They had a number of blowout losses, but also a couple of narrow defeats. Flips those just a bit, and the whole outlook changes. Otherwise, Satterfield will quickly find himself on the hot seat (if he’s not already there).