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Friday morning Cardinal news and notes

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Hutton Schmidt doesn’t do off weeks.

—Jawon Pass and Malik Cunningham are both using this off week to try and get healthy enough to play against Boston College.

—Georgia Tech transfers Elizabeth Balogun and Elizabeth Dixon have both been deemed eligible to play for the U of L women’s basketball team this season.

—Chris Mack used the media’s low expectations for Louisville as motivation all last season. Now, with the same media expecting big things from the Cardinals in 2019-20, Mack is having to find other ways (Athletic link) to motivate his squad.

How will Mack, searcher of slights and investigator of insults, motivate this team without the same diss fuel? How does his message change with expectations? Before the season begins, Mack knows where to start: disappointment over how the 2018-19 campaign ended. As the players returned from a short break in August, Mack showed his team clips of a handful of painful losses and close wins to remind them of the pain they felt as a group in the postgame locker room.

“I don’t really care about anybody else’s expectations,” he says. “People can point to lack of depth or lack of experience or the schedule, but we should’ve been better (last season). If that doesn’t stick in our craw, if that doesn’t occupy a big part of our mindset for this coming year … Look, predictions, preseason polls, all that stuff is complete garbage. It doesn’t win us one practice or one game. We need to understand that. If we don’t, we’ll be humbled very quickly. I’m hopeful the experiences we had last year, the tough moments — the Duke loss at home, the Minnesota loss in the NCAA Tournament where I felt like we were a no-show — I hope that sticks in our guys’ minds, because it sure does mine.”

In practices over the summer and since the players returned to school, Mack also rings a familiar tone to coaches across the world. Because the former “naysayers” are now “on your side,” Williams says, Mack tells his players the hype and praise “could flip at any minute.” Williams, a captain who will be a key contributor this season after he returns from a foot injury, added that Mack’s messaging, between the reminders of last season and the don’t-get-complacent rhetoric, is “really consistent.”

—Wisconsin now headlines the five best bets to win the College Football Playoff outside of Clemson and Alabama.

—In the 150-year history of college football, there have been 44 times where the sport’s two worst teams have squared off. This is a history of those showdowns.

—Latest ACC hoops odds from SportsBetting.ag:

—The NCAA continued its 2019 tour of destruction Thursday by hammering Georgia Tech basketball with a host of sanctions, including a 2020 postseason ban. This is the third pretty heavy-handed punishment dolled out by the NCAA since July. Not exactly comforting for those of us waiting on the chopping block.

—In its first off week, Scott Satterfield is hoping his first Louisville team will take its next big step.

Take a look at the University of Louisville football schedule and you’ll notice it splits into natural thirds – three four-game segments separated by a pair of bye weeks.

“Looking back, when we first got the schedule, it was probably the best I’ve ever had it, where you play four games, have a bye week, then play four more games and have another bye week,” first-year Louisville coach Scott Satterfield said after Tuesday’s practice. “This one comes at a good time. We’re dinged up a little bit and this is a great time to get everybody healed up and ready to go as we start, basically, the middle part of the season.”

Louisville is 2-2 after that first segment, with wins over Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky, and double-digit losses to Notre Dame and on the road at Florida State. It went into this bye week down its top two quarterbacks.

Jawon Pass who was the starter entering the season but who has missed the past two games with a foot injury, is back in practice but limited. Malik Cunningham, who has started the past two games, is out with an ankle injury but is improving daily, Satterfield said, and is expected back to workouts by Sunday, at least. In the meantime, freshman Evan Conley is getting all the practice reps, and benefiting from it.

“He’s gotten a ton of reps this week and has looked good, and the more he gets the better, obviously, he is,” Satterfield said. “It’s really a great thing for him, and he loves it. You know, some guys might say I’m getting too many, but he loves it, he relishes the fact that he can get all these reps and get better and improve himself, and he’s done a good job these two days of practice.”

—The tablet edition of the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook (which has Louisville No. 6 preseason) is here.

—South Warren High athlete Jantzen Dunn (2021) has received a scholarship offer from U of L.

—Today is officially “Louisville Live Day” in the Derby City.

—Louisville football already has 23 commitments for its recruiting class of 2020. Who could fill out the few remaining spots? Jody Demling serves up some names to keep an eye on.

—Rob Dauster of NBC says the NCAA is facing an existential crisis, just not the one Mark Emmert thinks they’re facing.

Maker Faire is coming to Louisville this weekend, and it seems awfully cool.

—Nice to see Rajon is still treating dudes like he used to at the Middletown Y in 2002.

—The U of L women’s golf team is headed to Oklahoma for the Schooner Fall Classic.

—Khatavian Franks is “100 percent” committed to Louisville.

—Bronco Mendenhall has taken Virginia to a place where they suddenly appear to be the clear second-best team in the ACC.

—Chris Mack is ready.

—Seth Dawkins talks with the CJ about his maturation process.

—The U of L women’s soccer game at Syracuse that had been scheduled for Thursday night has been postponed until Friday at 10 a.m. due to a widespread team illness. The game will be broadcast on the ACC Network Extra.

—This is a fantastic idea and I love seeing it already being implemented.

—The G League this season will use the “one free throw counts for all the points” rule on shooting fouls -- on 2s and 3s. That seems ... unnecessary.

—The 17th-ranked Louisville men’s soccer team is hosting NC State Friday night at 7:30. Here’s a preview.

—Louisville football’s fourth quarter woes feel directly tied to the team’s lack of depth.

—Chris Mack and Dino Guadio spent some time at Aspire Academy on Wednesday checking in on 2020 recruit Gethro Muscadin.

Muscadin will be at Louisville Live on Friday.

—Lamar Jackson hasn’t thrown an interception in 222 passes, but no one in the Ravens organization (including Lamar) wants to talk about it.

—As someone who didn’t grow up listening to sports on the radio as much as preceding generations did, Marty and Paul Rogers are really the only two play-by-play guys I’ve felt connected to. Hearing Marty go out yesterday was tough.

—UPS says it’s planning to create 1,000 new jobs.

—And finally, U of L has announced that Jeff Walz and senior Jazmine Jones will represent Louisville at the ACC Women’s Basketball Tipoff next Thursday in Charlotte.