We were short handed before the game even started, but this is another game that you can’t help we let get away from us. If the Virginia Tech game was winnable and this game was even more winnable. It was a game filled with mistakes ranging from the players on the field to the coaches on the sideline that prevented Louisville from coming away with a victory against an inferior team.
Where to start, where to start? Let’s start with how Louisville dominated this game on paper. The Cards outgained the Hoos by nearly 100 yards, with a demoralizing 315 yards on the ground. Those stats alone would have any fan feeling pretty good about the game went without seeing the score. Coming into this game UofL had turned the ball over eight times in three trips to Charlottesville and they added three more to that list, both in devastating fashion. The first came on a very impressive opening drive from the Cardinals, but the drive fizzled out after a questionable option play call followed by a horrendous pick six from Malik Cunningham. The second came late in the fourth quarter with the Cards driving to tie the game. Once again it was Cunningham turning the ball over, this time a fumble.
Virginia would walk away with 14 points from each of these events. That’s it. That’s the entire ball game there.
But once again the play calling from Scott Satterfield was unimaginative, predictable, and flat out questionable. The most puzzling sequence may have occurred out of the half when the offense was around midfield and ran the ball on third-and-six to make it fourth-and-short. What did we do? We ran the ball straight up the middle and got smashed. Virginia would score off of this mistake as well.
So 21 points given away from dumb mistakes on our end. Not exactly how you draw up a winning game plan. Regardless of who was missing due to covid/injury, all of these mistakes mentioned and not mentioned are beyond frustrating and not something you expect to see in year two of a rebuild. It’s frustrating and it allows a poor UVA team to walk away with an ugly victory once again.
What I can’t figure out is even without Tutu on the field we still have an outstanding receiving corps. But instead of using the likes of Dez Fitzpatrick and budding start Braden Smith, Satterfield leaned heavily on the third and fourth string running backs, which ultimately became predictable and unfruitful. As soon as Louisville went back to the passing offense and creative playcalls (i.e. the flea flicker), the offense saw instance success.
I really am having a hard time understanding where the creative playcalling has gone since last year. And I don’t think it’s because opposing defenses have film on this team, it just appears that Satterfieldd is eager to get into his traditional run-first scheme when we just aren’t there as a team yet. Especially without our two strongest running backs. However, I will say I was mighty impressed with the effort Burkley and freshman Jalen Mitchell gave.
All in all this was a game Louisville couldn’t afford to lose and they allowed themselves to lose it via their own mistakes. Nothing more to say that this is Louisville’s third loss of the season in close games and they’re all due to mistakes and turnovers that could have been prevented.
Back to the drawing board once again. Hopefully (for the millionth time) this team can fix its issues and win out against a very winnable remaining schedule.
TL;DR: Here’s the recap
Louisville has the worst turnover margin among 123 FBS teams at -12 through 8 games.— Kelly Dickey (@RealCardGame) November 14, 2020