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Cardinals pitch rare shutout: Louisville 30 - Syracuse 0

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We are good at defense?

Syracuse v Louisville Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

WE WON!

Told Rutherford before the game that this was going to be the last postgame reaction I wrote if we lost the game again. But not only did we win, but we shut out Dino Babers 30-0. Not sure if I ever thought I’d write those words again, especially against a Dino Babers’ coached offense.

Where do we start? Sure, the Syracuse team has been plagued by opt-outs, injuries, and….the plague, but regardless to see Bryan Brown’s defense pitch a shut out against one of the best offensive minds in the country is nothing short of impressive. Not only did Louisville’s defense dominate, but this was the first time since 2004 that the Cardinals shut out an FBS team.

That deserves to be celebrated a million times over, especially with this defense unit that we’ve seen go through extremely difficult times over the last few years. This is a massive, MASSIVE victory for that unit and I’m super happy for them and for Bryan Brown who has been put through the ringer since being on campus. If there was any doubt that Bryan Brown can get the job done, I think this season, especially tonight, has shown that even with the lack of personnel needed to get the job done that Brown is more than suited for this job. Not only is that a welcome sight since the departure of Todd Grantham and the dark times of Peter Sirmon and BVG, but I wouldn’t feel weird to say that Bryan Brown is a godsend and it’s time that Louisville fans felt the same way that many in the FBS ranks feel about Bryan Brown.

Holding a Power 5 team to 137 yards of total offense is one thing. Holding a Dino Babers offense 137 yards with this defense is a whole other victory that needs to be celebrated.

Aside from the defense’s lights out performance, the offense held their own for the most part against a vastly overmatched Orange defense. While the turnover margin was still something to be concerned about, as Keith noted earlier today, the offense was still able to pour It on a shorthanded Syracuse defense and do exactly what they needed in order to win. This is especially true when you consider that even though the Cardinals’ offensive turnover woes weren’t fixed, but that the offense was able to sit on the ball for nearly 42 minutes of the game to Syracuse’s 18 minutes. It was not only a dominant performance on all fronts, but the ball control allowed Louisville to overcome its biggest challenge of the season: turnovers.

Perhaps the biggest win of the night was Louisville getting young players in the game and allowing them to get much needed reps.

“We played a lot of guys,” said Satterfield. It was good to be able to get some of those guys out there and get them some reps. This was one of those games where you could kind of clear the bench and get some guys in the game.”

Keith Wynne mentioned in his “What to Watch for” that getting youngsters in the game tonight if the opportunity presented itself would be extremely important, especially with the few opportunities the team has had to “clear the bench” this season. On the surface level this is a big deal when you consider we don’t know which upperclassmen will return after this season despite them having an extra year of eligibility. It’s even bigger when you consider that we have no idea what spring practices will look like as the coronavirus appears to be in full swing once again.

All around, and despite the offense’s turnover woes, this was as good of a win as you could have asked for. I’m not sure that anyone would have predicted this defense was capable of pitching a shutout this season, especially not against Dino Freaking Babers. But here we are, and it’s freaking awesome.

Here’s to hoping the offense continues to outperform its own issues, and here’s to hoping the defense continues to improve against all odds.

For now, let’s celebrate a much needed victory for the third time this season and eat some canned cranberry sauce.

P.S. The uniforms were dope