After a tumultuous week following the embarrassing loss at Boston College filled with rumors about Scott Satterfield’s job security, Malik Cunningham’s health, and just general frustration from the fanbase as a whole, the Cardinals pulled out a convincing win over Virginia in Charlottesville.
With stars Tiyon Evans and Malik Cunninhgam ruled out for the game, the Cards were barely favored by Vegas in this game, and the sportsbooks may have been the most optimistic out of anyone. And with backup QB Brock Domann’s rough start in the first quarter, where he threw 11 consecutive incompletions, a streak that continued into the second quarter until he completed a 17-yard pass to Marshon Ford. The offense as a whole was held to an unreal 19 yards in 12 plays in the first quarter. The defense wasn’t great either as Brendan Armstrong had no trouble carving up the Cards’ secondary and the Hoos raced out to an early 10-0 lead.
But then the offense started getting Domann into rhythm by giving him easy throws and rolling him out. The offense went on to score 20 unanswered points until Virginia scored for their last time with 6:58 left in the 3rd quarter. While the offense was dialing up quick hitters and physical inside zone runs, the defense was dialing up their aggression and putting some serious pressure on Brendan Armstrong.
The defense finished the game with six sacks, while Louisville’s o-line protected their inexperienced QB and gave up none. That’s called complimentary football. What’s more complimentary is what the defense was doing while the offense was figuring things out.
UVA's nine possessions since going up 10-0. pic.twitter.com/ztVS0CGn3a— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) October 8, 2022
We’ve seen plenty of times with this coaching staff where the defense starts to play well, but the offense dies, or vice versa, but this was a great team effort where everything came together at the same time. And to see both sides step up after getting punched in the mouth early was awesome to see.
Domann wasn’t perfect, but for him to put up 275 yard passing, 71 yards rushing (breaking Lamar Jackson’s record for most QB rushing yards in first career start (53 yds)), and two touchdowns, his effort was more than enough in the absence of Malik Cunningham to will the offense to victory. But he didn’t do it alone as Trevion Cooley ran for 77 yards and got a touchdown of his own.
And on the defensive side of the ball all six sacks came from six different players, and the pressure that was dialed up and the secondary locking things down made Brendan Armstrong’s final three quarters much more difficult than the first.
As awkward as it may be, a lot of credit has to go to the coaching staff for adjusting early, taking the lead, and then putting the game away. The offensive play calling was clever and consistently put Domann in position to be successful. And on defense the play calling was aggressive and allowed defenders to fly around.
Again, it was just great to see a complete team effort after bouncing back from a bad first quarter. Really happy for the players, but now we have ourselves some extreme awkwardness.
It was rumored late this week by ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that if Louisville lost to UVA that Satterfield would be out of a job. And while it seemed inevitable after last week’s loss at BC that Satterfield may not be around much longer, we now are in the position of “now what?”
Sure the team won today in impressive fashion, but losing every other week is still not going to cut it and most fans had already made up their minds before the ball kicked off today. So now what do we do? Do we just let Satterfield coach for his job week after week? Do we cut bait hit the market early? Or do we let the rest of the season play out and then decide?
Whatever answer is, things somehow just got even more awkward after today’s win. FUN!
Finally, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!