Louisville 34, Virginia 17.
It was a much needed W for the ‘22 Louisville Cardinals.
It was a much needed W for Coach Scott Satterfield, who contrary to the interweb rumor mill would not have been canned with an L.
It was a much needed W for the Red & Black Faithful, who simply wanted to spend a Saturday night with a smile on their faces.
So, yeah, we here in the Land o’ Cardinal are happy campers.
But let us understand.
You will not be watching this game down the line on ESPN Classic.
A digital recording of this ACC battle to stay out of the cellar will not be transported into the cosmos so the people of the planet Ersatz will think twice about invading Mother Earth.
In years to come on one of those American Football shows on the World Wide Leader, a panel of experts will not be reminiscing about what took place at Scott Stadium on October 7, 2022.
But, oh yeah, oh yeah oh yeah, it’s a good thing.
Winning by whatever means over whomever Is A Good Thing.
And we get an extra week to savor the victory, and for the Cards to heal and improve.
* * * * *
For context, and because my mind does wander off in these directions, I want to press my next point with this. I read an article the other day in the Times or Post wherein a food “expert” opined that a sandwich absolutely positively must be be sliced corner to corner, not in half.
So passionate was the screed I expect some is a lesson learned from mom in the kitchen back in the day. But the writer provided at least anecdotal if not quite empirical evidence that such geometry provides more bites.
While I’ve yet to go with that grilled cheese/ tomato soup lunch, it is that time of year and I’m willing to make the leap.
Because change, as hard as it is for some of us, can be a good thing. Which brings me to this . . .
. . . it was hard to tell during the game just how much of the play calling duties Scott Satterfield had relinquished to his OC Lance Taylor.
The TV dudes kept talking about how Taylor was making the choices. But it was hard to tell, and as we know those dudes are often wrong.
The whole game plan, the offense’s modus operandi was indeed different. I couldn’t help but wonder if those tweaks were to accommodate peripatetic backup Brock Domann? Or were instigated by a new play caller.
As the game progressed there were more short routes. Hitches. Swing passes. But doubt started to creep in as I watched Domann throw long in the 3d Q with a 20-7 lead on a 3d and 3 at the Cards’ own 32. That had Satt written all over it.
But for the most part against the Wahoos not too stellar D, the game plan was schematically compact.
The answer: In his post game presser, Satterfield confirmed he called the plays.
As we really suspected he would. Yet it was different, the sandwich was cut on the diagonal.
It will be interesting to see if the tweaked philosophy of attack will remain when M Cunningham returns.
* * * * *
Things I loved:
That 8:11 manly man, stuff it down your throat to the final gun Big Boy drive to seal the deal. Thereby denying the homies of any thoughts of making a comeback.
The stop by the Cardinals’ D inside their own 5 on the previous UVa possession.
The play of former Temple Owl M.J. Grffin.
U of L’s run D. The Cavaliers gained but 25 yards on the ground.
How Louisville settled down after a woeful start. The Cards only 1st down of the opening quarter came because of a roughing the passer flag. 0-10 before the first shifting of ends. No yards passing and only 19 on the ground.
Watching Domann continue his ineptitude of the week before, I joked with Bookstore Billy, “Wonder if Stu Stram has any eligibility left?” That we were chatting telephonically during action was in and of itself a sign that this one looked over already.
But it was not to continue. Taking advantage of Virginia’s many gaffes and haplessness, Louisville found its groove.
First a FG. Then the game turned when Brock Domann read the D set perfectly, pulled a hand off away and “streaked” untouched 44 yards for a tying tally.
Domann started 1/8. Then hit 16 of his next 22, along with a couple of picks.
Domann’s 275 yards in the air, within range of heralded Brennan Armstrong’s 313. Wonder if that redheaded QB kicks himself for not following his OC of choice to Syracuse?
198 yards rushing relatively evenly distributed among 4 ball carriers.
Jarvis Brownlee. Led the Cards in tackles, and had a pick.
Mason Reiger’s sack on 4th & 1 to thwart UVa’s drive at the beginning of the 4th Q.
* * * * *
I gotta wonder whose decision it was to let M Cunningham back in the game last week?
I gotta wonder if rookie UVa coach (like his counterpart Brent Venables) might be wondering, “Maybe I shoulda stayed on Dabo’s staff.”
* * * * *
So, for the first time in the Scott Satterfield Era, U of L rallied from more than a TD behind to prevail.
From 0-10 to 34-17.
— c d kaplan