In the final home game for the seniors who have seen it all, from Covid-19 disqualification to the one-time transfer rule, this senior class has seen the entire sport flip on its head in less than four years. To the see them come out on top once again against a top-25 opponent, on senior day of all days, was the perfect bow on what’s been a wild ride since 2019.
Going into the game both teams knew they would be relying on backup quarterbacks to carry their offenses. Even with Devin Leary on the sidelines, I’m not sure many of us would have said this defense was capable of winning a game earlier this season, but the defense took care of the injury-stricken Wolfpack offense to victory today by holding the banged up NC State offense to just 291 yards of total offense on the afternoon.
Both teams’ offenses tried to sort out quarterback play as Louisville started 3rd-stringer Brock Domann at quarterback with Malik Cunningham out with a shoulder injury. On the Wolf Pack side ACC Preseason Player of the Year, Devin Leary, and second stringer M.J. Morris were both sidelined with injuries, leaving third stringer Jack Chambers to lead the offense for the Wolf Pack. They eventually switched to fourth stringer Ben Finley when things got desperate.
With both offenses being led by their third stringers, neither produced awe-inspiring performances, but what we saw was the Louisville defense once again asserting their dominance and the offense showing their ability to run the ball on anyone they face. Chambers only completed two passes before Finely came in. While Finley was slightly more productive, the big story was N.C. State’s rushing attack being held to just 77 yards on the day.
The defense was the star unit of the game as Jarvis Brownlee recorded 8 tackles, star linebacker Yasir Abdullah had sven tackles of his own with 3 TFLs and 2.5 sacks. Monty Montgomery also had ten tackles of his own, 1 sack, and 1.5 TFLs. The defense stepped up big time against an N.C. State offense that has done well even in the wake of losing Leary.
On the offensive side of the ball the game ball goes to Jawhar Jordan who ran for 153 yards on 26 carries and recorded a gamebreaking kickoff return touchdown in the second quarter. While neither offense was able to do anything spectacular with their backup quarterbacks, the Cardinals were able to separate themselves with stellar special teams and defense. James Turner knocked in four field goals in addition to Jordan’s massive kick return TD.
While Louisville had the lead heading into the fourth quarter, things were far from comfortable, especially with fans remembering how last year’s game ended. But both units held their own in the fourth quarter this time around as the Wolfpack were held scoreless and the Cardinals scored on their first three drives of the final quarter. This ability to finish is something we haven’t really seen previously, and is something we have to have moving forward.
I’m just super happy to see the seniors put away another Top-25 opponent, especially on senior day, and to shut up the haters with another dominant defensive effort, strong special teams showing, and dominant fourth quarter. All things we haven’t really seen from this class previously.
Louisville reaches seven wins ahead of their clash with arch-rival Kentucky this week. Satterfield’s seat looks to be nice and cool for the time being. Hopefully Malik and Tiyon can get healthy before what could be the most important Governor’s Cup of Satterfield’s tenure thus far.
But before we look ahead, let’s enjoy a great effort by the seniors to end their home game careers on a high note and for winning despite the odds against them. I was very nervous about this game without Malik and Tiyon, but everyone stepped up big to deliver another top-25 victory.
Let’s see what the tweeters have to say:
Unless Wake loses out, UofL will have 5 wins against teams with a winning record for the first time since at least 2009. https://t.co/evr0oXXpXh— Keith Wynne (@Keith_Wynne) November 20, 2022
And it’s a final. Louisville beats NC State 25-10 to improve to 7-4. It gives Louisville its first 5-game home winning streak since 2016.— Mark Ennis (@MarkEnnis) November 19, 2022
Top 25 who?— Kei’Trel (Tre) Clark™️ (@_treclark) November 20, 2022
Scott's D does not shrink in the cold— Mike Rutherford (@CardChronicle) November 19, 2022